The Daily Heller: A Year to (Fondly) Remember?

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2024 begins with a surfeit of ominous foreboding and human tragedy: the wars in Ukraine and Gaza … the rematch between President Biden and Donald Trump … climate change on the rise … and on and on. Thankfully, when counting down the months, weeks and days, illustrated calendars are a great way to take our minds off the foretold events of the year. Maybe we’ll be surprised and, miraculously perhaps, it will be a good year?

Illustrative calendars are interactive artworks that allow us to dream of optimistic futures or pleasant presents. Many illustrated calendars are designed not just to count off the passing days but to produce needed surprise. For 2024, the Italian illustration-design duo known as the Ballbusso Twins (Anna and Elena) illustrated this year’s Epson Calendario, Spectacular, producing a hypnotic series of lavish images that represent sports and dance in colorful patterns to calming and curative effect.

“When Epson commissioned us for this fascinating free-theme project, our first thought was to reconcile its communication needs with our boundless passion for art and the desire to recover the origins of our artistic education,” Anna and Elena write. “We learned about color theory and visual perception at the Brera Academy in Milan, where we graduated in painting. Our work combines two core elements, graphic design and painting, with a clear reference to art history. Our sources of inspiration range from the frescoes of Pompeii to the avant-garde of the 20th century, right up to contemporary art.”

For the Epson Calendar, they wanted to create “a visual narrative with a human focus and with a strong perceptive and emotional impact, enhancing the expressive power of color. The idea for the narrative path from dance to sport came from the famous sculpture Unique Forms of Continuity in Space by futurist artist Umberto Boccioni, which represents speed and dynamism. We created compositions in which geometries, patterns, circles and lines interact with the human body in motion, creating ‘abstract spaces’ that stimulate vision. In dance as in sporting disciplines, the body becomes a spectacle, expressing talent, commitment, the determination to overcome your own limitations. We hope to have succeeded in creating images that are a visual pleasure for the observer!”

The result is a tour de force of illustrative design that makes each month extra special. Take a brief look at them here, and then wait until the months are over before looking again for the artful surprise.

Passionate January
Rythmical February
Elegant March
Confident April
Coordinated May
Harmonious June
Powerful July
Fast October
Balanced November
Brave December