Positive Energy 2018 Calendar by Laura Brown
With 2017 on its last legs, bad news having a bit of a renaissance, and holiday present-purchasing in full swing, today’s release hits the trifecta: a positively life-affirming letterpress calendar.
This cool artist-made calendar from Laura Brown is the ideal gift for the person who’s impossible to shop for: your coworker, your post person, your mother-in-law. But beyond that, its message feels utterly essential nowadays. It’s a salve for what ails us as we try to go about living in the company of ubiquitous bummers—small and tragically supersized. Even if you’re not ordinarily a meditation, mindfulness, power of positive thinking kinda person, this simple, suggestive image is just the sorta thing one can focus on to realize a brighter future. And lordt...don’t we all want and need a little bit of that brightness so badly right now?
Brown creates a calendar each fall, a practice that inevitably leads her to reflect on the current year, and consider the possibilities cradled in the year to come. There’s something inherently inspiriting about looking ahead. With indifference, hatred, and prejudice going increasingly unchecked and poisonous people in positions of power, banking on the future feels almost rebellious. These calendars urge us to be forward-looking, which is at the core of progress and progressivism.
The idea of bringing positive energy into 2018 is heartening. Positivity has the power to literally pluck us out of our beds and remind us that there’s lots left to fight for, and that hard work can lead to some inspiring wins. So this calendar isn’t just about feeling your oats. It’s also a call to put your positive energy to good use. It’s a gutsy move, summoning positive feels. It requires confidence—in yourself, and in those around you. It means you’ll waste no time ridding yourself of other people’s negativity, but it also posits a fundamental belief in the goodness of humankind, no matter how far away from goodness we get.
The impetus behind the design of this Positive Energy 2018 Calendar came via Sister Corita Kent, whose art was her mode of activism. The Roman Catholic nun worked with silkscreen, focussing on messages of love, tolerance, peace and positivity. It’s no surprise her work was popular in the counterculture movements of the 1960s and 70s (though she’s only recently received anywhere near the notoriety she deserves). Kent was keen on printing for its affordability—she believed everyone should have the opportunity to live with art. Sound familiar? If that’s not the most 20x200 motive for artmaking…
One of Kent’s prints says simply “positive energy”, and it’s this piece that particularly transfixed Brown. “I couldn’t get those words out of my head as I thought about what I need—what we all need—moving into the next year and beyond,” Brown writes. The fact that Brown has converted this phrase into calendar form is extra fitting. The text and visual accompaniment become a daily cue to carve out space for some positive energy, to surround yourself with it as best you can—an uncomplicated, empowering act in the face of an evermore complicated and often cruel world.
The second we saw Brown’s calendar we were struck by just how much we needed the reminder to make room for positivity no matter how awful things are. After all, positivity is infectious in the best way possible. Fueling and fostering it begets more of its magic. The image on this calendar is so evocative of that—bright, cheery blobs of color drawing attention to the text like a bullseye. The “positive energy” radiates outward like the concentric circles printed around the words. That energy emanates from the artwork to the onlooker. This all might sound like a bunch of woo woo hooey but hear us out: we need to feed ourselves and each other so we can be strong.
When shit happens—and it will—we can let it define us, we can let it defeat us, or we can tap into adversity and use it to forge a new, tougher version of ourselves. It’s your basic lesson in resilience. That which does not kill you makes you one step closer to conquering the work day, crushing the haters, and lifting others up in the process.
Calendar or life coach, you decide. We’ll leave you with this hot tip: when the year is over, snip off the top half of your calendar and frame it for ongoing good vibes.
With art for everyone,