Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Get to Know Ya Time with David Butler of Parson Gray!

 Sometimes you find out about something a little too soon. In January I was seeing photos of World Tour by Parson Gray on Facebook and I literally DIED a little inside when reading that they wouldn't be available until June!! How could one so infatuated wait SO LONG? I didn't know how I could actually bear it...but oftentimes, when you have the patience to wait for something you truly love, you are rewarded by the overflowing waves of thankfulness that you FINALLY have your hands on it!

That's EXACTLY how I felt when these WORLD TOUR quilting cottons at long last hit our shelves this week! Major swoonage y'all! This collection is just perfection in my mind. These gorgeous and worldly graphic prints in rich natural hues are PERFECT for creating for the stylish guys in your life!


I am such a HUGE fan of the design mastermind behind Parson Gray, Mr. David Butler (aka Amy Butler's hubs) that I had to hit him up about the latest collection, his design process and creating for dudes! And wouldn't you know it, this classy fella gave me an  interview! So without further ado, a little "Get to Know Ya" time with David Butler!

Cabbage Rose: You've been incredibly successful in SO many other creative ventures: as a graphic designer, photographer, editor, even as an incredible musician with your band the Black Owls. What made you decide to add "fabric designer" to your bio?
Parson Gray: Peer pressure! Amy (Butler) and Joyce (from Westminster) kept after me for a few years. I really wanted to do it, but timing was an issue. Turns out all of the other stuff I was doing kept getting in the way! As a designer behind the scenes with Amy, I’ve been involved in helping her turn her hand-done art into digital art for many years. So I knew the ropes.
CR: We know you've gotten to do some amazing traveling over the past year with your main squeeze as well as some of your designer friends (yes, maybe we do stalk you on Facebook)! Where did you visit and how does being in a new place affect your creative vision? Do you find yourself working on vacation?
PG: I am blessed that Amy loves to travel as much as I do. AND she’s an easy traveler to boot. She can do carry on for a week in England’s winter and two weeks in Egypt’s deserts back to back. Pretty impressive. Egypt with Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mabley, Amy, and Edith Minne (Renaissance Ribbons) was truly a life changing experience. I absorbed so much both culturally and visually that the inspiration became overload. I don’t really ‘work’ on vacation but I collect ideas and take pictures to use later. My whole life is seeking inspiration, so it comes naturally to me. Amy and I were in the Turks and Caicos for a break too, which is so ripe with great colors and textures of a whole different palette. England is a place that we could both live, so whenever we go there we feel so at home, and the historical aspects are always inspiring. As well as the incredible gardens. 

CR: Curious Nature, Seven Wonders, World would seem you have a love affair with this little blue planet of ours and the inspiration you can harness from it. We are all natural observers, but what is it about the patterns you choose that makes you want to translate them to fabric?

PG: You know, it’s funny but so much about architecture and flourish and design is based on natural inspiration – and I think that’s inherent in everyone to some degree. The enormous round pillars in the temples at Luxor represent open and closed Lotus flowers. Muslim reliefs show fanciful vines and flora. Much of what I do is somewhat second-hand inspiration really. I draw so much from the historical context of art and architecture that is all ‘plant-based’ inspiration. Amy really draws directly from nature in a way that It’s very apparent, but my style is a bit more subtle in the type of geometry that I use to represent nature. It’s more architectural.
CR: You use some beautiful symbols in your newest collection World Tour like the flower of life and Tibetan knots; can you explain what these symbols mean to you?

PG: Well I do consider myself to be a somewhat “spiritual” person. I find a great deal of inspiration across many beliefs, not just one. The beauty of these symbols is their great ability to instill optimism in us. They are soothing. I don’t react as strongly to their meanings as I do their ability to create a meditative and comfortable ‘familiarity’ that gives you a sense of understanding. They’re peaceful. 
CR: I think your designs are EXACTLY what men are looking for these days. Especially since you've created a utility fabric like canvas, it’s that much easier to create even more than just slick looking quilts in your designs! If your lady were to present you with the perfect handmade gift made with your new Utility Canvas, what would it be? (I'm thinking of making my hubby a firewood carrier with them...thumbs up or down??)
PG: Firewood carrier is a great idea. A shop apron is great too, if he’s into wood or metalworking, or works on bikes. A bike messenger bag too.
CR: Any pointers on creating for guys in general? Sometimes we get SO stumped on what men will be into!
PG: The great secret? Guys like quilts. They like throws, but simple stuff. Stuff they don’t have to worry about getting dirty. My fabrics are great for that! They’re dirt friendly. Ha.

CR: Obviously you have a musical background, and honestly, all of your collections seem like they came straight out of the interior design story board for a rock star's urban loft! How does music influence your design sensibilities? Or vice-versa?
PG: It all comes from the same place. It’s all storytelling. I think of my design just like my lyrics, in a complete story. Dark yet optimistic, mysterious but comfortable. Parson Gray does the same thing for me that Black Owls do. It gives me a fun pulpit to tell my funky stories.
 Well there you have it! I just love getting a deeper look into the creative life of designers I admire! And thank you David for the awesome interview! We love what you're doing and look forward to seeing what you create in the future! You can shop David's new collection WORLD TOUR and through the end of the month, receive FREE SHIPPING on US orders over $35! Stock up on these awesome fabrics and get it them to you for LESS!! Still have some of Curious Nature in stock too!
Happy Creating!

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