September 1, 2021 - By Marc Vezzi
The founder of the global brand and art movement World Cow brings kindness, love, and unity to the world now also thanks Britalians TV!
Good morning everyone!
Our energetic hosts, the two Italians abroad Marco and Erica, as always host people from all over the world in their humble London home.
Today’s guest is very special indeed.
A little more suspense, cowbells in the background…
Today’s interviewee sent our Marco and Erica two packages. Let’s start by opening the first one and seeing what’s inside.
Inside there are t-shirts that carry on their chests the same graphics and the same slogan imprinted on the packages: “We’re all spots on the same cow” surrounds the image of a cow with a series of spots on its rump that take the shape of the land masses on our planet.
Did you recognize it?
Do you remember that some time ago Elisa and I announced its arrival? Have you ever encountered a World Cow?
Well, finally, after a long wait, Marco and Erica welcome with open arms the founder of this global brand and artistic movement that has now reached more than 20 countries, DJ Barry from Vermont!
And we will find out all about DJ Barry and his movement. We’ll start by asking how he got started, then move on to the journey begun so far by DJ Barry and World Cow. From the opportunity offered by Street Art compared to Graffiti Art along with the Stencilling method and bringing mural art to farms scattered across the US but also Africa and India. We will talk about bringing art to schools and the importance of engaging communities of all ages and kids.
DJ Barry is an example of finding yourself and going after what you love, pursuing your goals, with grit and perseverance, facing rejection.
Having faced the experience of being bullied, our guest has appreciated from a young age the importance of treating people with kindness. And it is precisely the messages of love, kindness and unity that are the foundation of his movement. The messages that raised him in the Vermont community and that he wants to take to the entire planet and universe if possible!
How do you start a global movement to bring social change, “From Cow for a Cause to World Cow”
This is a leading question throughout the interview.
As Marco says, why choose the cow and not the crocodile, cobra, etc.?
Where he lives, in the northeastern USA, bordering Canada, Vermonters are surrounded by cows, they are on every corner!
However Marco asks DJ Barry if he has ever drawn any other animal anyway, a dinosaur for example.
Then yes once he designed a shirt with a T-Rex, but for another initiative.
And then the tagline, “We’re all spots on the same cow“, nothing short of awesome!
A really great message and very much in line with Britalians TV values. And that came about after the image was created.
On his birthday DJ Barry started coloring these cows with tempera almost as a joke. He then decided to dress up just like a cow and go around coloring them. And no nose rings or earrings Marco! Or with no one trying to milk him, Erica!
And he donated a good percentage of what he made to a charity campaign.
A simple image at first, not too stylized, more and more simplified though because otherwise it would have taken too long for him to draw.
And now it’s time to open the other package that was sent to Marco and Erica!
Inside there are many cows although Marco was expecting a real cow, darn Marco!
Marco: “We were preparing the living room for the cow!”
Erica: “To expand the family, a cow is the right guest!”
Marco: “The extra shirt here is for our still unborn baby! There’s a baby you can’t see. We will make good use of it!”
With this very appropriate slogan, the image became a symbol to promote kindness, love and equality, all under one umbrella.
And the last step of maturing the image, the cow with the dots representing the landmasses of the planet was the idea of a Russian boy.
Marco ed Erica drew a World Cow live!
In the second package, Marco and Erica find stickers, postcards, and in one of them, it is possible by passing ink over the holes cut into the card to reproduce the design of a fabulous World Cow, awesome!
Marco draws a cow without three legs and a face but it doesn’t matter, the important thing is the gesture, right? Ahahah! Erica helps him.
And through this technique, everyone has the opportunity to draw their own cow and to be at the same time original, peculiar, unique!
The World Cow celebrates each one of us, celebrates the differences, which in the end don’t matter so much if not in their ability to give nuances to the world, to the extent that they are valued along with all the others!
We are different from one another but we breathe the same air, we live in the same time and space.
Marco: “We are all the same and we eat a cow, love it!”
World Cow everywhere!
DJ Barry has drawn so many cows, one even on a Tesla car.
We are on the order of thousands, in over 25 countries!
He doesn’t count them anymore!
Recently an artist hung a poster on the wall in London. But a giant cow is in a school in Cardiff, Wales.
And DJ Barry is competing with the whole of India to see who can draw the biggest World Cow.
In Pennsylvania, there is a 12-acre cow, huge! And there is a chance to walk inside the slogan sign.
And now he is dedicating himself to install a large inflatable cow measuring 21 feet by 34, a giant inflatable “sculpture”, about 70sqm big, very interesting and whose idea we like a lot!
DJ Barry’s crucial steps to achieve his dream
Our DJ Barry started out by dressing up as a cow, as an abstract painter who painted with acrylics in restaurants to raise money. He painted but wasn’t very popular.
