Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Print Calendar!

For the last 20 months, I have created a desktop wallpaper for readers of my design blog. I don’t know how many people actually downloaded them, but a few fans with nice comments (thank you!) kept me going. It was so nice to decorate my monitor each month with an original artwork of mine.

One of my dreams has always been to create a print calendar with my artwork. This year I did! Here’s a glimpse:

However, when I went to use my wallpapers for the calendar I found a problem: I had designed my wallpapers to be quiet, nice background pieces. Although they had focal points, the goal of them was to make your desktop soothing rather than distracting.

But for a calendar, you want Art To Look At! I had to rework my wallpapers quite a bit, and in some cases completely redo them. And yes, the puffins are totally new.

As a result, creating the calendar was a lot more work than I’d expected. I took a look at my overall collection and decided to go with the ones that featured somewhat realistic animals. This left out wallpapers like the March Crow. Then, I went through each wallpaper and reworked it for the print layout, sometimes changing the entire flavor of the artwork.

Here’s a look at two of the months that changed the most:

The Moose Duo

I had made the wallpaper monochromatic and textured, but it didn’t work as a calendar. I tried every color for the moose and the backgrounds, but still really loved the red. So I put the moose in grey, and it makes them pop. I still felt like it wasn’t finished though – so I started sketching. I wanted something that connected the moose in the composition (other than them looking at each other) Here’s the before and after:

Moose swirls! Click the picture to see a non-blurry larger version.

The Zebra

I love the zebra, but it was a rather abstract wallpaper – sitting on a cloud, looking at stylized rain… it didn’t fit with the rest of the calendar. I tried a lot of things with him, but finally realized it needed a second zebra. And for Mother’s Day in May, what better than a cute baby zebra?


I’m really happy with the result – each month has a great illustration that I love to look at.

I mostly made them as a personal project, as gifts for friends and family, but I am giving away one copy over on my design blog. Go there and leave a comment if you want a chance to have this calendar on your wall!

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