This week’s Flyy In The City feature is the full embodiment of Girl Power. She drives a 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis, sitting on 22′s. She paints murals, mentors the youth in the community via her own internship program, details and tints cars, as well as, custom designs clothing. Oh yeah, and she also designed my latest tattoo, but more about that later…Arndrea Marie Butler is an artist. She began drawing at the age of six, and perfected her skill throughout the years of her childhood by being observant and paying close attention to the details of her subjects. In fact, there’s a story of Ms. Butler sitting at the dinner table listening to “grown folks business”, and she silently began to draw pictures of each person sitting around that table. This is important because, it was at that time that she began to hone in on the exact structure of the faces and the specific expressions on everyone’s faces as they spoke and listened during that discussion.
It was with the numerous requests she received to draw pictures and designs of everything from cartoon characters to pets, to portraits of actual people, that she launched her custom made AMB Clothing Label which was established in 1997, under the Shoe Print Sports Wear Company. A short time later, Ms. Butler’s clientele grew from individual patrons to a few well known stores in the Georgetown shopping district. Some included: Styles, Jeans, Princess and Princess and the 5th Street Market Clothing Stores, just to name a few!
Tirelessly, making her own deliveries to clients and stores which included several cases of custom made merchandise each week, word of Arndrea Butler’s talent began to cause quite a stir throughout her native, Washington, D.C. So much so, that she was asked to design for several largely popular sportswear boutiques owned by other fellow Washingtonians: DDTP, Shooters, and H.O.B.O.
Being hired to design murals for Churches, Boutiques, Organizations, and clients who desired a customized paint scheme and design for them and their children’s bedrooms, was only a natural transition. In fact, Ms. Butler is routinely given full creative control over her painting jobs because of her distinctive one of a kind design element. Each client receives a consultation where color and concept is discussed, and from there Arndrea just draws!
Combining her gift of design with her love of cars, Ms. Butler has done customized designs on cars, as well as, tinted the windows and detailing them, once she’s done. She’s also done free-lance work for American Car Customs.After designing and drawing her way throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area, Ms. Butler was ready to take her career to the next level. Soooo, she began to study the art of tattooing. She started by tattooing herself and watched other seasoned tattoo artists. Having received her Black and White Certification, as well as, the 100 Hours of Sanitation Certification, Arndrea Butler opened her own tattoo shop, AMB Signature Ink, on Rhode Island Ave, in Northeast D.C. For four solid years she serviced more than 15 clients a day, all by herself. Looking to expand her clientele and wishing to share her tattoo skills people in other states, she began to travel to California, Delaware, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia to collaborate during Tattoo industry events, as well as, tattoo parties.
Tattooing is not the only thing that Arndrea Butler is doing these days. She also makes time to mentor children who, like her, have the gift of drawing. She believes that by taking time to encourage children to “stick with” their craft that they will begin to have the confidence to do big things with their art!
Children are not the only people that Ms. Butler takes a special care with. It is her tattoo clients that receive the greatest benefit, as she actually takes the time to consult with them on not only their ideas for the design of the tattoo, but she inquires about the story behind it. It is that welcoming bedside manner that I enjoyed as she carefully constructed each of the elements that she considered when designing my tattoo.
Arndrea Butler enjoys tattooing, but she enjoys meeting new people and sharing her design talents with them more. She’s meticulous, skilled, and patient. And it is those exact qualities which has earned her the respect of her male counterparts, and has created her a huge following in our area for her company AMB Signature Ink.
For a one of a kind tattoo designed free-hand by Arndrea Butler, contact her:
by telephone: (202) 449-0170
in Person: 1121 Ritchie Rd, Capitol Heights, Md 20743 (Inside of Salon Lamaj)
via facebook: Arndrea Ambsigntureink Butler