He started promoting his work, becoming popular and raising money in the state of Vermont.
Thus, a growing community was slowly created. And social media further extended that and expanded the audience of followers.
Dj Barry soon reached the whole world with his universal message.
According to him it is essential to know and understand other cultures: “In every country, we live in a bubble because we only inform ourselves… But we forget about the rest… And we remain at the mercy of our stereotypes, we never open our minds.”
The internet and social media have helped a lot and have even been fundamental in spreading World Cow around the world.
Through Instagram DJ Barry began to be in contact with one of the world’s greatest Street Artists, originally from London but based in Germany, who painted one and was followed by others. And from there he started sending messages to people from Portugal, Brazil and so on via Google translate.
So this art has spread and it gives a message we all need: unity in diversity!
DJ Barry is also already planning for the continuation of this movement when he’s gone.
He looks at his two-year-old daughter and sees that’s the future. And the message he brings is so simple that even the kids get it right away.
That’s why he loves to go out and paint cows for the elementary school kids. World Cows are special animals because they carry educational messages, as well as a bit of geography on their backs, which never hurts!
DJ Barry’s future goal is to expand his dream as much as possible.
But in order to grow this brand that gives so much energy and such beautiful messages you need partners.
So Britalians TV is the first partner of World Cow in Europe!
Street Art VS Graffiti Art and the opportunity of Stenciling
At first, the idea was that all Street Artists could in their country carry the message. But many started drawing these symbols where they weren’t allowed and so on.
DJ Barry, on the other hand, wanted to be able to install World Cow posters that did not fall under the graffiti category and above all were not “illegal”. In fact these posters can be removed easily and quickly with soap and water without doing any damage, since a special glue is used.
No one wants to do illegal things, everyone wants to be happy and send a message of positivity.
Our Marco and Erica will soon take these special cows to London, to Westminster, to Big Ben, to the Double Decker.
After all, DJ Barry has never flown to London. His father had given him tickets when he was young, but he didn’t have the money to do anything in the city. But he does remember a two-week trip to France that was really awesome for the countryside, culture and cuisine.
And he would love to have a great wall to paint either in France, London or as Marco suggests even in Rome, why not?
When he paints he is in his happy place, he throws himself with all his heart and prolifically and he lets off the steam. He told Marco and Erica that once, he even painted one in one go, working for 14 hours in tremendous heat without going to the bathroom. Daredevil!
Other interesting experiences include the fact that he often painted on one farm and was called to another. Or while he was drawing someone told him “what a cute sheep!”
Sometimes people tell him that in this Cow is missing the tail. Actually, the tail is there, it is a dot in the stylized image. When he took the image in fact the tail of the cow was not visible, it was turned inward. That’s why the final design reproduces this exact moment, so it looks like the tail is missing or is a dot.
Some would have wanted it brown. But you wouldn’t have seen the dots then!
Finally, often many people don’t recognize right away that the cow dots represent the world figure, only later. Probably because they have a mental image of the cow in their mind. When they do recognize it, however, the wonder is great.
It really is the perfect animal for the important message it carries. And even looking for some other animals with black dots on a white background is a bit difficult… I mean, the skunk would not make the same sense, Marcooo!
From the first few months so far DJ Barry has experienced a great growth in his work, which is almost confusing but makes him happy.
Because he feels like he is making people feel good, smiling, and that’s why he loves going outside, drawing, and making art.
And using stencils is art too!
DJ Barry made stencils with instructions on how to use them.
And you can use them anywhere.
By doing this he teaches the artists of the future how to do it. It’s a project that’s constantly adding new pushes, in fact another of DJ Barry’s dreams is to draw one on a skyscraper, where Marco will surely go to help him.
And he has coloured some World Cow in non-comfort positions: confirming the importance of getting out of the comfort zone and having our own freedom, to do everything we think is not in our cords.
Like taking a cold shower every morning as soon as you wake up: it gives you strength, makes you breathe better, promotes circulation – suggests DJ Barry, who a few years ago started practising the Wim Hof method a “Cold Therapy” whereby he uses low temperatures to improve his general state of health.
From the USA to the most remote communities in Africa
In Botswana and Gabon, local communities have painted cows. DJ Barry works with nonprofits in the Congo area helping with the constant climate devastation that occurs in remote villages in Africa.
These are very difficult countries to reach but through these connections, World Cow tries. He sends them Vermont food like rice and beans as well as cows to be drawn by the communities.
And, little by little, this World Cow community expanded into nearby African villages.
At first (and still today) the first donations and fundraising campaigns were to support a homeless shelter in Los Angeles and a variety of Vermont charities. But slowly the spectrum has expanded.
DJ Barry is completely focused on fundraising, collecting donations and helping anyone in need, from wherever they are, regardless.
