An Interview with Angry Dan
Angry Dan is an artist, musician, and a writer from London who depicts his writing through illustration, animation, and song, often with a hint of irony.
We met with Dan to learn more about his creative process and where he sources inspiration for new designs.
Your style is fun and informal. What is it you love about limericks and when did you first start writing them?
Ah, thanks! I’ve been writing songs for a long time, but limericks only for a few years. I love that they’re silly, incredibly low-brow, and a little bit fiddly to write.
Tell us about your Lunchtime Limerick series - When did you start the series? How do you start writing? Where do you take inspiration from?
Two years ago, I challenged myself to write a limerick every day for 100 days in a row. Some days it only took a minute, but others would take a few hours, or a few sittings. By the end of that period I was thinking about them so much that I’d rhyme in my dreams. That was where the idea for my first animated poem, The Man Who Stood Still Forever, came from. It was really fun going back to writing longer stuff after spending such an intense period writing very pernickety little verses, because I was so much better at squeezing meaning into fewer lines, so the narrative could develop much quicker than before.
I take inspiration from absolutely everywhere. I love science, history, culture, food, and, of course, love. Although most of them aren’t supposed to be about me, lots of my friends have said that, as a whole, they paint a picture of what I’m about. I like this idea, that they stand alone, but they also have a greater collective meaning.
Your designs are quite pop-art/graphic in style - Are there any artists you particularly look up to?
Right now, David Shrigley rules the school. He’s so funny. I really love David Shillinglaw’s style. His shapes are so nice. Hayden Kays, a good friend of mine, is a powerhouse for ideas. There plenty more but we don’t have all day. It must be said, although I am an artist, I think of myself principally as a writer. Everything starts off with words, and the development of the writing, whether into pictures or music or film, is presentation. In the writer’s realm, Roald Dahl is the only one that makes me forget that I’m reading.
I only started drawing to illustrate the limericks. I’m still in that phase where you draw the idea of the object, not the object itself, so they’re symbolic, not realistic. They’re so colourful because I’m colourblind and when I turn everything up it just looks better.
Tell us about the process of creating these 3 prints.
I wanted to make three drawings that would work individually, in pairs, or as a threesome. I drew them in parallel, planning, then drawing the table cloths, then each object, and finally the text. Often, I find my lettering will change from day to day, depending on my mood, so doing them all at the same time meant they’d all have the same feel to them.