Meet James Butler: an owner of Barbara Butler, Artist/Builder, big brother to Barbara and a key player in the day-to-day operations of the company. Originally a general contractor, James is currently the resident AutoCAD Wizard. Using the AutoCAD computer program, James creates precise plans for each play structure that Barbara dreams up. Drawing on his background as a carpenter, he has tweaked the traditional drawing plans by adding a “cut list” and a more intuitive system of measurement, making the fabrication process more efficient and minimizing errors. While much of James’ work takes place indoors on the computer, he also goes on-site at times, where he sets up a make-shift desk as only a former carpenter can!
Prior to joining the BBAB team, James worked as a general contractor for many years. As Barbara’s play structure designs got more complex, she began to rely on his expertise to help her convert the creative concepts in her mind into the precise plans needed to make them a reality. He also pitched in on-site to help build the structures between general contracting projects. In 1999, James became an owner of the company and six years later he joined the team as a full-time AutoCAD Wizard.
James also played an instrumental role in Barbara’s journey to the Artist/Builder lifestyle. One summer, she signed on to work for James’ construction crew and discovered she loved the work. Despite being the only woman in the group, Barbara found the hard physical labor and camaraderie of the workday, combined with laughs and beers in the off-hours, to be a perfect fit.James lives in L.A. with his wife of many years, Janet, who runs Casa Italiana Opera Company. When not at his desk, you can find James relaxing with Janet, strumming the guitar with his brothers, or playing golf. His other hobbies include songwriting and enjoying the outdoors.
James is such an important asset to the BBAB team; we are lucky to have him!