I hate spiders, bugs, insects, and anything synonymous. If someone sends me an image of an insect without warning, I consider it a personal attack. Ten years ago, enter: my adorable nephew, Gabriel, at about three years old. His favorite things in the world are playing with string, and flies. He loves flies so much, he dressed up as one for Halloween; Flies are his tiny friends. This is the beautiful, unexpected oddity of new, small humans that I could not predict. His love for these tiny bugs surprised, delighted, and gave me a small tinge of heartbreak. It struck me to my core that he could find authentic appreciation for what most would consider a pest. The pieces I have created here are a play between catching flies and treasuring flies. A past me could not stand to look at a photo of a fly long enough to paint it. Nostalgia over a simple, eventless Halloween years ago moved me to create this tribute to Gabriel and his unexpected friends.