From IT Guy to Cow Guy: the perseverance and grit to face rejection, find yourself, and go for what you love!
As mentioned above, it has been since 2015 that DJ Barry has embarked on this adventure.
But who was DJ Barry in 2015?
He was working full time in the hospital, IT Department, and as a telecommunications worker. And from IT guy he soon changed to being a Cow Guy as Marco remembers!
But he felt like an artist on the inside.
He had the experience of being bullied as a child. And that now he sees it as something that made him grow a lot.
Marco: “That happened to me too. I walked into class, I had the lights on me, and a red carpet. Then I was beaten on the carpet, red from the blood in fact!”
This experience made him appreciate the importance of kindness. And how important it was on all levels. But its basilarity on a mental level.
In the scraps of time from 2015-2016, he started to dedicate himself to World Cow. And in November 2020 he quit his job because he realized that in addition to not being happy doing that job he was doing, he had found a dream that made him even happier.
His wife was instrumental in this choice because she was a romance consultant and in the meantime had this confidence.
So DJ Barry started painting cows, he started to go around town dressed as a cow as we said, and living his dream as an artist, finally relaxing because he was doing what he wanted, as he said “I was living the dream”.
And his merchandise slowly spread to so many places, all over Vermont and the country.
And to this day he still wakes up at 5 am and sends thousands of emails.
He often gets rejected but that doesn’t stop him, “the next one can be the big one!”
And so he continues.
Marco and Erica also started out as actors. And rejection was 90% of their business.
But it’s precisely when someone rejects your product that you understand your values, you understand who you really want to be!
Rejection is an opportunity!
Those involved in politics in Vermont, despite the messages, have yet to recognize this.
Vermont is his home but he is looking beyond that. Some have advised him to go to New York or Hollywood. But he’s trying to take his brand to the Universe.
Marco: “To Mars!”
As Marco points out, our DJ Barry took the right steps.
He started locally, in his home country, thinking globally.
And stepy by step of course he is going global.
The importance of perseverance in following one’s goals.
DJ Barry recalls Michael Jordan and others doing hard work. Focusing on themselves.
100% daily. And without it weighing too much because it’s not a job but a personal passion.
DJ Barry also reminds us of the importance of imagination.
Imagination is something that especially when you’re bullied helps you go beyond your world, to look beyond.
And imagination has been with him since he was young when he started studying guitar. And he still plays every day, and has thousands of followers on Tik Tok.
He wanted to be a rockstar and drop out of college but his mom threatened him not to come home for Thanksgiving.
He dropped out of school anyway, beginning a period of homelessness, playing and travelling on the road and then returning home to Vermont, where experimenting with being a dishwasher 20 years ago he met his current wife, at the time the chef at that restaurant.
DJ Barry’s Vermont
Erica: “What was it like growing up in Vermont?”
DJ Barry says he was born in one of the safest places in the world. With beautiful forests and mountains. And in addition to the beautiful scenery the people: really nice and lovable.
The winter is a little tough because it’s long and cold, but the kindness and beauty make up for it.
Outside his window, DJ Barry often sees a brown bear. And there are thousands of bears in Vermont, living in the 2,000 acres of forests that cover these areas.
One person a week sees them.
Marco: “Are they dangerous or can you talk to them?”
They are actually scared of humans and try to escape. DJ Barry also remembers how his grandmother used to wear bells in her shoes when she went to the forests to warn bears of human presence so she wasn’t accidentally startling them.
And in the morning he wakes up not with the car’s noise but with the song of birds.
Marco: “Birds and bears in short!”
A place of peace.
Marco: “What do the birds sing? Sinatra or something else?”
DJ Barry likes Sinatra at Christmas time, but he loves the blues and most of all and likes The Doors, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, rock.
And he’s a poly instrumental player since I play classical guitar, electric guitar, piano, drum, fiddle, harmonica, guitar.
And just think, our Marco tried to make tutorials to teach AC DC songs to the audience but it didn’t go very well!
Erica: “Is July 13 Cow Appreciation Day?”
DJ Barry doesn’t know exactly, there’s a day for everything now, could be.
And he reminds us at this point how cows are unfortunately juxtaposed and linked to global warming as well, and in some cases are frowned upon. Science tells us that this animal releases methane through the microorganisms that participate in the digestion process and the nitrous oxide that is released in the decomposition of manure.
The absurdity is that we point the finger at animals when there are cars and industries that pollute much more and in a much heavier way.
Volvo will soon be all-electric thankfully.
Marco: “We contacted you, and this was our suggestion!”
World Cow Chocolate and a peacefully “invasive” cow
DJ Barry’s latest idea then was to propose to the chocolate industries to introduce World Cow Chocolate bars to deal especially with the harsh Vermont winters!
The purpose of DJ Barry is however a World Cow that is really “invasive” and brings this message of unity and community everywhere, on every possible object, even tattoos on the body.
