Four years ago, I designed my first calendar. Actually, I’m such an overachieving and indecisive Gemini, I designed two: one full of dark, witchy pen and ink drawings- and another full of brightly colored animal paintings. I think they arrived from the printers in early December – right after the show I specifically ordered them for. Luckily I still managed to sell out of them through online orders, but I was pretty burned out on the printer I had been using for years.
Technically the hardest part about crafting a calendar for most artists is having the artwork to put into it – and have it be cohesive. Every year I go, “OMG, what am I going to put in the calendar??” and then I grab a hold of myself. I produce what could be considered by some as an insane amount of artwork per year. (Though I’m no Steven Archer – and you should totally buy his Tarot deck by the way…he’s currently on tour in US for Stoneburner so you can get art and stuff from him there.) Yeah, I can easily fill a new calendar every year. Anyway, back to the process.
The next year (for 2016) I got going on the design process a little earlier. I switched printers to one that a fellow artist had recommended – much better quality and service. It was so successful that I ended up doing a second run! This calendar featured my Iconomage and Archetype paintings. I had considered doing 2 calendars again (one safe for work, and one…not), but I only had the energy to do one. This resulted in several folks creating post-it bikinis and coverings so they could hang the calendar in their office spaces. (How creative are my collectors? They’re awesome!)
For 2017, I got on the ball even earlier (delivery in early November!), grabbed the updated template I used for 2016, and filled that calendar with pieces from my WitchHeart series. When I got the calendars though, I was surprised to discover that between the current year and the previous year’s template, they had done away with the markings of the lunar phases. I had just assumed everything was the same as the prior year, so my bad for not looking more closely at the non-art part of the template.
I’m not big on marking feast days, sabbats, etc – but it is pretty darn important to me to know what the moon is up to. (It gives me something to blame things on).
For 2018, I got thinking about the calendar even earlier – August. This way I could have it for some big events – and I already had 12 pieces from my Witch Essence series completed. I looked carefully at the templates the printer provided, and none of them featured the lunar markings. I contacted the printer, and they apologized, but yeah, nope on having the moon phases.
What’s a Witch to do? I really like the quality, pricing, and speed of this printer, so I wasn’t about to shop around trying to find someone who had what I needed in a template plus all of the business things too.
So I found a listing of the 2018 lunar phases by date/time. Then in Photoshop, I crafted the 4 moon phases (waxing, full, waning, new) into layers. Then for every single month, I physically put in the correct layer on the corresponding date. It was several hours of work, but totally worth it. It came out beautifully!
FYI: It’s almost work-safe….well, I guess it depends on what you consider work-safe. There is nudity for one month’s artwork, and probably a few things that may make your coworkers scratch their heads. But that can be fun too!
If you’re interested in acquiring one (and won’t be able to get one from me in person at Hexenfest, Puget Sound Pagan Pride, or Hekate’s Sickle), you can order one now through the miracle of the Internet!