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Noted GIF artist (and Daily Dot contributor!) Jason “Challenger” Reed shares some exclusive GIF art you can send your friends and family for the holidays.
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.
In the early 1990s, while your everyday grandma spent the holidays baking cookies with her grandkids, artist Jason Reed’s tech-savvy granny was busy tinkering with a VCR.
She even had HBO.
“One of my favorite memories is seeing all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins on Christmas,” Reed told the Daily Dot. “We’d all pile in to my grandma’s house for a second round of presents and a feast of a ham dinner, then play cards and watch movies. (Who knew she was a tech nerd early-adopter type?) Seeing family has always been the big thing for me, though I have to admit that the Christmas I remember best was the one I unwrapped a Nintendo (OMG DUCK HUNT) with my brother and sister.”
These days, Reed is creating his own family traditions. He’s a father of two who spreads cheer via GIF animations. His work has been featured on Tumblr’s GIFwich, a blog where artists live GIFed the recent presidential debates, and Reblorg, a new art hub run by Tumblr’s editorial team. He is also a freelance illustrator here at the Daily Dot.
On Tumblr, Reed is known for chopping up old black-and-white films into animations and live-GIFing events like the presidential debates. But it’s often his nostalgic animations—like the fuzzy blue “play” screen of a VCR—that have resonated on Tumblr the most.
“I appreciate the format’s versatility, having seen them used as Cinemagrams, deployed as ads, and used to devastating effect in forum flame wars,” Reed told the Daily Dot in June. “If a picture is worth a thousand words, a good animated GIF is worth 24,000 words per second. By that math, a 10-second GIF is equal to the word power of Moby Dick. If Melville read that he would weep, and I would post this in reply.”
This Christmas, Reed and his family will travel to grandma’s home again, but this time around, he’ll be the one schooling his son in the latest technology.
“Seeing my son get excited about Christmas, watching the classic holiday movies, and putting up decorations with him makes the season more fun now than it ever was,” Reed said. “I can even tolerate Christmas music, for December at least. Being Santa is pretty nice, too. [My son’s] only two years old, but one of his favorite YouTube videos is of Walk off the Earth singing a rendition of ‘Jingle Bell Rock.’ So we might do some caroling at our next-door neighbors’ houses.”
All illustrations by Jason Reed
Fernando Alfonso III served as an early Reddit and 4chan reporter and the Daily Dot’s first art director until 2016. He’s gone on to report at Lexington’s Herald-Leader and at the Houston Chronicle.