A Boketto Moment with Paris Miller of Circle and Crescent

We sat down *virtually* with Paris Miller the designer of the Circle and Crescent Moon Calendar to talk about the process of waxing and waning, the creative process, how restorative a bowl of popcorn and a documentary film can be, and the importance of looking up at the sky. 


Tell us a little bit about yourself! What do you love to do? 

I am a graphic designer and live in the Bay Area. Currently I am trying to keep life pretty simple. I like to making things. I love books and thrift store shopping. I like being outside and being amazed by the natural beauty or things or the bizarreness of man made things. I find a lot of comfort in the practicality and function of objects and spaces. 


How did you come to create the Moon Calendar and Circle and Crescent?

The moon calendar really started when I was kid in the 80’s. My mom always had a moon calendar that hung in our kitchen. I loved staring at it. The gradient created by the different moons when laid out for the whole year was so captivating. The image stayed with me. I ended up studying art and being a graphic designer for a living and always wanted to make my own version of a moon calendar. Finally in 2011 as the holidays were approaching I decided to finally create one to have a special gift for friends and family. I designed the calendar and screen printed it myself and the first calendar was born in 2012.   The moon calendar has pretty much continued in the same spirit since then, except now I don’t screen print it myself and the scale has gone up a bit. 


Your calendars are oftentimes inspired by the California landscape. Can you say more about this process?

[For example] the 2021 calendar was inspired by the Sierra Nevada range mostly in terms of the colors. I went on an incredible 7 day backpacking trip in Yosemite this summer. It was so magical especially with the back drop COVID. To finally be out in nature and feel free after Shelter in Place and all the craziness of the year was such an immense privilege.  When I came home I wanted to be surrounded by that feeling of nature in the back country of Yosemite and while beginning the design of the calendar the colors (granite, evergreen, and black) were decided first. When I start the new calendar design sometimes it's a certain graphic image that I start with as inspiration but this year the colors definitely came first.   


Where does the name Circle and Crescent from? 

The name Circle and Crescent unfortunately does not have an overly romantic story. At the time I needed a name to attached to the Moon Calendar and I more or less threw some options in a hat and pulled that one. 7 Years later I have sometimes wished I had picked a different name but it hasn’t yet felt right to change it. Also, I suppose the name has grown to mean more to me. The idea of “Circle and Crescent” is really about the space between the two shapes in a literal way of how it applies to the phases of the moon but also in a metaphorical way how things are often in a cycle moving from one phase to another. All life is a sort of process of waxing and waining, moving in a way from circle to crescent and back again, and again. 


If you could have a tea or take a Boketto moment (a moment of daydreaming and of rest) with any person dead or alive who would it be? What kind of tea would you have?

These questions are always so hard. How do you pick one person or one tea for that matter! But the person that immediately comes to mind for me today is the artists Kiki Smith. I have been a little obsessed recently watching interviews and talks with her and I think it would be amazing to hang out with her for an afternoon.  I love the way she talks about her art practice as a process of following and watching things unfold with great attention. She also has some great work that has to do with the moon. I am sure she would love a glass of my iced hojicha tea with fresh almond milk. I am sure we would have a great time. 


What does a moment of rest, recharging, or nourishment look like for you?

A huge bowl of stove top popcorn (with nutritional yeast, spices and butter) and a documentary in bed. The best. 


What's something you want people to know about you that I wouldn't think to ask.

Confession: I don’t know much about astrology. Because I design this moon print people can often assume I know a lot about astrology and unfortunately I am a bit of a disappointment. I know my sun sign and thats about it. I really design the calendar as a beautiful piece of art that is a celebration of the moon, sun and earth and how they relate to each other and create the structure of our lives. I think of the calendar as a reminder for myself and others to take the time to look up and notice the sky and remember we are part of this great movement a spheres in the universe. 


Sun/Rising/Moon sign?

I might not know a lot about astrology but I do know the basics. My sun sign is Aries and my moon sign is Scorpio. Honestly I have never been sure about my rising sign. I was born at home and actually didn’t have birth certificate until I was 16. There is amazingly no agreement about the time I was born. My dad is sure it was sunset and my mom is sure it was sunrise the midwife remembers it was the middle of the day! I error on my moms side of the story pretty strongly so maybe my rising could be Aries or Pisces? I am happy with a bit of mystery. 


See Paris’s 2024 Moon Calendar here