How this ‘bad animator’ made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list

Danny Casale grew up getting in trouble for doodling during class. He didn’t see himself as an artist by any means but loved the creative outlet and the process of getting the cartoonish visions out of his head and onto paper.

But in 2017, Casale kept thinking about this visual of a snake on a pink background. True to his childhood self, he decided to draw it out on a notecard and color it in after scanning it onto his computer. He then thought it would be funny to make a full animation of this snake, called it “SNAKES HAVE LEGS” and uploaded it to YouTube for fun.

“That went stupid viral,” Casale told In The Know. “It turned into this totally non-intended political cartoon piece, in arguably the most politically-charged summer in recent times. And it was about not believing everything is real on the internet.”

Credit: Cyle Suesz for In The Know

It completely transformed Casale’s life. Now he has turned his cartoons into a profession, although he describes himself as a “self-proclaimed bad animator.”

But Casale believes his lack of schooling or background in actual animation makes his cartoons more charming and attractive to internet folk.

“To take an animation course, would, I feel like, cause me to lose some of the magic, some of the simple magic that is a part of the videos.”

Now Casale’s YouTube channel — where he goes by CoolMan CoffeeDan — has almost two million subscribers. His most popular video, “i’m a CUP”, has over 11 million views.

Casale, who started YouTube channels when he was only 11, says he cannot believe he’s come this far on the platform. With the new audience, however, comes responsibilities Casale feels the need to take on too.

“A few months into my newfound animation page, I realized that there was more to this than just goofs,” he said. “People genuinely found, like, value and help — and that’s when I took on a greater responsibility.”

Credit: Cyle Suesz for In The Know

Casale’s mission behind his art is to make people laugh and feel loved. He aims to give his audience a dose of positivity rather than work on his animation skills.

“I just want to be able to speak to as many people as possible through my art,” Casale said. “I can’t help but feel as if I am responsible to at least change the world a little bit.”

Watch the full episode of In The Know: Profiles on Danny Casale above.

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