12 Day Art Challenge: Create An Illustrated Calendar in Procreate | Stacie Bloomfield | Skillshare

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12 Day Art Challenge: Create An Illustrated Calendar in Procreate

teacher avatar Stacie Bloomfield, Creative Powerhouse

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Welcome

      2:29
    • 2. Class Project

      1:50
    • 3. What's Your Story?

      4:31
    • 4. Plan with 5 Steps

      4:56
    • 5. 12 Day Challenge

      5:52
    • 6. Formatting You Calendar

      6:12
    • 7. Manufacturing 101

      6:33
    • 8. Conclusion

      1:02
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About This Class

CLASS OVERVIEW:

Have you ever dreamt of creating your own 12 month calendar featuring your own art? I’ve been creating and selling calendars for the past 10 years for my illustration business, Gingiber. When you want to dip your toe into creating income from your art, you have to find that perfect balance between making eye-catching art and putting it on a product that is useful to your dream customers. Calendars are perhaps the perfect marriage of art + product. Create your own calendar by creating a 12 piece art collection. I will show you how to create your collection of art, layout your own calendar, and get it production ready so that you can bring your calendar to life. Plus I am sharing my favorite online printers with you, I’m providing you with templates for creating a beautiful and useful calendar, and I will give you my tips and tricks for marketing the heck out of your beautiful new 12 month calendar once you are done. 

This class is a double whammy:

  • You will participate in a 12 day illustration challenge so you design a calendar
  • You will walk away with everything you need to make and sell your own art calendar

After taking this class you will have made a new 12 piece art collection, and there are so many other opportunities to leverage that art into other income streams. You can add your work to your art licensing portfolio and shop it around to manufacturers to create passive income. You can turn your calendar artwork into greeting cards, tea towels, stickers, and more and sell them on your own website or Etsy shop. This is what I do in my own business so that I’m getting all the opportunities out of each illustration that I’ve made. 

But this class is about more than just creating 12 pieces of art and slapping them onto a calendar template. The best calendars tell a story. 

Artists are storytellers. We convey emotion, experiences, and observations through our art. If you are able to tap into your ability to tell a story across a body of work, you will find that you are naturally drawing the ideal customer towards what you create.

What story do you want to tell? Do you want to Educate? Inspire? Challenge? Let’s think about that first and foremost when we dive into this 12 day challenge.

This class is for creatives, artists, and illustrators who are feeling comfortable making art and feel that their own unique creative voice is emerging. As long as you have a medium that you love to work in and have the desire to see your art on your own calendar, this class is for you. I will be completing my art challenge in ProCreate. Also, I use Adobe Illustrator at the end to put together my calendar, so that is a big plus if you have that program. 

To complete this class you will need:

MATERIALS:

  • Your medium of choice (I’m creating my art digitally digitally using my iPad)
  • Paper and a pencil for sketching
  • Scanner if you are creating by hand for scanning your art into your computer
  • Adobe Illustrator for layout and preparing your calendar for production. I’m providing you with templates for laying out your calendar that you can open in Adobe Illustrator. 
  • 12 days to devote to creating your calendar artwork

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Meet Your Teacher

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Stacie Bloomfield

Creative Powerhouse

Teacher

Hello, I'm Stacie Bloomfield. And I believe that YOU are a Creative Powerhouse.

I am an illustrator, surface pattern designer, and small business owner (my products are in over 800 retail stores). I've licensed my artwork to amazing companies such as Crate and Kids, Moda Fabrics, William Sonoma, LuluJo Babies, Piccolina Kids, and have worked with companies such as Fancy Feast, Chronicle Books, Andrews McMeel Publishing, and many more. 

What I want to do is to teach you how to run a profitable creative business by building multiple revenue streams and how to visualize the life that you want to have. I believe that together, we can make it happen.

I live in Arkansas with my husband, 3 kids, and 2 dogs. 

