A Look at the Desk Calendar Series

One of my current book projects is another art anthology of my older works, this time a collection of early zine-styled drawings, graffiti scribbles and abstract coloring book sketches. To digitally preserve the artworks, I first tried to use an older PC scanner at a Fed Ex Office store (I still keep calling them Kinko’s), but I’m now using an iPhone scanner app that outputs at a sufficiently high enough resolution for my needs.

This brings me to the subject of my longest-running art series in my career: the desk calendars. These were large collage works created on office desk calendars, created over a period of many years while working at TCF Bank’s corporate offices in Minneapolis and Plymouth, Minnesota. Until I began publishing books, I considered these to be my magnum opus and had always intended them to be digitally preserved for both publication into books and also blown up to 3x-6x their original size for physical art installations and print runs.

The iPhone scanner app has proven to be less than ideal for this, but it’s only because I need a proper high resolution copy of these works. I did capture the final six pieces from the 2017 series, and while they won’t work for print reproductions, they will work perfectly fine in the digital realm, and so I wanted to share them with you on the website.

So what are the Desk Calendars all about? Well, it’s a bit tricky to describe. Think of it as a combination of a calendar, a comic book, a high school yearbook and an abstract painting that is based almost entirely around text. The idea evolved over a number of years as the “b-sides” to my paintings, which first began as a few short notes for the benefit of collectors and then steadily grew larger and more involving until they became full-scale artworks on their own.

I really did enjoy this final year and wish I had kept creating them through 2017, but I was winding down my job at TCF Bank for a move to Chicago in August, and work on launching my new publishing label startup was taking all my free time and energy. These calendars are very involving and take a long time to create. The goal was always to finish a piece within that specific month, but there were years when it would take as long as three months to fully fill out and complete.

In any case, I wanted to share the final “season” of the desk calendar series. I don’t currently have any plans to revive this project, as it really does require one to work a desk job during business hours and my life currently revolves around caring for my eight-month-old daughter during the day, in addition to running around town, cleaning the apartment, keeping us all fed and somehow squeezing in a little time for writing, art or photography. And have I mentioned that I have already sketched out my next dozen writing projects over the next 12-18 months? Oy, froynlavin, my head hurts.

The 2017 desk calendars are just below the jump. I hope you enjoy them.

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