Every year I design a new desk calendar. First I pick a theme, and then I illustrate the theme with thirteen, original watercolor paintings. The next step is researching quotes to match each illustration. I then choose a style of calligraphy and letter each quote. The next step it to scan each painting and each piece of calligraphy. Then I design the calendar itself. The calendar is then ready to send to the printers. When it comes back from the printers, it comes in a huge stack. I spread it all out on a large surface like my dining room table and separate all the calendars into 13 pieces for each calendar.
This is my twentieth year designing these little calendars. My process has changed quite a lot since I first began this little project. I used to design them all in black and white and hand paint each one. This was before color printing was affordable. Last year I added a CD case to each project. The CD case flips open to become a stand for the calendar.
I always do this project in the summer, so that it is ready for sale in September, through the Fall so that everyone can get one before the New Year starts. My theme this year is called FISH. That might sound boring, but I had a lot of fun designing each colorful fish with their own unique personality.
I hand letter and hand paint each image and quotation. Then I have it printed.