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22 May 2020

Interview: In Conversation with Danny Casale

Read below for our Q&A with animator Danny Casale. You can follow Danny on instagram (@coolmancoffeedan) and check out his clothing collection here.

Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do.

I’m Danny Casale, aka Coolman Coffeedan, a self-proclaimed bad animator who aims to bring some joy to people’s social media timelines through my super simple, colorful characters. Sometimes these characters cover goofy themes, other times they cover heavier, heartfelt themes.

Your animation style has stayed pretty consistent over the years, what initially inspired these creations? 

I grew up on cartoons (like everybody) but never grew out of them. I watch Adventure Time and Regular Show well through my teenage years. I always doodled throughout school, but eventually I started dabbling in animation. I didn’t know where to start, and didn’t want to go through any formal training, so I just applied basic video editing skills to my drawings and did my best to bring them to life. This resulted is a super simple, but charming cartoon look.

A lot of your work is shared on Instagram. How do you think this medium affects how people experience your work? 

In many ways Instagram shaped my style due to do the limit of 60 seconds. I started posting in 2017, and a few years later many of my videos are under still 60 seconds long. I think it acts as the perfect amount of time for the viewer to stop scrolling, appreciate the content, maybe share with a friend, and move on. It acts as a quick hit of positivity.

Your clothing line is inspired by your “Ur Special” animation that aims to spread positivity. How did you bring your animation to life through clothing and what was that process like? 

I did my first batch of hoodies with the Ur Special print about a year ago and was blown away by the response. I was not at all prepared for the amount of orders, and I was packaging everything myself at the time so it was a bit hectic. But once the product started getting mailed to my audience, I felt so much joy in seeing people wear my art. Slowly but surely I began to realize the demand for merchandise surrounding my characters was pretty large, so I signed with merch company Killer Merch to help with designing and fulfilling. I have very cool clothing/merch drops planned for the remainder of 2020, which is exciting!

What advice would you give to artists who feel like their style is outside the norm? 

There’s an audience for everything, so it’s just a matter of honing in on your craft and putting it out into the world as much as you can. Eventually, someone will take notice. Take your style and rock with it!

Is there a certain program or software that’s your go-to when animating? Are there any new techniques you’re experimenting with during lockdown? 

I mainly animate in Final Cut Pro, which blows people’s minds. It’s definitely not an animating program, but it works for me! Lately I’ve been experimenting with more songwriting and color combinations during lockdown. I’ve mostly just been doubling down on content output, as I know there’s a lot of bored/anxious people that could use it right now. Even during uncertain times, a little smile can go a long way.