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Meet Illustrator Mike Lowrey, Creator of The Kid’s Awesome Activity Calendar

Mike Lowrey

If you are a kid—or you know a kid—you will appreciate the fun, quirky design of Mike Lowrey's Kid's Awesome Activity Calendar. 

Lowrey himself is pretty awesome. He's worked on tons of books for lots of different clients and publishers. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his family, and his work has been seen on everything from greetings cards to children’s books to gallery walls. He is a Professor of Illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design Atlanta. 

The Kid's Awesome Activity Calendar is extremely awesome too. As its name implies... Each month, The Kid’s Awesome Activity Calendar sparks creativity with a full-color scene designed to be embellished with kids’ own artwork and the 400 included custom full-color stickers. Build snowmen in January. Plant a garden in May. Party with some wacky monsters in October. Help a gingerbread man build his house in December. Together children and parents can fill in schedules and mark important events, making the calendar interactive, whole-family fun.

The Kid's Awesome Activity CalendarThe Kid's Awesome Activity CalendarThe Kid's Awesome Activity Chart

We caught up with Mike Lowrey and pried into the mind of this creative wild man!

Oh, Hello, Mike Lowrey! We have some questions for you.

Q. What was your process taking on the design of such a creative a calendar?  

I was totally into this project from the moment I got a call from the awesome Workman folks about working on it.  I had a long discussion with the Art Director about the goals of the calendar (which was basically "just make an awesome calendar!") and when we hung up I just started doing tons of doodles. 

Well, I probably had some coffee first and THEN started doing tons of doodles. 

Then, I went back through a bunch of sketchbooks to see what things I'd drawn over the past few months that I thought were funny or weird or whatever, and started making a big list that was probably titled something like:  "IF I COULD DRAW WHATEVER I WANTED FOR A SUPER RAD CALENDAR, I WOULD DRAW:" and started writing down stuff. 

Stuff like:  animals in party hats, tacos, unicorns, robots, etc.  THEN, I made a list of the months and started writing out what holidays were in those months and then started drawing that stuff, too.  

I drew it all out in pencil, and then scanned them all in and colored them in photoshop.  Obviously along the way I got some great words of encouragement and direction from the team at Workman and we worked together to get it to the final product.

Q. The monthly sticker sheets included in the 2015 calendar are such a cool addition! What funny stickers did you feel like you absolutely HAD to include for fun-loving kids? 

Obviously I had to use the stickers that would go along with the activities for each month, but if my daughter Allister laughed at any of the drawings I did for the random stickers...they were definitely going to be included.  She's a tough, but fair, 7 year old.

Q. What's your favorite month, Mike Lowrey? Why?

I have to go with October.  I love October in general:  It's my birthday month, my anniversary month, it's got Halloween and it starts really getting cold (my favorite season change for sure).  I like drawing monsters being not-so-scary, so drawing them in a beauty salon was perfect for me.

Q. What projects are coming up next for you?

I'm working on some really cool (but still super secret) stuff for Workman, who I also just finished up a second calendar in this series for.  I'm also finishing up a few children's books that will come out in 2015 and my wife and I just started a gallery here in Atlanta with a few friends called Paper Ghost.  Oh!  And I'm wrapping up another dream project of mine:  Illustration and branding for a food truck!

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