In the Beginning...
Whenever you are starting a project whether big or small you should come up with a concept to guide you. It would be an even better strategy to expand that concept into a plan or a course of action.
My project was a calendar. My concept was a journey through nature. My plan was - well that's more complicated, I'll expound on it down below.
Coming Up With a Theme, Concept and Title
I knew that I wanted to create a calendar. I've had that idea in my head for a long time, but it wasn't until this year that I had enough art to make it happen.
Without even looking at my collection of art I knew that it would be some sort of nature theme, but that wasn't specific enough. "Come and buy my Nature Calendar" isn't enticing. I needed to come up with a concept that invited the viewer or buyer into something. I could invite them to a certain place, but I didn't have enough art of one location. It could invite them into a story, but I didn't really have anything solid on that front. I could invite them on a journey - yes that's it!
I have traveled a lot in the past 5 years and almost all of my paintings are now from cool places that I've visited. My concept is that I am taking the viewer with me on a conceptual journey through my watercolor paintings.
I came up with the title: Inspiring Landscapes. My husband read that and shot it down for being too boring. So we came up with the final title together: Journey Through Nature.
Creating and Curating the Content
I thoroughly looked at all of the paintings I had created in the past several years since I had started traveling. I picked out the ones that fit my theme.
I then ordered them so that they flow with the seasons. Thankfully I had nearly enough landscapes to do that. The only thing I was lacking was winter scenes.
So I created a winter landscape from a photo my sister took a couple winters ago. It turned out to be my favorite page of the calendar! You can see that painting here.
Finding the Right Manufacturing Process
It took me over 4 years to create the art featured in this calendar. That's a lot of hard work and passion put into a small package.
Needless to say at this point I was highly invested in the concept of the calendar so I wanted to make sure that the execution of the product was up to my quality expectations. I also wanted to make it an affordable product.
I did my research to find the right printer and ordered a sample before making the decision.
Here's my recommendation: don't order in bulk from a new printer without getting a sample. I was happy with mine, but you never know when ordering online from a new supplier.
Getting to the Finish Line
Once I had my prototype calendar in hand I rushed on to the publishing and promoting phase of the project because I was getting very close to November.
I wanted to ship in November so I got my creative self in gear and made a marketing plan, materials, videos and photographs all in about 4 days. I wouldn't recommend that kind of time frame for anyone who wants to stay sane.
I decided to fund my calendar on Kickstarter so that I could order the quantity I needed.
My 2022 calendar: Journey Through Nature
This is my 12 month calendar that I created using the process listed above.
In this colorful calendar I invite you to go on a journey with me as I take you through my travels in the form of enchanting watercolor landscapes.
Back the Project on Kickstarter today and get your calendar in November with a fully funded campaign!