Faced with the prospect of being overworked and underpaid, Cherry left to begin the freelancing work that would eventually lead him to open his own agency. Now, after nearly a decade of working on his own terms, Cherry’s really looking forward to one thing.
“I’ll finally have a summer vacation,” Cherry says. “I’ve been hustling and working every summer since I was a kid — summer jobs, 2 internships with NASA in college, and working ever since. This is the first time I’ve seen a summer I could take off for a week and enjoy it.”
That’s no exaggeration — Cherry’s an extremely busy guy. In addition to his day job, Cherry is the creator of the Black Weblog Awards, the web’s longest-running event celebrating black bloggers, video bloggers, and podcasters, and the creator of award-winning podcast Revision Path. Other projects include 28 Days of the Web and The Year of Tea, a short daily podcast in which Cherry sampled and reviewed a new tea each day of 2015.
We caught up with Cherry at Ponce City Market in Atlanta to find out what (besides tea) keeps his relentless motor running.
What were you like as a kid? Were you always creative?
I’d like to think so. I’ve loved to write and draw since kindergarten, and in second grade I started in a gifted program that I stayed in throughout high school. I’m originally from Selma, Alabama, which is a little town in the deep South, so I had the whole “big fish in a small pond” thing going on. Being in the gifted program gave me the opportunity to meet some really smart people, and they’d bus us across town to visit other schools. That’s actually where I got my first taste of working with computers.
But growing up, what I really wanted was to be a writer. It never occurred to me to be a designer — my brother was the sculptor, the woodworker, the artist. I didn’t get any of that. I was mostly writing a whole lot.