As a brand new company, we were so down to the wire at our first Jan 2005 NAMM show that some prototypes were actually being shipped to the hotel! Our first catalogue did not take shape until 2006.
In 2006 Luna was still a female-centric instrument line. The 2006 cover featured a hennaed hand playing a Henna guitar and inside pages were lush with layers and textures. It was also filled with inspiring quotes on each page. The front cover urged the reader to:
“Take down a musical instrument…let the beauty you love be what you do.” Rumi
The back cover encouraged players to:
“Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine.” Siddhartha
This year was the birth of our “Fantasie” series featuring classic Pre-Raphaelite artwork as well as our Andromeda electrics.
2007 continued the tradition set in our first catalogue by offering an even richer palate with a vintage leather book cover featuring a classic piece of art entitled “Passion” by Frank Dicksee (1853-1928). We took the liberty of adding our Henna guitar as well as Henna ornamentation on the sensuous dancing girl’s hands and feet. Each page of the catalogue also offered inspirational sayings and began another tradition by offering a message from Luna’s muse, Yvonne de Villiers.
Yvonne’s letter for 2007
My grandmother’s name was Luz which means light, from the Latin “lucere”…to shine. Music became a big part of my life as I watched my mother Hilda, an incandescent spirit, blaze her way through her career as an electric bass player in a male oriented field. My own professional path involved 30 years as a professional stained glass artist “sculpting” light. It seems almost as though I was fated, and it’s certainly a high honor, to be filling the role of artistic designer and creative director for Luna Guitars. …elegant instruments with musical integrity crafted to inspire players of all ages and walks of life to let their own unique lights shine.
Our 2007 catalogue is dedicated to the radiance within us all. It has no edges. It permeates and shines through everything. Everywhere. Always. In the end, we are all light.
Luna Guitars’ name sake is the moon that shines by reflecting the constant light of the sun. Like the moon, we wax and wane. Sometimes we feel bright and clear and sometimes we find ourselves in darkness. But the source of light is always there. I encourage you to remember that always…especially in dark or challenging times.
So, enjoy our offerings, enjoy the inspiration and remember to let your light shine!
During 2007, we received may letters from males who were attracted to Luna instruments but were, understandably, hesitant to purchase instruments that they believed to be crafted for females. It was never Luna’s intention to exclude males, but rather to help females feel more included in the music industry. In 2008 we broadened our design efforts so that Luna would be perceived as a more gender neutral rather than gender specific company. The cover, which continued the vintage book look, reflected this new direction. Inspirational quotes became a mainstay of Luna catalogues that have continued into the present.
Yvonne’s letter for 2008:
As those of you who are familiar with Luna’s story know, I was inspired to start Luna Guitars with the aim of bringing balance to the marketplace by providing quality instruments for females … guitars that were ergonomically friendly as well as visually striking. Luna instruments were embraced by both female and male players because of the innovative ornamentation and the comfort factor. Beyond that, the company has received many letters from owners speaking to the authenticity and substance of Luna’s designs that engage players on a deeper level. As a result of this heartfelt feedback from players, Luna has entered a new phase.
Our revised mission statement puts it all together: “At Luna Guitars, our mission is designing inspired quality instruments that are physically comfortable, aesthetically engaging and spiritually nourishing.”
With more people than ever making music on this planet, and because music is our world’s universal language … Luna is pleased to speak to players’ hearts by making instruments that touch the body, the mind and the spirit.
2009 & 2010
Unfortunately, Luna did not have catalogues in 2009 & 2010, but rather foldable posters with small images of all of our instruments. The images below show the front of the posters when folded.
By 2011, our growing Luna family of players was developing a sense of tribe.
We decided to use pictures of everyday players on the front and back of our catalogue to honor and celebrate the loyal grassroots advocates that we owe our success to. This catalogue was a departure from our previous catalogues as it had a much cleaner background and was animated by lifestyle shots featuring every day Luna players.
Yvonne’s letter for 2011:
For this year’s cover, we chose to feature some of the many players who have sent us their pictures: players so various they may seem connected by a love of music and nothing else. Don’t be fooled. We’ve learned over the last 8 years that the extraordinary Luna tribe is made up of individuals only disguised as ordinary people.
In reality we are free thinkers confident enough to follow our hearts and instincts; artists who derive meaning from visual symbols that, like music, speak a universal language; intuitive women, men, children who know that small things actually are the big things; musicians who want our instruments to reflect our individuality; citizens of the world who believe we can make a difference and are involved in advancing the greater good in our own back yards; local anthropologists who honor and celebrate both our own culture and the cultures of others; human beings who value authenticity, who challenge the status quo.
Here we like to think that the Luna tribe has been drawn together by instruments that merge form and function, that engage the senses and fire the imagination. if you’re already a Luna player, we send our sincere thanks for putting your faith in us. if you are not, we hope you will consider joining the Luna tribe!
By 2012, our Luna tribe had grown by leaps and bounds. The 2012 catalogue posed question….how will YOU make your mark in this world, drawing it’s inspiration from an actual photograph of an Argentinian cave painting. We continued our use of lifestyle photos….this time in elegant black and white. We also added feature pages that allowed the detail work on our instruments to be better appreciated.
