It all started on June 2019, five years into being a full-time consultant, I grew tired of the daily grind and was looking for a creative outlet. I thought, I'll draw animated gifs of my grey Scottish Fold, Blu. Why not?
I gathered all my favorite memes that I use daily, and put my own spin on it. I personified my own feelings, frustrations, and everything in between.
"We worked on this thing, did not know it will blow up, now we can't remember any of it. "
Cory Bohon, Developer 4/19/21
"This Should be an App" - Cory
Shell shocked by the initial engagement numbers, and the positive feedback from users, I decided to make this into serious project by creating multi-pack in-App Purchase format. In order to expand upon the initial scrappy format, to create a multiple pack UI design in iOS App Store required a lot of effort.
Registering myself as a business app developer, getting the right certificates, passing QA and apple's requirements, and generating screenshots for all device sizes took a while. With the help of Cory Bohon, he was able to do a complete app rewrite. With the help of my coworkers, light QA testing from gracious volunteers.
Looking behind at pack number 1, the dancing animations were a hit. Using that trend, I decided to add a few more, this time adding a new sticker concept to compliment Apple's drag n' drop feature to create a new look. This included the I Don't Care Rainbow, DragonballZ flame, and pixelated censorship.
DEC 2019, 6 MONTHS
↑ 400% INCREASE ↑
May 2020, two months into the pandemic and New York being the epicenter of the crisis was very stressful. Our COVID cases spiked considerably, and quarantine inside a small apartment was difficult. Day in and out, my days of being locked in and doing Zoom calls was the new normal.
Struggling with the anxiety of the state of the world, taking my mind off to do something else other than work was a relief. Even though this is kinda a lot of work 🥲
Sept 2020, the pandemic cases did not decline, i felt the weight of the world was on my shoulders. I've spent a considerable amount of time listening to YouTube's "lo-fi chill hop channel" to meditate and bring clarity into my state of mind.
Taking a quick survey from close friends on any new gaps and opportunities that are not presented in my sticker pack, some voiced the struggle with parenting at home. The distraction of your kids running in the background at work. I decided to create my own Chill Hop Video using animation and custom created beats. Every update during the four-month period would spike from each update but slowly flatlining, avg of 500k views a day.
SEPT 2020. AVG 500K/DAILY
↑ 200% INCREASE ↑
I'm 55 GIFS Deep. Fueled by passion, I want to reach 1 Billion Views with a single GIF. A single GIF to capture $163.2 Million.
This is January 2021, I want to make an impact to improve world health by promoting the vaccine. Hoping this will help spread the message that this is not politics, but of a scientific fact.
On the night of March 9, 2021, I anxiously uploaded my very last piece of content for my project and wait for the results to roll in.
1 Day Stat: 47,092 - 35,848,599
↑ 761% INCREASE ↑
January 2021, Cory tried to update our iOS app with the one last vaccinate GIF. After being approved every single round, Apple decided to reject my latest update and cites that my stickers depict "health information". I am the only app sticker pack that has a meta key word "pandemic". I am not an approved medical app. Apple was also not happy how my stickers are so distasteful. Specifically, the cat sitting on the toilet surrounded by toilet paper is spreading negativity. My app update is rejected until I remove the gifs in question. I'm at an impasse because I refuse to take down what was already approved, therefore the app doesn't have the latest vaccine sticker.
Disclaimer: Don't take medical advice from animated cat stickers, do your own research into the truth. If you would like to use the gifs on IG or other formats, go to Giphy's keyboard and type in "blukittie" or "misscatlo" it will surface up!
As of Sept 7, 2021 - Stats are 1.1Billion at 755K/Daily