Origins: Calamityware Plate 1

I captured some of my insights and discoveries during the creation of the first four Calamityware plates. I thought you might like a glimpse of the creative process so I decided to do a four-part Origins series for the Calamityware Blog. I hope you enjoy it.



Started by re-reading L. Frank Baum’s classic book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and sketching my impressions of the flying monkeys. They are obnoxious little scamps with long, animated tails.


Flying in formation like WW2 bombers is part of the sinister quality.


My first sketch of flying monkeys in formation. Oops! Forgot the tails.


I wanted the monkeys to look similar but not like identical rubber stamps. Instead, each should have a different face and tail.


Reaction of the innocents is vital. But here the levitating hat is a bit too silly.


In the final drawing, the figure reacting to the sight of a squadron of flying monkeys is separated slightly from the background by a thin, white line to allow him to stand out.


I started the tradition of decorating the back of each plate by including one angry-looking monkey. He also had a role in some of the project updates on Kickstarter.


Before making the first prototype, I used cut paper to simulate how the design would look on the physical plate.


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