Inktober and other fun projects took a back seat this week because a personal project arrived!
2022 calendars have been on my mind recently because I receive several wall calendars in the fall, and they are usually accompanied by donation requests.
Still, It occurred to me that a calendar would be a great piece of swag to send my clients as an end-of-the-year thanks. Instead of another wall calendar, though, I thought a planner might be more fun. My business is publishing, after all, and 2020-2021 have been far more digital than print. I’ve been itching for a box of fresh printing to arrive on my doorstep.
I wanted the planner to showcase my design tastes, and the artwork needed to be mine too. I crawled through datebooks and sketchbooks going back to 2006, and pulled some of my favorite pieces. There are a few below. Every month has one or two pieces of art, and there is room for making notes/doodles/to-do lists.
The planner contains my personal and professional brands because it is where my art and my design world meet. Twenty have already shipped with hand-written notes and, yes, a couple of business cards, to my clients from 2021. And some of these will be thank-you gifts to the people who have been so supportive to me as I’ve built Nan Mellem Publishing.
It was a weekend of reflection. Mostly I thought about my grandparents, two generations of them, who were in the service or lived through two World Wars. What they had experienced in their lifetimes, and the goals they accomplished, families they had, and how it all seems to be falling apart.
It really isn’t directly dire at the moment, but as in all relationships, people must put forth an effort to be united in common goals. There must be a feeling of communion to establish and maintain a community. It is a precarious thing, and once ruined will be very hard to recapture.
So I weeded parts of my garden. I used to be able to wiz around the whole yard and have it done in a day. Now it gets done in stages so my back does complain too much…it still complains.
I sat down to draw flowers, and there are some pretty ones out there right now. The seeds were more my speed though…their dogged effort to establish something new.
A far more knowledgeable garden told me in a lecture (or on TV) that everything the plant needs to germinate is contained within the seed. It just needs to land in a spot conducive to germination in order to grow.
People are just as plainly tied to this lifecycle. They will flourish where they are born, but the conditions have to be conducive to supporting life…not just birth.
There were plenty of maple seeds that landed on my driveway and were swept up into a container to go to the composting facility. There was an entire forest in my driveway.
Susan Chiang’s “A Pair of Pears: Loose Watercolor Sketching”
For those of you who follow my work, this is my favorite way of working. I did take a liberty at the end and add some hard lines in pen and walnut ink…around the stems, in the shadows, and along some edges.