November 9, 2011

5 Minutes With a Fabric Designer 2

How is it that every picture I took of David Butler is out of focus?

Okay, let's do some image borrowing (with proper credit given, of course).

Ah, there he is! Thanks City Craft.
I do have a semi-decent shot of one side of his QM booth though.

And, of course, his official QM award:

So, on to the words of the man himself. Please be assured that this 5 minute interview was punctuated with far more sycophantic "yeah"s and "oh right"s and "uh-huh"s from my side of the microphone (cell phone) than I decided to transliterate.  Background info (in case you didn't already know): David is the husband of the fabulous Amy Butler, design extraordinaire, and has recently launched his own design line under the pseudonym brand of "Parson Gray." His debut fabric collection is called Curious Nature and is in tones of grays, gray-blues and mossy greens... Aaaand I was basically ignorant of all this information when I approached him for an interview. 'Cause I do stuff like that.

Actually, if you want to know my little secret...and Mr. Butler, if you're reading, you should totally take this as a compliment...I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that I was talking to Amy Butler's husband, but until he said it in the interview, I completely forgot. He was just David Butler, designer guy to me. Which means that this whole Curious Nature/ Parson Gray thing stands on its own. Yeah. That's why it's a good thing.

Okay, here we go.

Me: So, I'm talking with David Butler, and your line is called Parson Gray?
(see the extent of my research?)

David: It is. Well, the actual line is called Curious Nature-

Me: Oh, I'm sorry-

David: No, that's cool. Parson Gray is my new brand I'm just starting.. Because I didn't want to just come out as David Butler- I wanted to have kind of a different identity-because people know me as Mr. Amy Butler.

Me: Right. (I so knew that).

David: I kind of wanted to develop my own brand that I might take, you know, if I wanted to expand and do other things down the road, paper or something, it would have a life of its own.

Me: Well  I love it. It's very manly but sleek and sophisticated at the same time.

David: Thank you.

Me: Well, I like to ask what I hope are some non-generic questions that you don't get asked all the time.
(I say, referring to my vast journalistic experience)

David: Mmmhmm... (slightly wary).

Me: So, can I ask, when did you first realize you were an artist?

David:  (look of relief on his face) When I first realized I was an artist was probably...when I was about five years old. I was always obsessively drawing as a child and I think I had an actual self-realization when I was at that age that this was something I really loved and I was passionate about and I was good at, I could actually do it. So, probably at a very young age.

Me: And did you continually do art from that point?
(Do art? What kind of grammar is that?)

David:  Perpetually. Yeah, from that point. I continued to do it and I continued to know when you're an adolescent it becomes part of your identity. 'Oh, that's Dave Butler- he can draw,' you know, 'Have him draw you something- have him draw you a shark. He's really good at drawing sharks.' And that becomes part of who you are.

Me: Was that your thing? Sharks?

David: Well, Jaws came out. Every kid was drawing sharks, and then we were all drawing the Milenium Falcon, you know. So you develop this thing that becomes inherent to who you are and then you just kind of, keep building on it and building on it and for some kids it becomes a passion, other kids kind of grow out of it, but for me it just kept going and going and by the time I was in high school I knew I was going to go to art school. I just set a path for that and followed it all the way through.

Me: What is your favorite movie?

David: My favorite movie is Raging Bull.

Me: Do you find it visually inspiring?

David: Yeah. Very much so. It's funny, my two favorite movies are probably The Elephant Man, you know, David Lynch, and Raging Bull and they're both black and white movies...

Me:Oh, and your collection is a lot of grays...

David: Yeah, here we are. Parson Gray.

Me: Okay, if you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? You probably have traveled quite a bit.

David: Umm...I've traveled a lot, yeah. Umm (thinking)... it used to be Bali, but I've been to Bali, and it's fantastic, but I would probably say... Iceland, now is a place I really want to go because I've heard so many great things about it. And Croatia, also. I've heard great things about Croatia.They seem like kind of weird, fun, fascinating places to go.

Me: Very cool. Okay, last question. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

David: My favorite flavor of ice cream is called Salty Caramel, and it's by Jeni's Ice Cream from Columbus, Ohio.

Me: I love salted caramel...

David: I know Jeni, she's very cool. I helped her with her logo and she's very, very cool.

Me: Well thanks for taking 5 minutes with me, and good luck with your line- it's absolutely gorgeous.

David: Yeah, you're welcome. Thanks.

Aaaand, there you have it once more, blogland. Like I said before, pure journalism.
Curious Nature will be available from Westminster Fibers/ Freespirit Fabrics this winter. You can learn more about David by visiting his website: Art of The Midwest.
 Parts 3 & 4 next week: The lovely ladies of Pillow & Maxfield, and the very entertaining Mark Cesarik.


1 comment:

  1. I admire you for having been able to ask any questions at all...geee, the man is gorgeous!
    O yeah, nice fabric too...LOL