David Butler was born and spent most of his life in Louisiana where he worked many menial jobs throughout his life, having been illiterate. After retirement, he began creating sculptures and whirligigs from discarded tin, earning him the label of "environmentalist". The majority of his art represents Biblical and religious themes, and were stored and displayed in his small back yard. Utilizing unconventional art tools, he would carve his pieces with tin shears while shaping them with a meat cleaver. Many of his pieces are also embellished with found objects.