I'm pleased as punch to hang o... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Welcome : I love calendars. Don't you? Calendars hit all the marks, functional and beautiful. I bet you have a calendar on your desk or in your kitchen, or on one of your walls. Since calendars feature 12 months of art, we as artists have a great opportunity to get our art in front of people year round by creating our own art calendars. Hi, I'm Stacie Bloomfield. I'm an illustrator and the owner of my own stationery and paper goods company called Gingiber. Several years ago, I made my very first calendar. Ever since then, I've release calendars year after year and I've sold those calendars to thousands of people all over the world. My stationery products are carried in over 1,000 brick in mortar shops. I've taken the same designs and have licensed them with companies such as Crate and Barrel, Williams-Sonoma, motive fabrics, and countless other manufacturing partners. I realized that calendar sales made a huge portion of my income during the holidays. Many people are intimidated to create a dated product. What type of calendar sells best? Desk calendar, wall calendar. What kind of investment does it take to put this project together? What if my calendar doesn't sell? How can I stand out when so many other people make calendars? Well, after I created my first calendar, I took my artwork and put it onto other products featured in my shop. I turned them into tote bags, cards, art prints and more. This is what it means to leverage your art, creating a strong intentional body of work and squeezing all the possibilities for creative income out of it. Calendars can feature photography, illustrations, fine arts, and can have everything under the sun, dogs, cats, flowers, quotes. There's a calendar for just about everyone. Whether thought you're dreaming about what your calendar could look like. Well, you're in luck because that is why I put this class together. Join me in this 12 day art challenge called create an illustrated calendar where I will teach you how to plan and create a perfect world piece art collection and then use that art to make your own calendar. After this class, you will have 12 beautiful pieces of art that you can also make into other products like greeting cards, stickers and tea towels. The world needs your art and your creativity. Let's make a calendar together and share your art with people year round. 2. Class Project: In this class we are going to complete a 12 day art challenge. I'm going to be using Procreate to make my art, but you can use whatever medium you like. This class is a great place to start because I take you through the steps of creating an art calendar from start to finish. I'm providing you with the 50 popular calendar themes download to use as a jumping off point. I show you how to storyboard your calendar, how to pick your perfect color story. I want you to be ready so that whenever you sit down to start your 12 day challenge, you will easily get into the flow and create the perfect art for your calendar. Set aside time every day for 12 days to complete this challenge. Then at the end of 12 days, I will show you exactly how to lay out your calendar and we'll give you tips for how to bring your calendar to life. This process is exactly how I make my own calendars for my business change of a year after year. For this class project, you will decide on a calendar theme, storyboard, your art, set a color story, choose a calendar size, make art for 12 days, use the provided templates to lay out your art in Adobe Illustrator and have your art files print ready so that you can make that calendar come to life. To get started, be sure to download the calendar themes printable, as well as the Adobe Illustrator templates and the class asset section of this class. Then grab your pencil, paper your iPad, and let's get ready to create a calendar together. Be sure to post your progress in the project gallery. See you in the first lesson, bye. 3. What's Your Story?: Lesson 1, what's your story? Artists are natural storytellers. We convey emotion, experiences, and observations through our art. If you are able to tap into your ability to tell a story across a body of work, you will find that you are naturally drawing the ideal customer towards what you create. Well, what story do you want to tell? Do you want to educate, inspire, challenge? Let's think about that first and foremost when we dive into this 12-day challenge. Imagine creating 12 pieces of themed, cohesive, intentional artwork that you can use in your portfolio for licensing, to place on your calendar, and for making your own products, and taking those same products and selling them on your website, wholesale, and on Etsy. You could create 12 pieces of art and center your entire year's upcoming work around them. This is how I structure my own product-based business. I create 12 pieces of art and then I make products from them. I also license those pieces of artwork. Sometimes I create repeat patterns from elements taken from my favorite pieces of art. I I these repeats on Notepad borders for fabric designs and more. I take the artwork for my calendars and change the messaging slightly to fit specific greeting card topics, such as birthday cards, Mother's Day cards, Valentine's Day cards, and Christmas. This is all a part of my strategy for using what's right in front of you to get more mileage out of your artwork. In today's