SINGAPORE — If you’re a Line user in Asia, chances are you’ve seen Meow the Tabby Cat, one of the Japanese messenger’s most downloaded sticker characters in the region.
Meow’s creator, Dira Gana, dropped by the Mashable office to show us how the character was created. She also doodled a brand new Meow for us.
Gana is an Indonesian graphic designer who’s been working in Singapore for the past five years. She says Meow is based on her favourite cat who lives at a cat café in Singapore’s Haji Lane. She’d been doodling the cute tabby for a while, and made her first sticker set on a whim.
Since then she has produced four Meow sticker packs, and three others from new characters she’s dreamed up, like this expressive instant ramen guy.
She has plans to release animated Meow stickers in the near future, and offered this preview of Meow:
Stickers = $$$
Sticker are big business for Line. Sales of the amped up emoji made over $280 million for the messenger app last year.
Line told us over 2.4 billion stickers are sent and received globally every day, and the store holds some 258,000 sets of stickers for sale.
Line was able to reach this volume by opening its sticker store in 2014 to third party creators, like Gana.
The company said localisation works well for sticker creators here. “Local slang, pop culture references, celebrations or events are always the most popular. People can relate to the content in the communities they’re in,” a Line spokesperson said.
Line is also opening calls for young sticker artists in Singapore. It’s holding a competition to students 18 or older, to submit designs that show “a unique Singaporean way of life.”