Taiwan's Forestry Bureau makes a mark with hand-drawn calendars

Annual calendars introducing the country's natural beauty gain popularity among collectors

Wooden crafts make up of numerous unique objects (Forestry Bureau photo)

Wooden crafts make up of numerous unique objects (Forestry Bureau photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The 2020 hand-drawn calendar made by Taiwan's Forestry Bureau and Seeddesign is selling out rapidly to people who cannot get enough of nature in their daily lives.

The calendar, titled "The Crafts and the Forests" (木作之森), chose the quintessential wooden crafts that best represent Taiwanese folk culture and the trees with their flowers and fruits as the theme for each month.

With the lively drawings of instruments, spinning tops, or furniture, the 2020 calendar reminds customers of the wooden products that brighten up the lives of the public. The calendar, made entirely from recycled paper, costs NT$300 (US$10.00) while the featured notebook with 26 Taiwanese trees cost NT$200.

It is the third year that the Forestry Bureau releases its hand-drawn calendar. In 2019, when the bureau began selling calendars to the public, 3,000 copies were sold out within two weeks, with 5,000 more being printed to meet the requests. The 10,000 copies of the 2020 calendar enjoy a surging popularity, with only a few left shortly after the release, reported Manager Today.

The director-general of the Forest Bureau, Lin Hwa-ching (林華慶), is the driving force behind the desirable calendars. He decided to change the design of the previous official calendars, which had been mainly based on scenery photos, in order to attract a younger clientele. "I felt hand-drawing has a unique attraction that forces people to look at it twice," Lin told Manager Today.

However, the problem of hand-drawn art is its sophisticated revisions, since the calendar from the Forest Bureau has to be both beautiful and correct. The features of animals and plants have to be precise; for example, each plant counts a different number of leaves growing on each node while the leopard cat is more than a cat with stripes — it has its distinctive traits.

"Our design partner sometimes found us picky, but our calendar has to deliver correct information even if it is just the portion of a pheasant's legs and its body," Lin said.

>> Final chance to buy the calendars