Dan Berry is a cartoonist, illustrator, podcaster and educator based in the town of Shrewsbury, UK. He is a frequent collaborator with the author David Gaffney and is currently working on the follow-up to The Three Rooms in Valerie’s Head; a book called Rivers.
Since 2012 he has produced the podcast Make It Then Tell Everybody in which he has spoken to over a hundred and sixty other artists about what they do and how they do it.
Between 2008 and 2019 he was the Programme Leader for the illustration, comics and children’s books degree courses at the School of Creative Arts, Wrexham Glyndwr University.
In this episode, Dan discusses:
-His fascination with being able to create something that puts ideas and images in other people’s minds.
-Being hospitalized from the extreme stress he experienced working as a designer for a marketing agency.
-His decision to quit teaching.
-How everyone has different responses to stress, and the value in being able to determine your own.
-The large amount of work that you can get done in one hour.
-The stress level of effort and “half-assing it” to aim for a B-grade instead of an A.
-Why he called his podcast “Make it then Tell Everybody.”
-Illuminating the “grubby underbelly” of the creative process.
-The BMX story and the false belief that growth in your career has to come from the outside.
-Telling people about your work, both old and new.
-Some of the resistances that his guests have experienced.
-How he gets past “page fright” – the fear of the blank page.
-How he interacts with his ideas and why he is wary of the ones that come into his head fully formed.
-Why he draws people as birds.
-The experience of drawing an entire comic in 24 hours and other forms of “stunt drawing.”
Dan’s Final Push will inspire you to forget about making the thing perfect. Save that for the next one.
“It was a good and fun job. Up until the point it wasn’t.”
“Creativity is not a muscle that you can just flex. It’s also a gland and you’ve got to relax it.”
“I managed to convince myself that everything else was stressful aside from the thing that actually was.”
“You could be the best artist on the planet, but if you’re only drawing in your bedroom and never showing anybody, you basically don’t exist.”
“I had this belief that any growth in my career had to come from outside.”
“Trying to remain enthusiastic about something that isn’t representative of your current level of ability is difficult.”
“If it exists, then you’ve done it right.”
“Once you have something that exists, you have something that’s editable.”
Connect with Dan: