Local Artist of the Month: K. Batty Design & Stationery

Posted June 06 2013

Each month we will be featuring a local Brooklyn artist we adore. Today we interviewed Kerry Batty of K. Batty Design & Stationery. You can find her on the web at her website, her Etsy shop, and her blog. Read on!

image

How did your venture start, and where is it today?

K. Batty Design & Stationery was born on a terrible day at my full time job in advertising. I’d been making cards for a while, opened an Etsy shop & then didn’t do anything with it. Finally one day, I just decided I was going to make stationery, for real this time & nothing was going to stand in my way. I needed an outlet & my supposedly creative job was not it.

I’ve built my card line slowly, but with pieces that I really love. It’s now expanding to notepads, wrapping paper & party items.

I also love my invitation business!!! It makes me excited to help someone get their friends together for a party.

image

How does your creative process roll?

It’s different depending on what I’m creating but it generally goes something like this: Identify a hole in my line (i.e. I need a new Thank You note!) – why do I feel like there’s a hole? What am I missing? Something colorful? Something type driven? Something graphic? – I solve for that & sketch options in my notebook, getting as close as possible to a finished design before I even look at the computer. – Take my design to Illustrator (my favorite design software!) and layout the design, tweaking & perfecting it. – Then it goes into production for selling! If it’s a stamped design, I have a stamp made. If it’s digitally printed, I usually print a few out & schedule a photo shoot for myself. These days I’m working more toward letter-pressing, so plates will be ordered, new paper ordered & a printing date set.

Inspiration comes from anywhere! One of my Christmas cards was inspired by a Dunkin Donuts coffee cup.

 image

What sets you apart?

This is always difficult to answer because there are so many women like me doing what I do – graphic designers making stationery, I mean. What sets us all apart is that we each have a similar background that has shaped us all differently, as well as our unique personalities.The most important thing about me is…me :)

Something that is a particular strength for me is problem solving. I am great at figuring out how to make whatever you have in mind.

Sustainability and using reclaimed, well, anything is a very important trend in New York. How do you incorporate this in your life/business/designs?

First off, I recycle all my paper. If an impression with a stamp comes out a little off or I don’t like a printed piece, I hold on to it & use it for another test print on the back side. Or I cut it up for packing…or to make gift tags out of…something! Nothing goes to waste!

Secondly, I’ve started using kraft envelopes in a lot of my work. They are made from 30% post-consumer waste from a company that works hard to be carbon neutral.

Oh, and we vermicompost. Yeah…I have worms in my kitchen who eat my garbage! It’s a great way to get rid of food scraps. We’ll use the castings (aka worm poop!) at home on our house plants as well as in our garden in North Carolina.

Do you have a green thumb?

I love plants! I have some great arrangements from Roots in Rust. My mom always had plants around when I was a kid & my dad has had a garden for years. That rubbed off on me. It’s tough to keep them alive sometimes in our dark garden apartment, but I’m trying! They keep the air clean. They brighten up any room. Plants are essential to life!

 image

Me + Brooklyn, a love story: (Wherein our interviewee addresses the question, “Why Brooklyn?!”)

My husband & I were looking for a place to live together after we got engaged. We had visited his sister a few times in Carroll Gardens & thought, “Hmmm, Brooklyn could be cool.” And then kind of panicked. We were such Manhattan-ites, would we like it? It seems silly that we were ever worried. It is the right amount of everything for us. Great subways, easy access to everywhere, lots of trees, great restaurants & things to do. Throw in the handmade community & all the small business people here. We have never looked back :)