We had the good fortune of connecting with Shane Butler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shane, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
It happened very naturally. I actually never planned to start a business.
I was on tour with my band pretty consistently in my early to mid-twenties and I wanted to find a way to connect with friends back home. So, I just started to make these little drawings of the things that they loved / reminded me of them. Eventually people showed an interest beyond my immediate network so I started selling the drawings to a wider audience. I was always having trouble finding work I could hold down because of being on the road all of the time so being able to make some money on the side from these drawings was huge for me.
After a while I thought to myself it would be really great to give this opportunity to other like-minded artists as well. That’s when the idea of the business started… Now I have an incredible team of artists who work with me on Portrai Me. The project would be nothing without them.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Portrai Me is an art project which was founded around an initial core concept – to form portraits of people’s personalities as opposed to their physical appearances. To get a true view of another person we need to look inside of them – not just at their outward appearance. One of the great joys of our project is to allow others the opportunity to show their friends & loved ones all the things they love most about them. From larger life themes to small quirky interested – our project allows others to express their admiration for the things in their lives and the things they love about others.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would probably take them first to Downtown LA and just have them do some sort of mental exercise which transports them back to when that part of the city first came into existence. Los Angeles history is so confusing and hard to fathom. Downtown LA literally feels like someone pressed copy & paste from an area of lower Manhattan and just pasted it into the desert not too far from the ocean. It’s the most bizarre place. I’d start there and then lead out into a few different canyons (Beechwood, Laurel, Topanga, Sierra Madre, etc…) I feel like those tight-knit hills and their bizarre counterpart in Downtown LA give a good scope of the city. Los Angeles has some of the best plant-based food in the world – it’s a very easy place to be healthy / ecologically conscious in what you put in your body. So – we’d probably get some food like that.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Portrai Me would be nothing without our team. I am consistently impressed and encouraged by the work, ideas, and dedication of our artists and staff. Every one of them has an incredible work-ethic both within Portrai Me and without. We are all artists, musicians, and creative thinkers. The collaboration with this team has been intensely rewarding for me. Truly they deserve the credit here!