Here’s another way to display and promote your art — create your own art calendar with either online tools or specialized software.
Some considerations for selecting publishing sites and software:
- Ability to specify time period (and automatic generation of calendar)
- Choice of design suites
- Choice of size or format
- Ability to automatically add in holidays
- Ability to personalize dates
- On-demand printing & binding
- Use of high-resolution images
- Reasonable cost
- If printing at home: how to bind/punch and paper quality
Publishing websites abound on the net:
One that I have used is Lulu.com. I created a calendar for 2010 for my friends and family. The template allows you to specify the size, select from design suites, add in images of art for the cover and each month, and automatically add in holidays. It also allowed me to add in smaller images on selected days, as well as personalize the calendar with birthdays, etc. If you wish, you can offer your calendar for public sale as well.
CafePress.com is a self-publishing site that allows you to have images printed on products on demand (without having to worry about inventory). It offers several types of calendar formats that you can use, but no design suites or ability to add personal dates.
Photo sites also have calendar features: You can upload your art images to a free online account at Walgreen’s and have them printed out as photos or use them to design your own calendar. Printing is usually available at a local store so turnaround can be fast. Examples of other photo sites with calendar publishing opportunities are Flickr.com and Qoop.com.
Dedicated publishing software, such as Broderbund’s Print Shop (either the Deluxe or Pro versions) and Microsoft Publisher, typically have calendar templates. They will generate a 12-month or 16-month calendar for whatever year you specify, add in standard holiday dates, and allow you to input your images. You can also choose from a design suite so your calendar is not plain jane. Even Microsoft Word has calendar templates. Using your own software allows you to save money on printing, but you will also have to consider how to bind it — simple stapling, folding, or punching and using spiral binding. (Office Depot, OfficeMax or Fedex Office can do this.) Paper quality is also important — using a heavier stock makes a more professional presentation.
Please add to the utility of this guide by using the comment form to describe your own experiences or software or websites that you have used.