lesson, we're going to talk about the first step in the calendar creating process. Story. Ultimately, to successfully create a calendar, you want to do more than just grab 12 pieces of random art and put them together to make a calendar. You will find that you have so much more success with any range if it's telling a clear story. You are a storyteller and the story you want to tell with your upcoming collection of 12 pieces of artwork will be the first decision that you need to make so that you have focus for your project. Let's talk about storytelling when designing. The story we tell through our designs, our typography, our lettering, and our colors will be essential to accomplish three things. One, define your brand. If you create work, you want to stick out and stand out. If you design, you don't want it to be boring. What can help you stand out from other designers is getting laser-focused on the types of stories that you want to tell in your brand. Draw in the ideal customer. The themes we choose to tackle in our collections should ideally align with what our ideal customer wants. Serialize your work. When you start telling stories from your work, it transforms you from a designer to a storyteller with endless stories to tell as time goes on. For instance, let's say that you choose to tell a story about favorite quotes from female authors. You can keep building on this story year after year as you create work. Let's say every year you create a dog calendar. Well, every year you could picture 12 different dogs. Your story is what defines your brand, draws in your ideal customer, and makes creating in the future easier and easier. Honestly, telling the right story will help people get really behind what you stand for. Your interests, your experiences. It's what's going to make your calendar fine and come to life. I want you to ask yourself, what story do you want to tell? What interests you? What lights you up? I've put together a list of potential stories and themes that you could feature in the next 12 pieces of artwork that you want to create. I want to make this process as easy as possible for you. You could find that list of ideas in the download section of this lesson. Feel free to simply pick one of these stories and run with it for your upcoming 12 piece collection or simply use it as inspiration to pick a theme that you come up with on your own. Perhaps after looking over this list, you will realize that you already had 12 pieces of work that could tell a cohesive story. Fantastic. Imagine a few weeks from now you will have your own calendar ready to print. You will have 12 pieces of awesome, amazing artwork that you can run with and you could pursue art licensing with it, creating other products and sharing that art on social media. I'm already imagining the amazing work that's going to come from this class. In the next lesson, I'm giving you five tips for successfully planning and executing your calendar project. 4. Plan with 5 Steps: Lesson 2, plan for a successful calendar with these five steps. In the previous lesson, I gave you a list of themes for your calendar, and talked to you about the importance of storytelling. Now we're going to get ourselves set up for success, but making a plan for our calendar. There are five steps to successfully planning your calendar. One, choosing your story and theme. Choose a theme that excites you. You will find that your work against the bubble out of you effortlessly when you're excited to make it, you want to love what you're creating. Storyboard, your calendar. This is where I think about the theme, and I start sketching out ideas for illustrations. I'm very literal at times with my illustrations. I just illustrate ideas related to the themes. When you storyboard, it's a great time to go through your existing works of art and see if you have any pieces that you could adapt to fit your calendar. I'm always thinking of leveraging existing works of art. Next, narrow your color story. I think that if I can start with a limited color palette, no more than eight to 10 colors, it makes my decision-making really simple. You can always deviate from this slightly, but limiting my colors has been a great trick for me when it comes to unifying my artwork and working quickly. Pick out 10 to 12 colors and start from there. Next, decide on your medium. I'm going to be working in Procreate on my iPad, but you can work with watercolor, or colored pencil, wash, whatever you want. The important part of this process is creating a collection where you have a way to get it onto your computer. If you aren't working digitally like me, you're going to need to scan your artwork eventually at 300 DPI into your computer so that you can lay out your calendar. Think about the finished size of your calendar. I'm providing you with four templates for laying out a calendar. A four by six postcard calendar, a six by eight desk calendar, an eight by 10 wall calendar, and an 11 by 17 wall calendar. Keep in mind that when you're creating artwork, you are creating so that it fills the page as much as possible. Remember, the goal of making this calendar is to end up with 12 pieces of art that you can put in a calendar, but also used in other ways. You can take those favorite pieces of art and use them on other products that you can develop aside from your calendar. All right, down to business, I want to walk you through my own calendar plan. My theme is going to be creatures