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Best of Indie Spotlight: 2013 Calendars

Jan. 4, 2013
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The good news is that we have survived the purported apocalypse and humanity will live to see 2013. The better news (well, at least more fun) is that tons of independent online retailers are offering unique, handmade calendars to help you keep track of all the stolen days of the coming year. Sites like Etsy are brimming with one-of-a-kind calendar creations that turn everyday routines into artistic explorations. Whether you like waking up to a decorative wall calendar each morning, making notes on a desktop organizer each day, or even wearing your days of the week on your person, these renegade artists can help you kick off the new year with a new outlook on life.

Full of Good Things
By Laura George

This illustrated wall calendar by Chicago artist Laura Berger features a unique drawing and phrase each month. Berger’s style lends a bit of whimsy to each page, and the quotes add a bit of reassurance, with each month showcasing a theme that subtly corresponds to the time of year, from January’s “Embracing Uncertainty” to October’s “Shaking the Dark Thoughts Out.” This calendar presents the year as a flowing story in its own entirety, while leaving some space for its owner to write notes and create his or her own story as well.

TIME – Printable Calendar
By Things That Sing

One in a growing trend of digital download printable calendars, this monthly wall calendar features a simple black and red text design that showcases a different quote about time each month. The quotes, from visionaries like Einstein, Carl Sagan and Lao Tzu, are arranged in a circular pattern as the calendar’s focus, and each offers a unique perspective on time, and life as a whole. As a bonus, this calendar can be printed at home within 48 of purchase, and given as a gift as soon as you need it.

Calendar Necklace
By oh, hello friend

Looking for a calendar you can wear everywhere you go? This StoreEnvy shop has just the solution in this silver calendar necklace charm. The round pendant has a rotating dial, so its wearer can match up the month to the current year and have a functional calendar at their fingertips. Like a variation of a perpetual calendar, this one will last for 50 years, covering the years 2007 to 2056.

Hark! A Vagrant 2013 Calendars
By TopatoCo

This indie webcomic artist has two calendar offerings this year: “Beethoven Birthday Party” and “There She Blows.” Each wall calendar features K. Beaton’s original historically-minded artwork, as well as a spattering of fun historical facts throughout the months. Learn when Chaucer first told “The Canterbury Tales” and when the first copyright law was passed, all while checking on your own daily agenda.

HeARTS Speak 2013 Calendar
By HeARTS Speak

A perfect gift for animal lovers and advocates, this calendar, produced by animal advocacy group HeARTS Speaks, has beautiful photos of animals who have been helped by the artist-run group. Inspirational quotes about the impact animals and humans have on each other accompany each picture, and true stories of animal rescue offer sweet and encouraging soul nourishment for each month.

Dr. Who Inspired 2013 Wall Calendar
By Skadoodled

A fantastic find for those who love to dabble in British sci-fi, this illustrated printable wall calendar features shop owner Stephanie Huber’s black-and-white depictions of iconic imagery from “Doctor Who.” Pairing stylishly drawn images of characters and settings from the show with memorable quotes, this calendar sets the perfect tone for 2013 for any devoted Whovian, and as Huber points out, all illustrations can be cut away and framed on their own once the year is over.

Vintage Camera Desk Calendar
By Swiftphoto

Photographers can be tricky to shop for. After all, they each have their own artistic styles, so not just any calendar with beautiful photographs will do. Why not get them a year full of their most coveted instruments instead? This desk calendar has 12 high-quality photos of vintage cameras to entertain the shutterbug in your life, and like the “Doctor Who” calendar, these images can be cut away and framed later, for those who want a more meta, “camera-on-camera” experience.

Grim D. Reaper 12-Month Calendar
By ReaperStore

Have a friend who tends a little toward the dark side? Give the gift of a year full of dark humor with this hanging calendar. With the grim reaper as its muse, this black-and-white wall calendar features the many moods of Death, with the Reaper skulking about town, walking pensively along a beach, commiserating with ancient statues and generally menacing about.

Funny Critters Desk Calendar
By SteJDesigns

Though compact disks have now been rendered mostly irrelevant, CD jewel cases are being reborn as handy stands for desk calendars. This clever little calendar comes with its own foldable jewel case easel, and is sure to perk up each month with its imaginary critters. Original creations illustrated by the seller, these fictional creatures grace each tiny card in a pose that represents the month. Staunch rain goblins shower over April while the sky cow makes rainbows in July.

I Left My Heart in San Francisco
By Myan Soffia

Sure to be a treasure for people who love their hometown, this wall calendar features artsy shots around San Francisco, with various filters used for effect. West Coasters not from the Bay Area have other options from this shop, with calendars featuring Los Angeles, all of California and the Pacific Northwest, as well.

The new year represents a fresh start, so why not begin a year of change by swapping out those old mass-produced calendars for a more unique, handmade creation? With all the distinct designs being offered by independent artists and retailers, shoppers can grab calendars that better reflect their personalities while supporting local artisans – a win-win for 2013.

Written by Kameela Din, a freelance writer and contributor to NerdWallet Shopping.