Back in 2012, artist slash designer Cat Frazier started posting text GIFs on her Tumblr, ANIMATEDTEXT. The blog put a literal spin on words like "too rad to be sad" and "Absolute Trash," rendering them both hilarious and endlessly shareable. In the time between 2012 and now, its audience grew (with a little nudge from this Gawker post), and Frazier began taking requests to work her animation magic on sayings of all kinds.
Now Frazier has launched a new project, Ask Cat, The Animated Advice Hotline. Like it sounds, it's an advice hotline—you text Cat, she replies with super on point text GIF mantra that will guide you through your current mess and beyond. Is Mercury in retrograde and causing you some issues? No need to grab a tissue, just text Cat at 510-962-9372 and get that problem solved. (She never gives out personal information, so you can rest assured that your phone number will not end up on the internet.)
Ask Cat is published by N.Y.C.-based Useless Press, a collective that specializes in projects "that exist for their own purpose, or for no purpose at all." An archive of all the advice given so far is being collected at askcat.guru. All together, it reads like Dear Abby or Andrew W.K.'s Village Voice column, but better—Frazier's offers guidance on everything from crush crises to sexuality conundrums to sticky roommate situations. When she says stuff like "forget that boy u got shit to do," it really seems best to listen.
Because we were so enthralled with the prospect of receiving animated advice, The FADER talked to Frazier via email about the origin and future of Ask Cat.
Why did you begin making animated text?
I started making animated text in 2012 because of my love for bad puns and tacky internet graphics. I received my first animated text GIF request the same month I started the blog. At that moment, I knew I needed to make the blog open to follower requests. It grew organically after that. I have very witty followers who request funny, subversive GIFs. You can even track the changing trends on the internet and in pop culture just based on when I made certain GIFs.
What inspired you to start Ask Cat? What are your hopes and dreams for its future?
My connection with my followers inspired me. I realized that people were going to animatedtext to make their day a little brighter and related to the GIFs I created as more life mantras than just moving images. I hope this project will make people laugh, be more open minded, and realize that they're not alone when facing personal problems.
What is your favorite kind of advice to give?
My favorite advice to give is love advice because I think people take themselves way too seriously when it comes to relationships. I try to take a lighthearted approach because chances are they’re overthinking things.