What is your idea of a breather at work? I scroll through Instagram for some art therapy — #webcomics and #illustrations are some favourites. In recent years, these artists have been increasingly putting their work on stickers, notebooks and, at the end of the year, calendars. 2019’s ‘date keepers’ have all of us at Weekend excited because each calendar has a theme — from self-love and the Zodiac, to culture and personal goals. Here are 10 Indian illustrator calendars to help you keep track of meetings, holidays and more.
Each calendar has a theme — from self-love and the Zodiac, to culture and personal goals
@aartikarwayun: Aarti Karwayun used her fascination with all things mystical to create the artwork for her first calendar. “I used handmade sheets from my home town, Jaipur, and went with watercolour as the medium. Planets and their symbols are used to create a common flow across all 12 months, and I have tried to draw inspiration from the five elements of nature — fire, air, water, earth and space — as well,” says the expressive art therapist who lives in Bengaluru. In keeping with the Zodiac theme, it also features the moon cycles. At the end of the month, you can tear along the perforation and use it as a postcard, or frame it, she says. At ₹1,350 for the desktop calendar and ₹2,700 for the wall calendar, on instamojo.com.
@somthingsketchy: Madhuvanthi Mohan has been an independent artist for about five years, after a stint in the advertising industry. Her feed is filled with unique, colourful creatures, which also feature in her ‘Self Love’ calendar. “I drew 12 different ones, each reminding you to take care of yourself in a different way. For instance, in June, Bugalina the Hydrated Crustacean Creature reminds you to drink eight glasses of water a day,” she explains. Bengaluru-based Mohan has also started an illustrator’s group called The Sketchup. “It began because I really missed being around other artists and creative people. I bring the Indian illustrator community together for talks, workshops, and I curate and organise art shows and events as well.” At ₹500, on somethingsketchystore.com
@annada.n.menon: An active participant in the annual Inktober challenge, Pune-based Annada Menon decided to showcase two vanishing Indian traditions this year. “One was the art of mask making, after I witnessed their beauty at the tribal museum in Pune. The other was the use of postcards; so I drew the entire series on authentic postcards,” she says. This has been digitally-transformed into a 4x7 calendar that fits in your pocket or on your desk. After every three months, there are a few pages to jot down notes as well. The subject also suits the surrealist/fantasy vibe of her other work. At ₹599, on instamojo.com/annadanmenon
@aliciasouza: This Bengaluru-based illustrator is known for her cute depictions of everyday life, her dog Charlie and hamster Henry Oats. This year, she has launched The Focus Calendar for your desktop (with each month concentrating on a different aspect of your life — family, self-image, community — at ₹499), The Things to Remember wall calendar (featuring happy messages and stickers, at ₹399) and The Ultimate 2019 Planner (for the A-type personality, at ₹1,500).
@awkwerrrrrd: Kochi-based Bhaghya Babu was working in a UXUI firm in Bengaluru when she started posting her work on Instagram. Drawing from her Malayali heritage, her comics are fun and quirky, with bright colours and bold lines. “They’re often described as squishable,” says the 26-year-old, who creates characters in a very relatable universe based on her life. Although she has offered merchandise on her website for over a year now, this is her first calendar. “I wanted to create something fun that will bring a smile to people’s faces at the beginning of every month,” she says, adding that it features 12 exclusive, calendar-only comics with classic Awkwerrrd family situations. “It also comes with a free sticker pack of 12, with new characters,” she adds. At ₹799, on awkwerrrd.com
@bhuli.art: After their début calendar on Costume Culture of India in 2017, Tanya Singh and Tanya Kotnala followed it up with Lesser Known Dance Forms and Art Forms of India (2018). This year, their theme is Saris and Drapes of India (2019). It features combinations like Pochampally ikat and Kuchipudi drape, Jamdani sari and Athpourey drape, and Muga silk chador with Mekhla drape. Working out of Dehradun, Singh is a nutritionist and Kotnala, a designer. “Somebody once quoted our style as Tim Burton meets Madhubani, because of the big-eyed Indian characters,” Kotnala says. The calendar comes to you in matte-finish paper boxes, instead of plastic, while the paper they use is from sustainable forests. At ₹545, on instamojo.com/bhuli. For international orders, mail firstname.lastname@example.org
@thecomicalcyanide: Manasi Deshpande’s offering this year is the #NeverGrowUp 2019 colouring calendar. The hand-illustrated, colour-it-yourself series of pages will quirk up your desk. Mail email@example.com for details.
@theinkbucket: Vidhi Khandelwal’s botanical work has graced many a wall mural, and garnered her over 51,000 Instagram followers. Her black wall calendar features wreaths and bunches of flowers and plants, interspersed with inspiring quotes in gold typography. Mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
@monkibusiness_: Right out of college, Maitreyi Bhatia knew she wanted to pursue her own, er, Monki business. “It started during my second year and I haven’t stopped since,” says the 22-year-old from Mumbai. Inspired by space, weekly and yearly planners are a new addition to her online store. The colourful weekly sheets are covered in planets and stars, while the yearly spiral-bound book features an astronaut monkey. All the pages are undated — no more half-used books to get rid of in the new year! There are also free stickers to play around with. At ₹899 for the yearly and ₹299 for the weekly planner, on maitreyibhatia.in
@pranitart: Pranita Kocharekar’s quest for work-life balance inspired her to create the ‘12 months 12 goals’ calendar last year. While this one is back for 2019 by popular demand, the Mumbai-based independent artist has also come up with a new theme, ‘Shut Up & Stop Stereotyping’. Tropes like ‘men can’t cook’ and ‘women can’t drive’ are tackled here. “I want feminists to be able to create conversations with their friends, families and colleagues with the help of this calendar. Being aware of existing stereotyping habits may lead to reduction in such behaviour. This is my tiny attempt to contribute to a very big cause,” says the 26-year-old. Both calendars are priced at ₹550 each, on pranita-kocharekar.com