Self-taught Bob Butler was set on a path for a career in photography until his life took a sudden shift. Buying his own home, he wanted to make it distinctly his, so he started drawing. Through drafts of his vision, he began working away at the house, slowly constructing his dream. Then, others took notice and wanted him to do the same for them.
When the house was near completion, he was featured in a local design magazine that spoke to Butler about his project. Reading this magazine, people started reaching out to him, requesting that he make their homes as fascinating, aesthetic and functional as his. Before long, he’d found a new career.
It wasn’t just about how he made it look and feel, but the processes involved. He worked on an affordable budget, sourcing materials, items and ideas that could all be achieved without breaking the bank, without ever compromising on quality.
Process, a Nashville based creative studio, recently told Butler’s story through a captivating video titled ‘To Draw A Horse’, directed by Brenton Fosner & Stephen Stinson. Being awarded a ‘Staff Picks’ accolade, the video has also racked up an impressive amount of views. It’s telling of Butler and his life that people have only to see him and what he does to want a piece of it themselves.
In many ways, Butler is the archetype of the extraordinary ordinary person. He seems just like you or me, without any airs and graces, yet a person with a clear gift and passion that, through hard work and smart decisions, has become a success. This video carries on the torch from that original magazine that marked his breakthrough.
Embodying the American Dream, in a way that is far more salt-of-the-earth than any of the political circus dominating airways during the 2020 US Election, Butler represents a true ideal of American life - offering an alternative insight into a complex nation. This is particularly evident in the moment Butler, at the height of his success, chose to remove himself from it all and develop a more personal project drawing on his own past.
The story of a person that does something so well that others want some too is as old as time itself, yet it’s a story that will also resonate - that many wish could be them. When Butler makes the final decision to follow a passion far removed from his previous business - it’s hard not to feel inspired to follow our own. It shows that freedom does exist, as long as you’re brave enough to tread that path.
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