Yvonne’s letter for 2012.
Our hands play and make, comfort and caress. Our hands make music for us, make artists of us. Our hands communicate age, gender, ethnicity, occupation, and hint at our characters and histories. Our hands are powerful ~ transforming unseen energy into the world of form. Indeed, the word manifestation grows out of the Latin root manus ~ or hand.
The hands of our Luna Tribe are diverse and strong. And there are countless and unique ways that we express this power through music. Music is entertaining. Music is recreational. Music is therapeutic. Music is educational. In all of its incarnations…Music is good medicine!
The handprints on the front and back cover are from a cave in Patagonia, Argentina. The mysterious hand prints were made some 9,000 years ago using bone pipes to spray color on the wall around each hand. Humans in these caves literally made their mark.
How will you make yours?
We can’t all be celebrities. What can each of us do with our music that will resonate and radiate? We can teach a child to play. We can play for our loved ones. Play for our place of worship. Play for a hospital. Play for a school, a nursing home, a hospice, a homeless shelter, a psychiatric facility, a prison. We can organize or perform for a non-profit benefit event. We can donate unused instruments so life can be breathed into them again. We can play for our own inner peace. What ever it is, only you can do it. It doesn’t have to be a huge thing….
Naomi Shihab Nye put it beautifully:
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is
famous, or a buttonhole, not because it did
anything spectacular, but because it never
forgot what it could do.
Luna invites you, you out there reading these words, to remember what only you can do to make your mark through music.
Welcome to the tribe!
In 2013 we continued our trajectory of using everyday players throughout out catalogue spreads.
Some photos were sent in by players and others were taken spontaneously on the streets of our hometown. In fact, the model playing our six string uke in his cubicle was the designer for our catalogue!
Yvonne’s letter for 2013
American poet Mary Oliver ends her poem, Summer Day, with these lines:
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” …
More likely we ask ourselves, if money were no object, what would I do with
the rest of my life? However you answer these questions, I would urge you
to listen to yourself! Begin now, and pursue your answer with all your heart.
If your answer is music, or any art form, you may struggle with another
question: “am I good enough to call myself an artist?” Let me counter.
“Does this calling make me come alive?” If the answer is yes, your art will be
worthy – and joyous.
If keeping your day job is a necessity, then spend your laboring hours
remembering why you work, and what it is you labor for. Remembering
what sets your soul on fire. Art is work, too, so you know in your bones how
work can be made into art. No matter what you do, put your heart, mind
and soul into the smallest details of it. The flow from your work to your
art – and back again – may surprise you. All your days and your nights may
become a kind of fiery play. And the results of your effort may change much
and many around you.
Be daring. Be impractical. Be bold. Do the thing that excites and compels
you, the thing that scares you. Fuel the practice of your craft with
authenticity and openness. Manifest the music you were born to play, the
canvases you were meant to paint, the pages you were destined to write.
Your one precious life is yours alone. Pay attention to your fire, to your
ache, to your most courageous heart.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
During 2013 we held a contest that encouraged players to create Pinterest boards in the spirit of Luna. We were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response and learned a lot from the resulting boards. Some common motifs in both words and images were “freedom”, “bohemian”, “family”, “uniqueness” , “diversity”. So to reflect this vision back to our “Tribe” we envisioned a front and back cover comprised of a diverse group of musicians making music together around a vintage VW van. We had so much fun with the shoot that we kicked off 2014 with a corresponding contest with airfare to Florida for 2, 5 days in a fully stocked VW van and 2 Luna ukuleles to play along the way!
Yvonne’s letter for 2014
“Sacred space and sacred time and something joyous to do is all we need. Almost anything then becomes a continuous and increasing joy” – Joseph Campbell
Because you are reading this catalogue, the “something joyous to do” in
the equation above is probably music. Most of us have day jobs. That’s a
fact. Here at Luna, there are many amazing musicians working 9:00-6:00…
a reality that a large number of us cannot escape. So, we must create the
other two factors in the equation – sacred time and sacred space – with
Sacred space can take many forms. It can be as small as a conscious breath,
as large as the universe… and anything in between. My own sacred space,
created for my qigong/tai chi and meditation practice, exists in what used
to be my stained glass studio of 20 years.
The process of creating it was an unforgettable experience, because
friends came together and we used what I already had… what was given to
me, what I loved, what inspired me, and what made me feel passionate –
and therefore more alive. It was about making a part of myself visible.
Take a look around and see how you can use the physical area you have to
create sacred space for your own explorations. If you can devote a room,
fill it with not only what is necessary for musical functionality, but also with
visuals, scents and textures that feed your soul. If it’s only the corner of a
room, treat it the same.
Sacred time is the last element. Whatever time you are able to devote,
make sure it is conscious and consistent. If that means hanging a sign on
the doorknob that says “deep play in progress”, then do so. And make sure
your near and dear ones understand what this means to you.
Uninterrupted flow is necessary for any creative endeavor. I encourage you,
for 2014, to find a way to keep this process alive. For creative souls, it is not a
selfish luxury; it is a necessity… as necessary as the air that we breathe.
I wish you continuous and increasing joy.