that delight. I'm going to focus on drawing insects, arachnids, and other outdoor creatures that I can find. I will focus on the tiny details and the fun ways that I can incorporate my signature style, and to each illustration, and I'm also going to take some creative liberty with how I interpret them. Whenever I'm making a list of my 12 illustrations, I always grab a few extra prompts just in case I'm not feeling it whenever I sit down to draw one of my chosen insects. Here's a list of the extra prompts that I created for my own calendar. Next, I want to show you my color story. For my color story, I'm focusing on these 10 colors. This means that I'm only using these colors no matter which insect I'm drawing. I'm saving my palette into procreate so that each illustration will be really easy for me to execute, because I can just grab colors from my palette. I've already mentioned my medium, but I am creating this as a digital illustration project in Procreate using my iPad. Now, you can use whichever medium suits you. I feel comfortable using Procreate, and I feel like I can really bring my designs to life this way. My finish size. I've decided that I'm going to create a postcard size calendar, meaning that all the sheets will be the size of a standard postcard with the artwork at the top of the sheet, and the dates at the bottom. These types of calendars make great little gifts. I love desk calendars. Since I'm working in Procreate, I'm thinking about the artwork size. Anytime I make something, I need it to be 300 DPI because that's standard size for production. I know that my finished calendar size is going to be postcard sized. My artwork is going to be a four by four inch square, and I'm going to use a template that I've created here to lay out my artwork. Here's a tip. I know that I'm going to want to use this artwork for later projects, and I'm probably going to want it to be larger than four by four inches. I'm going to work from a larger sized canvas, an eight by eight inch canvas, still sized at 300 DPI. That's going to allow me to enlarge my project later on. Now that I've walked you through my own calendar plan, it's time to start making some illustration magic. After you've completed these five steps, you are ready to move on to the fun part of this class, which is our art challenge, creating 12 pieces of artwork for your calendar. I'll see you in the next lesson 5. 12 Day Challenge: Lesson 3, the 12 Day Art Challenge. If you've completed the five steps in the previous lesson, the next 12 days will be super fun and will stretch you to create 12 pieces of art with intention. Let's get started. First, I want to show you some of my favorite parts of Procreate. The first feature that I want to show you is called the symmetry tool. In order to get to the symmetry tool, you're going to click the "Tool" button at the top of your screen and you're going to go to Canvas. After you see the canvas button is blue, you're going to turn on the drawing guide button. After you've turned on the drawing guide button, you're going to click "Edit Drawing Guide". From there, you're going to see a few different buttons available for you at the lower part of your screen. I always click the symmetry tool. The symmetry tool is going to allow you to draw with symmetry so that your left side matches your right side. You can do this horizontally, vertically, you can do it as a quadrant. There are several options for drawing with the symmetry tool, and I love using it for creating my artwork quickly. The next thing that I want to show you is a selection of the go-to brushes that I use all the time in Procreate. The studio pen. Now, this actually came with Procreate, so I use it frequently. The next brush that I like to use is actually one that I purchased from artist Molly Jacques. She has tons of different Procreate brushes available that you can purchase and upload into your iPad. It's like monoline, except with beautiful texture in it. The next brush that I want to show you is called Nikko Rull. You can find that in the paint section of your brush library. This is another brush that comes with Procreate. Again, it makes a beautiful thick line but with a hint of texture. My next tip for you after you've created your canvas in Procreate, is that I suggest either turning on symmetry tool or turning it off and doing a single black and white sketch of your illustration. Now, this is going to be a bit more detailed than your thumbnail sketch that we created earlier, but this is going to be your coloring book guidelines for creating your artwork. The next thing that you need to know about Procreate is it's best to work in layers. That means for every color that you have, you're going to create a new layer in the sidebar, in case I want to change it in the future and it helps me to keep my artwork super-duper organized. After I've built up a few layers, I like to actually turn off that initial layer that I created that looks like just a sketch just to see how my artwork is looking. Because at the end of all of this, I'm going to turn off my sketch layer and I'm going to be left with my beautiful colorful work of art. After I've really laid down the foundational colors and shapes for my design, I get to really focus on the fine details that make my illustration look not flat anymore, that really add texture and interest to it. That's where I do things like crosshatching and stippling and lots of different types of