Sunday, October 20, 2013

Buy Handmade vol 78

This week we head to the UK

Name: Carl Batterbee
Age: 40
Occupation: Illustrator

Tell us a little about yourself.
Hello! My name is Carl. I live and (what I call) work in the fine city of Norwich in the UK, with my long suffering wife and two exhausting, but largely lovable, young children. I sell prints of my artwork in my Etsy shop, and offer unique Custom Portraits to order (couples/families/groups/pets/homes/fan art etc) -

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
I've been doodling as far back as I can remember. I decided to try and make a living from my art a couple of years back in 2011, but have only recently had the time to start properly stocking my Etsy shop.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
Just my name...but seems to work.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
I'm currently working part-time as an illustrator, but definitely looking to make it full-time.

How would you describe your creative process?
Everything begins as a sketch with a good old fashioned pencil and sketchbook. I then scan my drawings, add line work with Adobe Illustrator and colour with Photoshop.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Spend a lot of time reading children's picture books (Oliver Jeffers, Jon Klassen, Quentin Blake) and follow a lot of artists on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy. Guess I also get inspiration from Film and TV, not to mention an unhealthy obsession with tea and biscuits.

Do you also sell your work at craft shows?
No, I haven't sold at craft shows, but have been keeping an eye on Renegade in London and a few local handmade fairs. Definitely something I'd like to get involved with in the near future.

What is your most cherished handmade item?
Would have to say any of the drawings/paintings/models that my son and daughter bring home from school for me.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
Spending time with the family, travelling, eating out, a bit of exercise and a lot of loafing.

Was there ever any other job you dreamt of having growing up?
Always dreamt of being a Warner Bros animator or working for Pixar - inventing cool characters and zipping round the studio on one of those electric scooter things.

Five years from now you will be…
Hopefully wearing a silver jumpsuit and riding a hover board...but more importantly illustrating full-time.

Describe yourself in five words:
Handsome, talented, generous, popular, delusional.

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your gramophone, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
Life on Mars - David Bowie
Oblivious - Aztec Camera
Rowing Song - Patty Griffin
Hey - Pixies
Bring the noise - Public Enemy

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
I'm only just starting out myself, so not really qualified to dish out advice. But I would say the most important thing is to 'just do it!' (as Nike so succinctly put it). It's not easy, especially when financial/family commitments limit your time, and when you're convinced that no one will give a flying fig about what you're creating. But I think if you work hard when you can, and use social media to share and encourage feedback, then you slowly begin to build confidence, value your work and start to believe that you can make a career out of it.