Mevrouw Knot – also (well) known as Milou Curvers – created the Flow One Question A Day Tear Calendar 2017 for us. Each question is hand-lettered using ink, paper and a brush. Here, Milou tells us how the project went and shares all kinds of funny facts about the creative process.
How it began…
I was approached by Flow to see if I would be interested in doing a hand-lettering project for the calendar. Of course I wanted to do that for them! Initially, I thought ‘Oh, I just have to beautifully hand-letter January, February and March for them’ , but when the penny dropped that I had actually agreed to writing the whole year, I thought ‘AHHHHH. That’s SO much!’ But I really enjoyed doing it and never once felt it was too much work.
Naturally, I didn’t do it all in one go. I mean, I also had to allow each page of letters to dry (without driving everyone in the house crazy!). When I had a pile of pages ready and everything was well and truly dry, I began scanning the questions so that I had digital versions. Then, I worked in Photoshop to make the letters really stand out. In addition to the questions, I also worked on individual elements, such as small illustrations and background patterns.
When I got the whole framework of questions from Flow, I secretly flipped straight to see what question had been placed on my birthday, March 1: ‘Do you talk to things?’ It’s actually quite strange to go there first, but I believe it’s an automatic reaction as my boyfriend also flipped straight to his own birthday!
There were so many beautiful questions included and they really got me thinking. One that I found particularly lovely was February 9: ‘What used to make you happy when you were younger?’ It’s one of those questions that stops you in your tracks.
I don’t know if I have a favorite question when it comes to how beautifully crafted it is. I love the fact that everything looks so different! But the days with the neon-orange backgrounds are, for me, a joy to see time and time again. If you were to twist my arm, I’d probably choose July 14. Or perhaps August 3…
- Milou spent a total of nine weeks working on all the questions that had to be written for the calendar.
- This was equivalent to approximately 48 questions a week.
- Over the course of those nine weeks, Milou delivered a part of the calendar to us at Flow every Friday. The only exception was Carnival, when Milou headed to the south of the country for a week to partake in the wild celebrations.
- Milou used four pots of India ink, 337 sheets of paper and bought a new brush three times.
- Milou was allowed to choose which order she worked in. Instead of opting for dates, she worked on her favorite sentences first; then she went on to hand-letter the longest sentences, which often were the most difficult to create.
- Sometimes, she found that she was still unhappy with how a question looked after having worked on it three times. When that happened, she would walk away from it and have some cookies.
- Because she was afraid to stop for a drink in case she ruined the creative flow of a question, she only allowed herself to make a cup a green tea during the digitizing process.
- Milou found the letters ‘k’ and ‘f’ the hardest to hand-letter (and still does).
The Flow Tear Calendar poses a different question every day. Because a good question makes you think and opens windows in your mind, and asking yourself these questions can help you become more curious and thus enrich your daily life.
The Flow One Question A Day Tear Calendar 2017 costs €14.95 and is available from our web shop or in stores around the world.