tiny detail work that I can use with my Procreate pens in order to create visual interest. I can be loose with this. It doesn't have to be exact. Loose means that you work faster. Once I feel like my illustration is looking good, I stop because I don't want to overwork my illustration. The truth is in the past, I've overworked my work to the point that it no longer feels spontaneous and inspired. It's really important to stop whenever you really feel this has come together. Stop. That's how you know your artwork is finished. Now that I've gone over some Procreate tips for success, let's get started with the challenge. Here are the guidelines for this 12 day challenge. Each day, find inspirational imagery, use textbooks, reference photos, take photos yourself, or simply imagine what you want to illustrate. Stylize your art using your own voice. When you're using reference images, it's super important to not infringe on someone else's copyright. It's much better to either take your own photos or use your imagination entirely. This is why so often my drawings don't look realistic. I add my own spin to my drawings and deconstruct an image as much as possible so that my final product is unique. Be sure to get reference photos and work from tons of them so that your finished product isn't influenced by one photo. Focus on one piece of art a day. For this 12 day challenge, you're going to create an amazing collection of art, but each day you're going to pick one prompt from the previous lesson and focus on it. Give yourself large pockets of time to work. If a 12 day challenge turns into a two week challenge or needs to be spread out to suit your own time constraints, that's totally fine. Create structure every day and separate time from your other tasks so this collection can really get your full attention a little bit each day. Lean into your colors. You can work much faster by limiting your color palette. That is exactly what we did by preparing our color palette in the previous lesson. Limitations can enhance our finished product by forcing us to get super creative with our colors. Don't forget to have fun. Fall in love with the art that you're making. Think about how you can make it stand out. Ponder about how you would use this art in your own home or home decor. Taste factor matters so much when creating intentional art and turning that art into products. Would you love to purchase this piece of art if you saw it in a shop or on a shelf of a store? Chances are someone else would love it too. That person who would also love your art is your ideal customer so design with them in mind. At the end of this 12 day challenge, you will have 12 gorgeous pieces of art. After 12 days, I'm going to show you how to use the templates provided to layout each calendar page. Then I'm going to give you my personal tips for getting your calendars printed. I'm going to see you in 12 days. Bye. 6. Formatting You Calendar: Lesson 4, Formatting your Calendar for Production. Now that you have your 12 pieces of art from the 12 Day Art Challenge, we can lay out the calendar together. I provided you with four calendar templates, PDF and Adobe Illustrator versions or you can simply use my templates as a guide to make your own calendar layout entirely. You're going to notice a few things about these templates that I want to explain to you. When you print any file with a printer, you're going to need to set up your files slightly larger than your finished size. A four-by-six postcard, for instance, needs something called a bleed line so that your art extends all the way and that's going to make your finished file size larger. The template is sized actually at 4.25 by 6.25 inches. Also, when setting up your calendar for printing, you need to know what your safe zones are. That's the area that text can print in safely. These safe zones are going to be slightly smaller than your finished print size. A four-by-six postcard is going to have a safe zone of 3.75 by 5.75. You don't want anything to accidentally get trimmed off during production, papers shifts slightly, whenever printing and trimming happens. We're about to dive into actually using the template. Let's get some background music going so that we can stay engaged with the technical parts of this lesson. Sound good? Let's go. Next, I want to show you how to actually use the templates that I've provided you with. First, you need to get your artwork onto your computer. Because I work with Procreate, I'm able to easily airdrop each one of my files as a PDF from the Procreate program right to my MacBook. If you don't use Procreate and you're not creating digitally, this is where you're going to stop and you're going to scan all of your artwork at 300 DPI and save it to your computer. I want you to go ahead and open up the template of choice and go the the layer section. The very bottom layer is where you're going to place your own artwork. Next, you're going to need to update each month and the days of the month underneath the artwork. You can do this pretty easily in Adobe Illustrator. In this template, I've created layers for you. You're just going to select the month layer to update the text of the month, and then the days layer so that you can update each day of your month. Now, before you save your file, I want you to go to the layers area, and I want you to turn off the first layer, the roles and guides layer and the second to last layer, which is called your template