Meet Cat Frazier. She’s doing something cool and weird on the internet, which, lest we forget, is the very purpose of the internet.
Her project is called Animated Text and you may not need this introduction! You may have encountered her work previously, or you may be one of her 200,000 Tumblr followers. Starting this week or maybe next week, Frazier, in conjunction with Brooklyn’s Useless Press, will be starting an animated advice column.
With Animated Text, Frazier takes short sayings her followers send her and she animates them, as GIFs. The results run the range of zeitgeisty to Tumblr insidery to extremely teen.
“It was originally started as a way for me to express my love for the old internet,” Frazier said in an interview. “Back then, text was always flashy or using GIFs. It wasn’t just, ‘Welcome to my blog’ it was like, ‘Welcome to my blog’ in glitter or moving around.”
In 2012 she started the Animated Text tumblr and soon found she had 15,000 followers, many of whom started sending her requests for phrases to be animated. That’s when she started finding her voice, she said.
In 2013 she had a hit with “lol nothing matters.” Adrian Chen wrote a post on Gawker called Here Is The Gif to End All Gifs and later that year invited her to present at IRL Club, his and former Gawker editor Max Read’s TED for weird internet stuff.
As she’s continued animating text, Frazier says she’s developed a relationship with some of her followers.
“I have the numbers of a lot of followers. They tell me about their day, about their lives. There’s this one girl Jessica I know like IRL,” she said. “It’s become almost a life mission, like I’m seriously considering making it my only thing. It’s kind of helped me see that my voice and my presence is there to help people. A lot of people under the age of 18 follow me so it’s about being responsible and making people laugh too.”
So now she’s starting an advice column. People will be able to text her their questions and she’ll respond with animated text. Her responses will be published on the Useless Press, the project for weird internet stuff created by Chen, Sam Lavigne and Alix Rule.
“We work with our contributors to publish projects that exist outside of today’s endless churn of nearly-indistinguishable online content; that exist for their own purpose, or for no purpose at all,” the site states.
— Adrian Chen (@AdrianChen) January 19, 2016
So shoot her a text, she’ll respond. See?