When I like something, I am more than happy to spread the word. I've recently had a wonderful experience purchasing some literary art prints from Carl Batterbee Illustration and I wanted to share his work. I saw his Etsy store a year or so ago, recently worked with Carl on ordering some custom prints, and loved the end result. With his blessing, I'm wanted to do a little advertising on his behalf. (All artwork within this post is copyrighted by Carl Batterbee and available for purchase at the links below.)
When you were in school for as long as I was, you have to start thinking about how you'll reward yourself at graduation. I like rewards. I plan on milking this milestone for as long as possible. Ten years from now I can see myself saying, "I deserve to buy all these books! I just graduated."
Reward #1: Actually graduating and being finished! This is an enormous gift of relief and accomplishment in and of itself.
Reward #2: Putting a large chunk of money towards my London trip savings account. It's been ten years since I lived there on study abroad and every penny that came my way from generous graduation gifts has been added to the account. I'm hoping to be able to afford the trip back next summer.
Reward #3: Vacationing in Hawaii with my family. Kauai was lovely and I probably spent as much time sleeping as I did enjoying the beach--a perfect combination.
Reward #4: Slowly begin purchasing all of the things I've been living without for so many years while getting by on a student stipend. Included on the list: an actual complete set of pots and pans, furniture that matches, clothing that fits, new dishes and flatware, a full-size ironing board, a television, a vacuum that actually works, towels that don't feel like sandpaper, etc. The list goes on and on (lesson: don't go to grad school unless you like scrimping). Since I still technically have no money (thank you, student loans), this will take many years to accumulate.
Reward #5: Splurging on a couple items for my new digs. This is where Carl Batterbee's artwork comes into play.
In case you were wondering, that's Carl. Maybe you thought it was me, but my beard's not so full. He's a freelance illustrator in Norwich, England.
I love his illustrations and artistic style. His range is quite wide--pop culture, animals, custom portraits of your family or pets, and more. His prints are created by original hand drawings and then digitally inked and colored.
The first illustration that caught my eye was his portrait of Hercule Poirot (Agatha Christie's beloved detective). Hercule Poirot novels became a source of escape for me the last couple of years in school: they're smart, entertaining, clever, quick, and I can never correctly guess the ending. When I meet other people who love Hercule Poirot, I immediately feel as if we are kindred spirits. When I saw that Carl had drawn a portrait of him, I was in book geek heaven. I bookmarked the item and made myself get back to work on my dissertation.
This past spring as I defended and graduated, I began perusing the internet once again for tiny ways to indulge myself. Amongst other purchases, I saw Carl's Harry Potter cast portraits. I really liked them and wondered if they could be grouped together in a single print to match the style of the detectives portrait featuring Hercule, Miss Marple, and Sherlock Holmes--one print of Harry, Ron, and Hermoine, and another of Hagrid, Dumbledore, and Snape. I thought the images would look nice framed and hanging in my home or office. Carl wrote back quickly, we exchanged emails talking details, and in a matter of days the order was complete and making its way to me across the Atlantic.
You can purchase Carl's artwork at his Etsy shop--there are many more than what I've been able to share here. He also has great t-shirts, mugs, clocks, rugs, tote bags, iPhone cases and more available at his Society6 store. Perhaps best of all, Carl does custom portraits which you can check out and order on his website (fantastic personalized gifts a wedding, engagement, or family event). He's very friendly, his artwork is affordable, and his turnaround timetable for your purchases is top-notch. If you order something, mention I sent you his way. I can't give you a discount, but at least this way we'll see if my recommendations impact artists for good or for ill.