2: Justin Katz

Categories: 100 Creatives

When we last put the spotlight on 100 creative forces in Phoenix, it was no secret there were more than 100 individuals who were making waves in the local arts community. So in celebration of our Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome (back) to 100 Creatives.

Justin Katz
Justin Katz is a five-time Emmy Award-winning motion design director, producer and editor at Flock of Pixels. With a BFA in Film & Animation from RIT, a career start in brand identity at Landor, and an ad agency education from JWT--he later headed out west on a whim and has been loving it here ever since.

Justin often gives talks on motion design around the country and founded MGPHX. His client list includes: AIGA, Apple, American Express, Brand New Conference, Canon, Coca-Cola, Coldstone, Cox, Del Monte, Goodwill, Honda, iGo, Insight, Kibbles n Bits, Kotex, Lulan, Massage Envy, Milk-bone, Phoenix Coyotes, Sylvan Learning, & Taser to name a few. Justin currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife Liz, dog Dave, and eats way too many burritos.

Flock of Pixels Reel from Flock of Pixels on Vimeo.

I came to Phoenix with an optimistic outlook and a question for my wife, "Can we be desert people?" We took a chance and moved from NYC, determined to find out. Over six years later, we are still here and our love for this place has grown 100 fold, especially after moving Downtown. The people of Phoenix are really what's kept us here, though (well, the awesome happy hours helped too). Here, you walk into a store and an employee will ask "Can I help you?" and they are being completely genuine! You have to struggle to find that level of friendly in other parts of the world. I walk the city a lot, and each time without fail I'll get neighborly nods and even greetings from strangers. Did I mention how amazing the concept of "reverse" happy hour is too?

I make art because it's fun! I literally get paid to make cartoons and bring stuff to life. I've got a couple of personal projects that have been shelved due to timing, but will hopefully be brought to life in 2013.

I'm most productive when ... there is a deadline fast approaching or when it's a passion project. There is something that happens to my brain when I'm under serious pressure -- I love it -- I get this tunnel vision and can work incredibly fast.

My inspiration wall is full of ... visual mazes. I tend to collect art that is aesthetically very complex with lots of small details -- the kind that you don't see unless you really start examining a piece. It's great to have them on your wall so you can always open your eyes to finding something new -- it's all about perspective and keeping an open mind. Most of the stuff I collect now is digital, though, and goes into inspiration folders per project. I like to take all the content I can -- look at it a few times, then store it away and forget about it to let my subconscious take over.

I've learned the most from the people I've worked with. The jobs I do are rarely just me working alone -- I work with a team of highly skilled designers, artists, animators, and sound designers to deliver what we feel the client needs for the specific project. When you can work with your friends and form teams based on deep trust and respect it will always be fun.

Massage Envy "Valentines Day" from Flock of Pixels on Vimeo.

Good work should always tell a story, make a statement, and have a concept. A piece can be amazing (visually), but unless it delivers a story or consistent message -- it's going to be shit. I usually spend more of my time with clients in pre-production to make sure we have a solid concept rather than on actual animation production.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more love. Love from ourselves and others. We've got some killer talent here- not only in the commercial art world, but fine art as well. Take for instance my CPA neighbor who just happens to also be an amazing potter who was featured at the Botanical Garden. Lately, I feel like everyone I've been meeting is an artist. Downtown just has this great vibe happening now -- go anywhere and the room will be dominated by creatives. Go to Third Fridays and support other artists, buy some art, be happy, and show some love.

The Creatives, so far ... (And while you're here, check out 100 Tastemakers on Chow Bella.)

100:Lara Plecas
99. Isaac Caruso
98. Brandon Gore
97. Kelsey Dake
96. Hector Ruiz
95. Caroline Battle
94: Jennifer Campbell
93. Jeff Chabot
92. Tiffiney Yazzie
91. Daniel Germani
90. Irma Sanchez
89. Daniel m. Davis
88. Kirstin Van Cleef
87. Emmett Potter
86. Sarah Hurwitz
85. Christine Cassano
84. Fred Tieken
83. Lindsay Kinkade
82. Ruben Galicia
81. Robert Uribe
80. Heidi Abrahamson
79. Josephine Davis
78. Travis Ladue
77. Taz Loomans
76. Mikey Jackson
75. Alex Empty
74. Joe Ray
73. Carol Roque
72. Daniel Funkhouser
71. Carla Chavarria
70. Hugo Medina
69. Cavin Costello
68. Claire Carter
67. Lindsay Tingstrom
66. Catherine Ruane
65. Christopher Crosby
64. Aaron Johnson
63. Brenda Eden
62. Colton Brock
61. Ernesto Moncada
60. Benjamin Phillips
59. Brad Armstrong
58. Angela Hardison
57. Tyler Quinn
56. Andrew James Benson
55. Charles Anthony Darr
54: Tiffe Fermaint
53. Eric Cox
52. Victor Vasquez
51. John Randall Nelson
50. Lauren Lee
49. Kyle Jordre
48. Julie C. Kent
47. Sean Deckert
46. Niba DelCastillo
45. Joseph Benesh
44. Ashley Harder
43. Dan Vermillion
42. Daniel Shepherd
41. James B. Hunt
40. Lori Fenn
39. Seth Gideon Fainkujen
38. Wayne Rainey
37. Christian Filardo
36. Melissa Cody
35. Jason Rudolph Peña
34. Cindy Iverson
33. Ryan Gentry
32. Sebastien Millon
31. Andrea Beesley
30. Chris Pruitt
29. Robert Diehl
28. Rachel Malloy
27. Jonathan Simon
26. Ann Morton
25. Kim Moody
24. Kevin Flanagan
23. Such and Champ Styles
22. Julia Fournier
21. Rebecca Green
20. Jules Demetrius
19. Averian Chee
18. Sara Cochran
17. Daniel Mills
16. Nina Miller
15. Robert Brandan Martinez
14. Rachel Bowditch
13. Ashley Macias
12. Eddie Sparr
11. Bob Roman
10. Melinda Bergman
9. Emily Stergar
8. Tomas Stanton
7. Becky Nahom
6. Jordon Roberts
5. Mary Stephens
4. Frank Gonzales
3. Jacob Meders

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@flockofpixels Look at you! Awesome to be featured at all, but #2?? Even better! Congrats.


@flockofpixels MAZEL Justin!! That's awesome.


@flockofpixels congrats!


@flockofpixels congrats dude, that's awesome!

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