The Daily Dot is proud to present a new way to spread holiday cheer: GIF cards. Each business day leading up to Christmas, we’ll be presenting two or more fun and easy-to-share GIFs to get you and your loved ones in the spirit of the season. To see our entire catalog, visit us on Tumblr.
Growing up in Chicago, Ill., William Reiss passed the time drawing scenes from his favorite Disney movies, creating doodles of Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and The Little Mermaid.
He continued drawing through his teenage and college years at the California Institute of the Arts and ultimately sketched his way into Walt Disney Company. Today Reiss, 36, is a co-executive producer for Fish Hooks, a children’s cartoon that follows a school of fish in a pet store aquarium.
“I had always dreamed being a part of [Disney],” Reiss, who first worked on SpongeBob SquarePants out of college, told the Daily Dot. “I have always loved to draw portraits, but the novelty of the GIF allows me to take caricature to another fun level.”
To push the boundaries of his charming caricatures, Reiss starter a Tumblr blog, IHave4Catz, in August 2011, posting some rough character sketches. One of his first animations—a colorful portrait of rapper Nicki Minaj—collected 1,700 notes. He’s since GIFed the likes of Paul Ryan, Anne Hathaway, and Lady Gaga to comparable effect.
“The challenge of capturing the essence of a person in the way they blink, react, or move is fascinating to me—and it has also increased traffic on my blog immensely because I find people love to share a GIF way more than a still image.”
This holiday season Reiss will travel home to the Midwest where he hopes to spend time with his friends, family, and four cats. But before he does, Reiss created two exclusive holiday GIF cards.
“I see them as a very modern form of expression,” Reiss said.
“We now have the ability to quickly share a favorite memory from a movie, pop culture or childhood in a way we hadn’t thought of before. I think this is a good thing. It keeps me inspired to think a little differently about the images that occupy our world.”
Share and be merry!