layer. That way, all that's left is your artwork and your finished calendar sheet. Then save the file with a new name. I usually save my files with something simple like 2022 calendar January, 2022 calendar February. You can save your files as PDFs, because most on-line printers accept PDFs. If the printer that you work with needs something different, don't worry, just click "Save As" and choose the file type that you need. Now, that your pages are set up, let's think about how you will display your calendar. This is a really important thing to think about right now because whenever you're finding the perfect printer to partner with for your calendar, you want to make sure that you can find someone who can make the calendar look just like you imagine it. With a postcard calendar, this is a calendar that's printed onto a postcard and requires no other binding or hole drilling or hanging. Usually, I fill a postcard calendar with a clip or an easel attached for display. This is perhaps the least expensive method of making a calendar. Anytime you produce a paper goods item, like a calendar, you can keep your cost down by not offering any additional bells and whistles, such as hole drilling or adding spiral binding. With the wall calendar, you're going to notice that many wall calendars have a hole drilled into it, and this allows people to hang and display their calendar. Most printers are set up to drill holes into projects like this. It's a very simple and straightforward way to display a calendar, but it also offers a more elevated experience than just a standalone sheet. A lot of calendars are also saddle stitched. This is something that you've probably seen before, but that's whenever you buy a calendar and it's just stapled in the middle, and people can display their calendar by unfolding it and hanging it on their wall with a hole drilled at the top. This works well if you have a double-paged calendar where the top page features only the art and the bottom page has all the dated materials for your calendar. With a lot of wall calendars, people use a coil bound wire hanger, like this example. Its spiral bound at the top of each sheet, and then there's a little metal curved hanger that fits right inside the coils. This makes page-flipping super easy and the display, especially classy. Many manufacturers refer to the spiral-bound coiling as wire-O. Usually, you can find spirals offered in either the metal colors or black colored coils. Make sure that you spring for the metal and not the plastic coils however because metal just looks nicer. The metal holds up better during shipping also. Wall calendars with wire coil bound in a drill hole. This method is used using the wire or coiling for easy page flipping, but also allows for people to hang each sheet as an open calendar using the hole at the top. Then there are desk calendars with built-in easels. Now, this is my favorite type of calendar and one that we make at [inaudible]. With the built-in easel, it's like a pop-up tent. It makes it super easy to flip each sheet and display it on your desk. Now, this method requires finding a special printer with the manufacturing capabilities to make your built-in easel. To make this cost-effective would mean you have to order a huge quantity of calendars so maybe don't start off with this style in mind. Knowing the types of binding options allows you to make sure that you leave room and allowances for drilling holes, spiral binding, saddle stitching, and other things whenever you're laying out your design. Take your time laying out your calendar and thinking through how you want each calendar page to look. 7. Manufacturing 101: Now that your calendar pages are created, you are ready to get your calendar printed. There are two options for calendar production that I want to talk to you about today. Home printing and outsourcing your printing. When I made my first calendar and sold them online, I've printed each sheet at my house using my Epson printer. I use a paper cutter to trim each page, and then I assembled my calendar by hand and package them into a clear plastic sleeve, purchasing a printer to use at home as an investment upfront. But I had been able to use my printer to create and sell calendars, art prints, gift tags, packaging, portfolio sheets and more over the years. When you print from home, you can literally print as you go so you are never sitting on products that you haven't sold yet. But the downside is that it takes extra time to work as you go and it means at some point you're going to have to start using a professional printer if your calendar sales takeoff, because you're not going to want to hand cut each calendar. There are several home printers to choose from, Cannon, Epson, there are so many great high-quality home printers. I know it can feel like buying a printer is a huge investment, but sometimes you need to do the math to see how many calendars you'd have to take to pay off that printer. Even if you don't want to produce calendars at your own home, I recommend no matter what, using a home printer or asking a friend with a printer to print out a proof of your calendar, print out each sheet so that you can make sure everything looks perfect before getting it professionally printed. Now, what's a proof? A proof is a test version of a printed product. It allows you to see how your project will look once it's printed. You want to prove any project before spending money on printing