For example, Marco himself with a cow on his forehead becomes a World Cow Marco, amazing!
And DJ Barry has been in the city where they took down the graffiti but left his cow. That’s the difference between graffiti art and Street Art. While graffiti is not allowed, street art is allowed.
And DJ Barry draws big cows and takes the opportunity to draw something new as well. And he tells us how he came up with it and what it was like to see an elephant with a scorpion tail!
A great creativity, in public places, so really open to everyone!
Vermont farmers’ support
DJ Barry really likes to drive. Next year he’ll be taking a trip across the US and armed with moulds and paints he’ll be painting cows here and there.
A World Cow strictly surrounded by the beautiful slogan. Because that’s what convinces people, above all, to grant permission for reproduction on their buildings.
This is what characterizes Vermont: there are no fights, but a lot of kindness among the many farmers who live here.
DJ Barry doesn’t have a farm but he is surrounded by many of them. And he knows what it means to fight for milk prices and to produce these products himself.
And that’s why he thinks a World Cow can help farms. Proceeds from charity collections go to them, too as he reminds us that farmers should get more help because they work hard every single day to produce milk and meat, eggs and all fresh food staples for the community but still don’t get a fair price for it.
Many family-run independent farms are closing.
And to help these struggling farmers DJ Barry has already painted a giant cow on a farm. And it was exciting because it was the biggest event in Vermont since Covid and a celebration that several artists collaborated on.
As Marco recalls, technology is critical, but he doesn’t like that the world is now investing too much in it, leaving behind the creative industries. There are a lot of creative people like musicians, artists, actors etc. that need to be more supported.
And that’s what DJ Barry is trying to do so he works with many organizations that fill the lack of funds for artists due to governmental choices by collecting them themselves and donating them directly.
Contact DJ Barry and World Cow…any new entries and news are welcome!
DJ Barry is really a dreamer, who wants to change the world and make people be nice.
He’s very energetic. He generates positive energy. He is a constant positive change.
He himself says that he is living the dream that is fulfilling the direction of his life. And every day he lives it intensely as if it were his last.
To the moon.
For those in the audience who want to find, support and join the movement, DJ Barry is open to all.
He will send you the drawings and instructions to colour your own World Cow. And he has an online shop. On his website, you can also find a gallery of World Cows around the world.
Because the focus is on unity in diversity, it’s also good to know how people from different countries live. Because of the Covid, he got in touch to see how the pandemic was being dealt with around the world.
For example, in Taiwan, 25 million people almost didn’t know what Covid was because in their culture they always wear masks, they were ready for it and coped better.
For us, however, putting on a mask was a challenge.
Especially in schools!
Not being able to see the smiles of your classmates is not easy!
That’s why, for example, in his daughter’s school they created some nice masks.
And she supported a project where he donated free masks to the local hospital and to this school, without wanting to sell anything and gain from the pandemic situation.
And now in Vermont everything seems to be back to normal, everyone is hugging and kissing.
And restaurants and great food are open!
Vermont is actually on Marco and Erica’s list of trips to do, so who knows, maybe we’ll see them soon in these uncontaminated and fantastic places.
In the meantime, Marco tells an anecdote about their experience in Scotland with a cow and a calf, with Erica’s comment, which we won’t anticipate because it’s really awesome!
DJ Barry likes new ways to draw World Cow, in particular, he tells us about someone who paints rice, creates the figure, and then tosses it in the air creating the desired image.
Then he’s thinking about drawing it by dipping the moulds in red wine. Marco recommends 16-18 degree red wine, very thick.
Or limoncello, myrtle.
And Erica also suggests tomato sauce. Amazing!
Then there are those who ask DJ Barry to colour his car or they do it themselves, or they prefer the sticker.
To think that when he created the sticker with the World Cow he had 6000 orders in the USA in one day!
Now they have thousands more for the USA, but the requests have expanded and are also coming from Australia, UK, New Zealand.
A special guest and the longest interview ever, all to watch
DJ Barry is really as Marco says a special human being, special for Britalians TV and more generally for the message he brings to the world.
And in this interview, we have seen how he has literally thrown himself into this venture, how he has grown, how he has taken the right steps despite the obstacles and indeed has understood that behind every obstacle there is actually a new opportunity.
A generous person who gives so much love and kindness because he knows that he will receive so much back and bring so much back to the world if everyone behaves like that in turn.
A dream come true.
Anyone can be a part of it and actively be a part of the change.
Everyone must commit.
Love is the answer.
Dear Audience! This is the longest interview ever done by Britalians TV but it was really worth it.
Longer than the length of a Leonardo DiCaprio movie, but really unmissable! If you want to discover a person, a brand that acts on social issues, a global movement, of which you can be part, do not miss watching it!