Actually, it’s possible that you don’t. Let’s go ahead get that out of the way. You might be fine. But you know what, I sure do! And I’ve found that a real, printed calendar has become an essential piece of studio kit for me. For years and years I kept notes about schedules and projects across my various sketchbooks. My honor as a deadline-keeping professional scrawled amongst coffee stained pages and in between doodles of little plant creatures. It was a hodgepodge system that somehow worked very well!

Until it didn’t.

It was about five years ago, a week very like this week. I was having a fine time. No major deadlines that week, nothing to turn in for another month. I even recall thinking, I’m sailing into the holidays better than usual, aren’t I? It was that very moment when it struck me; a crashing waterfall of realization slamming upon the cold, wet boulders of reality. I’d somehow forgotten an entire project. 

No use trying to explain it or even understand it. We were so far beyond that now. It was my fault. My completely fool-proof system of scribbling indecipherable dates in the margins had failed me at last. And in a spectacular fashion, too.

So what happened to that project? Granted, it wasn’t a huge one. I shoved things around and got it done that same week. No excuses. But I ordered a calendar right then and there. An actual calendar to hang on the wall of my studio with a nail that I could see with my own eyes and mark upon it with a real pen. And I’ve never looked back.

So! Maybe you, like me, need a real calendar. And I thought I’d round up a look at ten out there right now (including two honorable mentions because they’re sold out)!


Kiri Leonard

Kiri’s work is marvelous. Absolutely bursting with life and warmth. Exactly the sort of feeling I’d like to bring into a new year.


Charles Vess

What’s there to say about the works and worlds of Charles Vess that hasn’t already been said? His work is some of the most personally resonant, for me. And in fact, I tried a few years back to string some words together in a post here. Either way! Charles has a new 2022 calendar (and it’s still available!) and it’s just lovely.


In her own words, employing a “minimalist” approach to the calendar this year, Nataša delivers some truly beautiful and evocative paintings.
Alas! Omar’s calendar is out of stock! Or not, I’m not sure. Maybe it’ll be back. Either way his shop is closed for the year but how could I not post this cover? I mean look at it! 10/10. Probably even 11/10. Unicorn: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ The lobster, the dogs, the little pops of blue throughout the piece. To say nothing of the figure and the arrow. More like 2022/10, eh?

Jessica Roux

I think the world of Jessica’s work and I was lucky enough to be able to pick up one her calendars in person at an arts and craft fair earlier this year. From her site: Based on artist Jessica Roux’s gorgeous botanical encyclopedia, Floriography: An Illustrated Guide to the Victorian Language of Flowers, this 2022 wall calendar reveals secret meanings of flowers from the 19th century, when young women from high society sent bouquets to communicate feelings and messages.


Emily Hare

About this time last year I was able to chat with Emily about the world of Strangehollow. Her 2022 calendar features some of my personal favorites of her paintings. Emily’s work is a vision and I can think of no finer way to keep track of projects (or encounters with various and sundry creatures) than with this one.


David Petersen

Put away your tiny swords, ladies and gentlemice, I’m sorry to report that this little beauty is out of stock! But let’s all take a moment together to enjoy it. Built in 5 x 7 prints? Terrifically clever. I’d expect nothing less from David. Except maybe if all the pieces could be reassembled into a complete cardboard pop-up of Lockhaven. Come on!


Naomi VanDoren

In equal measures dazzling and inspiring, Naomi’s dreamy worlds are always rich with glimpses into other places and other times. Here’s one for you! I first encountered Naomi’s work at Spectrum Live back in 2017 (and even made mention of it here on Muddy Colors). And I’ve been a fan ever since.



The Landmark Project + Rudy Wendelin

A beautifully designed calendar featuring 14 iconic illustrations of a true American legend? One of the finest illustrators of his era? I can barely believe it! (Barely. Bearly. I’m so sorry. I’ll see myself out until next year! Happy Holidays, everyone!)

Enjoy classic encounters from the life of Smokey Bear in this 14 month calendar from The Landmark Project. Each month features a painting from Rudolph “Rudy” Wendelin, the best-known artist in the history of Smokey Bear campaigns. For almost 30 years Wendelin was considered Smokey’s caretaker, and that love shows through in his delightful illustrations.

For every Smokey Bear product sold, The Landmark Project gives 10% for Wildfire Prevention Education.