it, so that you can check the following things. You're going to make sure your colors look correct. You're going to prove for typos, you're going to check for layout issues. Now, I've skipped the proofing step and it resulted in me having to send out replacement sheets to tons of retailers and customers. It costs me money to fix the problem and it was also really embarrassing. Don't skip proofing. There's also online printers that you can use to produce your project. If you don't want a print from home, no problem. There are many fantastic online printers who are perfect for printing and producing a variety of paper goods items. When you're working with an online printer, you can print as few as 12 calendars at a time. With online printing, the more you print, however, the lower each individual calendar costs you. Now, here's an example. Now if I wanted to print 12 calendars of coil binding at the top using an online printer. Now this is just a hypothetical example, each calendar would cost me $17 to print. Now that's a bit high. But if you're testing out a brand new product and you don't have a lot of money to spend up front for this new calendar idea, printing a small quantity is going to help you to figure out proof-of-concept, meaning you can invest a little bit of money up front now and test if the product sells well. If it sells, that's proof that your calendar concept is right on and your story resonates with your customers. If you're able to sell those first 12 calendars, sure, your profit margin isn't as high this time, but that means you can print more calendars going forward. As my quantity of calendars increases, my individual cost of each calendar goes from $17 to $10 to $5 all the way down to a $1.90 per calendar if I were to buy, let's say 1,000 calendars. Now, what if we get a little bit savvy here and we want to save more money. Let's print double-sided on each sheet of our calendar. Now, here's the price breakdown if I print the exact same calendar, but I decided to cut down on my paper count and use both sides of my paper. I go from $14 individually for each calendar, all the way down to a $1.8 for each calendar, if I were to order 1,000 calendars. Now these are just imaginary examples that I've put together based on my own research and experience. But the logic is true, no matter where you print and how many calendars you print, the number of pages you need for your project, the size of the paper you use, how you bind and finish your calendar. Whole punching, coiling, using clips will determine how much it costs you out of pocket to make each calendar. Keep this in mind when you're planning your own calendar project. Oftentimes the simplest solution can be the best solution so that's why I recommend starting with something like a postcard calendar where you can order very few. Your risk is low financially and you can test the concept. I've put together a list of my favorite on-line printers to use for making calendars. Most of these printers offer coupon codes for first-time customers. Be sure to search for coupons before you place an order and with all online printers, you can reach out to their customer service department to ask them questions, ask them for a custom quote if you want your calendar to be slightly different from what they advertise making on their website and you can also pay to get a hard copy proof mailed to you. Like I said, especially with your first time using any online printer, don't skip proving. Some of these printers offer calendars. Others might only appear to offer postcards or prints, but you'd be surprised with a little bit of creativity can get you when it comes to using these resources to bring a calendar to life. The reason I started doing postcard calendars was because I could not find an online printer at the time who could make what I wanted so I worked with what was available. One of my earliest mistakes was not realizing that people expect a certain quality of paper depending on the price of the calendar. Most people, whenever they're purchasing a calendar from a small maker or an independent designer, expect that your paper is uncoded, thick card stock. You want to go with an uncoded, meaning not glossy, or a matte finish paper so that whenever someone writes on the calendar, their pen glides easily and it doesn't smudge, go with a heavy card stock, usually 100 pounds or more. Now that you have these tips for printing your calendar, I hope that you feel ready to bring your 12 day illustration challenge to life and produce your first calendar. 8. Conclusion: Congratulations. You made 12 new pieces of art for your calendar. Your 12 pieces of artwork are now a collection, but they could stand alone individually. I hope that you have found this class to be a fun exercise to not only make art but also help you turn that art into a usable, sellable product. Who knows what you're going to do next? Are you going to create calendars to give to friends and family this holiday season? Are you going to start selling calendars on your Etsy shop? Are you going to begin a calendar empire? I cannot wait to see what you do next. Be sure to share your class calendar in the class project section, and also share your progress online using the hashtag, CreateYourArtCalendar. I'd love for you to follow me online or subscribe to my newsletter so that we can keep in touch. Thank you so much for taking this class and I hope that you have a great day. Bye.