We showed the new 2019 calendars to a few people before we unveiled them to you & we asked what they thought. Of course, they said the usual things: they're fun & beautiful & just the thing you'd want for yourself & all the people you know. But now that we have released them, we’ve been getting a few questions from all of you & we thought it’d be a good idea to put the answers right here in case you have the same questions:
If you want to skip this & simply go right to the calendars themselves, click on the one you want below:
Otherwise, let's get to the questions:
Why is the wall calendar two dollars more than last year's calendar?
You'd think it's one of those rising-cost-of-everything-under-the-sun answers, but it's not. This year, we went to printers all over asking for one specific thing: can we do our calendars with entirely recycled paper? (You'd think this'd be easy in the world we live in now, but guess what? It's not. Nevertheless, we persisted :-))
It was worth it. Not only did we find 100% post-consumer recycled paper, but Hemlock Printers, the printer we're using, has a non-toxic printing process with sharper & more vivid colors. Which means it looks more like the original artwork. Yay!
The only problem is that to get the 100# archival cover stock we wanted for the whole calendar, it cost almost three times more. Yikes. Since we didn't think you'd want to pay three times more for a wall calendar, we decided the way we'd do it would be to charge you a little bit more & treat the rest as the cost of living a life we can be proud of.
We like to consider it two dollars towards a future for everyone...
Is the recycled paper slick? It's so frustrating to write on most calendars, then smear it because of the slick surface.
Here’s what Fia has to say: I have to say I LOVE your question... I am totally a calendar person, which is why we were so particular on the paper we chose for the calendar this year...
It does not have that slickness you're talking about - and I absolutely know what you're asking because I am ALL ABOUT calendars... (Brian uses his phone to keep appointments, so he giggles at my seriousness about such things).
BUT - just because it was fun for us - we immediately took one of the calendars and each of our favorite pens... and this is what we discovered - even with the gel pen that Brian uses for his drawings (the ones that usually have to dry for a few seconds) there was only the tiniest bit of smear. And the pens I use - which range from a different gel pen to a ball point pen - those did not smear at all.
So, I'd say - it depends on your medium, but in general, it's pretty great paper.
Whoa. Why is shipping so expensive on these calendars? Are you trying to make up the cost of these by adding it in to shipping?
HA. It'd be easy to think that, but if shipping isn't your thing on a daily basis, you'd have missed that both USPS & UPS raised their prices by almost 30% in the last year. So, the only place where shipping hasn't gone up when you order on-line is from Amazon Prime. Even there, Amazon raised the price of Prime membership this year by 20% to cover their increased costs.
We have a real-time shipping calculator, so the price you pay in shipping is the price we charge. If, for some reason, our calculator messes it up (which it usually does on international shipments for some odd reason), Fia refunds the difference the minute she catches it.
Also, a lot of you have said you're in no rush so you don't need Priority. Unfortunately, Priority Mail is an automatic thing once the weight goes over a pound. Just so you know, this year's wall calendar is a half pound & the frameable is one pound, two ounces. Last year's wall calendar was 3 ounces. So, yeah, we're sorry about that, but that's basically what's going on...
You've never done a frameable print calendar? What is it?
Here's what Brian has to say: The short answer is I've been doing these new wet-on-wet saturated ink watercolors in the studio.
In case wet-on-wet makes no sense to you, it's pretty simple - first I put down a layer of water on the paper & then while it's still wet, I put the ink directly on the paper & it spreads out without asking my opinion. Which means I never know quite what's going to show up. Once it dries, I add the graphite line work. They really look like nothing I've ever done & I'm having such fun with them...
But after a couple of months, I had stacks of them all over the studio & I was itching to show them to you & Fia said Maybe you should do a special calendar with just them? Since it's my 25th anniversary of doing all these art & stories, we decided it'd be a 25th anniversary calendar. (But, really, it's just an excuse to show you these beautiful new pieces. HA.)
So, you'll get twelve of the new saturated ink prints with a subtle calendar of each month in one corner. They all come in a portfolio to keep them safe until you're ready to bring the next one out. Oh & the portfolio makes it a perfect gift since it's so strikingly beautiful all on its own...
Every month you can switch the prints out into an 11x14 frame (not included, but it's easy enough to get one at your local art store) & have new artwork on your wall. Or simply do the Pinterest thing & do a whole gallery wall of all twelve at once. Each of the prints is done on 130# archival 100% recycled stock, so they'll show off the art for a very long time.