Today we’d like to introduce you to Daniel Sulzberg.
Daniel, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Comic books, Nintendo games, and Saturday morning cartoons… as a child of the 80’s, this was my life! Now, as a Los Angeles-based designer and illustrator that grew up in the Bay Area, not much has changed. Comic books became a writing gig on the Superman-themed t.v. show “Smallville”; Nintendo games turned into a video game concept art job for Pandemic Studios; and Saturday morning cartoons have become internet cartoons as I’m currently developing an animated project for Dreamworks. Staying true to my roots, I’ve named my design studio “Danvillage” after my hometown Danville, where it all started for me. Not surprisingly, my journey across the creative map has landed me in the heart of creativity, the city of Los Angeles. L.A. which has not only allowed me to spread my creative wings but the chance to further my education and gain my certificate in Design Communications Arts at UCLA. Following my interests has given me the opportunity to illustrate for many of my favorite interests and hobbies, such as artwork for reggae bands such as Iration and the Dirty Heads to designing a match day poster for the L.A. Galaxy and creating social media artwork for Tottenham Hotspurs.
Has it been a smooth road?
Being a creative person always has its challenges and struggles, but without the struggle, I wouldn’t have grown as an artist. When I was younger, my parents suggested that I should do my artwork as a hobby instead of pursuing it as a career. It took me years to realize that being creative was not just something I wanted to do for a living but was actually a huge part of who I was as a person. I was always creating characters and worlds for them to live in. I moved to Los Angeles to be a screenwriter at first because I also love to write, and although I experienced success writing for Smallville, I found it very difficult to stand out among the sea of talented writers. However, once I went back to my artwork and developed my personal style, I found opportunities began to appear, almost as if by magic. All I had to do was be myself, work hard, and have fun with my creativity.
Has there been people or an institution that has played a pivotal role in your career?
There have been many influences and significant people throughout my career but if I had to focus on one, in particular, I’d have to say Matt Pashkow, better known as Pash. Pash is the VP of brand and design at ABC and was my design mentor at UCLA Extension. Pash inspired me to think outside of the box and experiment with my illustration process. It was his direct influence that helped me hone my current style and his expertise which showed me a path to finding work within the creative industry and how to never quit when you want to accomplish a project.
Do you have a favorite type of client or project?
I love to work on all types of projects and with all kinds of clients. The collaboration process is one of the best parts of my job. I am always open to the unique perspectives that I can learn from each client that I work with. I’m always excited about doing projects that bring out my inner child. I recently worked with the University of Southern California to design an admissions brochure and they really allowed me to be myself in my work and because of that, I think I was able to deliver a very memorable and fun brochure. I had the same experience with Evite who really believed in what I do and allowed me to spread my creative wings. That kind of freedom means that the client trusts me and I always appreciate working with clients who understand I’m here to help them shine!
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Believe it or not, I actually wouldn’t have done anything differently. Would it have been easier had I just gone to art school after high school and pursued illustration right away? Perhaps it would have been, but I would have missed out on all of the wonderful experiences I had learning different creative crafts. I wouldn’t have learned to be a screenwriter, a concept artist, a designer, or how to run my own business had I not taken these risks. All of these experiences led me to where I am today. I am always looking to continue growing as a creative person and artist. You can never look back. To quote the great reggae artist Pato Banton, “Forward ever…backward never!”
- Website: www.danvillage.com
- Phone: 310-562-4195
- Email: Danvillage1@gmail.com
- Instagram: Danvillage_Illustration
- Facebook: facebook.com/danvillage
- Other: Twitter – @Danvillageart
Los Angeles Galaxy Official Match poster.