Staff Spotlight: Meowza

Staff Member: Meowza

Welcome to the first in a new series of staff spotlights. I thought we would start of with the awesome Mr. Meowza Katz. Author of Aviary’s first book, technical reader for the second, (Introducing Aviary), artist extraordinaire and all round funny Mr Nice Guy. If you haven’t seen his work you don’t know what you are missing. And if you have, this may be a small insight into the world of Meowza...

So, Meowza, introduce yourself

Hi, my name is Meowza. I'm a drawler of things from Vancouver, Canada.
My likes include peppermint gum, erasers that look like food, and my yittle fiancéface.
My dislikes include erasers that look like pink.

Q. What do you do here at Aviary?

I'm an illustrator, designer, brander, writer-of-bloggy-things here at Aviary. I drew all them birdy and egg icons you see on the site. I wrote many of the Phoenix tutorials and lessons found in the Tutorials section, forums, and in the first Aviary book, More Than One Way to Skin a Cat. I also help design graphics, slides, promotional material for external use in presentations, shows, exhibitions, etc. I'm also a contributor to the Aviary [url=http://aviary.com/blog]blog[/url] where I post things that interest me and probably two other people!

Q. Walk me through a typical day on your end of Aviary?

I don't have a typical day here at Aviary, as different needs arise for different occasions. I usually prioritize requests made by members of the team who need graphics for the site, promotional material, etc. so that if anyone else needs a design, I'll make sure to get the most urgent needs addressed first. I'll also spend my time trying to come up with relevant projects, challenges, design ideas for tutorials, threads, and blog posts for you cool cats to play around with.

Q.How did you get started with Aviary?

I was a frequent contributor to Aviary's sister site, Worth1000.com. When they started Aviary, Avi asked me early on to design some of the early logos, ads and teasers for the suite. As the site grew and evolved, I continued on designing new thingies to go along with the new thingies on the site. Wait a minute, if Aviary was birthed from Worth1000, but Worth1000 is Aviary's sister...

Q.Tell us something that no one might know about you.?

What I look like.

Q. What are the 3 things you would most like to see happen to (/at/on) Aviary?

The three things I want to see happen most at Aviary are, *********** ** *** ****, ****-**** *************, and *** ***********. These are all features that are currently in development to be released this year, so I can't really mention them quite yet. So my 4th, 5th, and 6th, things I would most like to see here are:
· Additional user stats and rewards that would give users to create frequently, such as creation milestone awards.
· Challenges given more prominence on the site somehow so they're not just reserved to those who come check out the forums.
· A frequently requested feature and one that will probably be implemented, is for users to be able to organize their own creations.

Q. What is your favourite junk food?

Coca-Cola and popcorn.

Q. What are your favourite creations that you have made here on aviary ?

Some off the top of my head are:

Matching Light I just think elephants are cute.

SeaMonster I just think the little lizard is cute.

In The Clouds I just think massive deities with full 'stache/beard are cute

Q. Who or what influences your art and is there any other form of art that you particularly enjoy doing?

I'm most inspired by cartoons in most of the forms of art I do, especially the fundamentals nurtured through the characters of Looney Toons. Even in my non-cartoony creations, I still draw inspiration from my cartoon roots in terms of trying to make images with strong readability. Cartoons are caricatures of life, simplified to maximize appeal and relatability to a viewer. If a design doesn't work in it's most basic stripped-down ideals, all the fancy bells and whistles you add won't help it.
In my spare time, I mostly enjoy playing around with character design and experimenting with textures, evident in some of my personal work at www.meowza.org.

Anything else you would like to say ?

I graduated from the same high school that Colin Mochrie did.

Thanks Meowza, for that extraordinarily awesome incite into your life here at Aviary

Some of my all time faves......

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