In the quaint corners of a Minnesota library, an unexpected star emerged, capturing hearts and imaginations far beyond its modest setting. A seemingly straightforward announcement, requesting the exclusion of a feline named Max, unintentionally transformed into a global sensation that left millions amused and engaged.
The saga began when a university student stumbled upon a notice affixed to the library window. The request to keep Max out, accompanied by a grumpy feline icon, sparked a wave of creativity that transcended the boundaries of the written word. The student, intrigued by the whimsicality of the situation, snapped a photo and unleashed it onto the digital realm.
What followed was a cascade of laughter, mockery, and artistic expression. Social media platforms became canvases for Max’s newfound fame, with memes, poems, and even mock library membership cards dedicated to the curious cat. This organic phenomenon, fueled solely by the community’s creativity, eventually reached a staggering audience of over 5 million within a mere two weeks.
The unlikely hero of this narrative, Max, became a viral sensation not only on digital platforms but also gracing the pages of prestigious publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Television news and talk shows embraced the tale, transforming it into a feature that captivated audiences worldwide.
While one might attribute this phenomenon to the universal allure of cat photos, the true charm lay in the hands of Chris Schommer, an unassuming library employee with a passion for design. Little did he know, the iconic cat image that adorned the announcement was the brainchild of an unassuming visual designer—yours truly.
The unintended success of the viral share took Chris and me by surprise. As the announcement and Max achieved celebrity status, journalists sought to uncover the minds behind the sensation. The story became a whirlwind of interviews, with our names etched alongside the viral announcement in newspapers and digital media. Yeay 🎉
Unaware of our newfound fame, it wasn’t until the shares surpassed the one-million mark that Chris broke the news to me. Seizing the opportunity, Chris proposed collaborating on a children’s book inspired by Max’s tale. Eager to contribute, I began crafting illustrations for the whimsical continuation of our unexpected journey.
As our story unfolded, we found ourselves facing requests for interviews and growing public interest. To keep our newfound community informed, we established LetMaxIn.com, a website where enthusiasts could sign up for updates on the forthcoming children’s book.
In a heartwarming turn, we decided to utilize my icon designs to create merchandise. Profits from these items would go towards supporting animal shelters and funding the production of our book. The project’s announcement prompted an outpouring of support, with this link for those wishing to contribute.
Sharing my icons freely on the Noun Project website had initially been a simple act of generosity. Little did I anticipate the transformative power of sharing, where a humble design and a cat named Max could bring joy to millions.
Life, as we discovered, becomes more beautiful when shared. Inspired by a Nil Karaibrahimgil song that echoes the sentiment, we were reminded that giving, whether it be bread, love, or creative designs, is a source of perpetual abundance.
As I wrap up this article, which emerged from the unexpected whirlwind of a viral share, I hope it has been both entertaining and informative. If you’re curious about the world of icons or wish to delve deeper into the tale of Max and our creative journey, visit my website and social media accounts. Thank you for sharing in our enchanting adventure! 🌟
My Grumpy Cat icon in Press 📰
- Washington Post Meet Max, the cat who lost the library but won the Internet
- Buzzfeed Let This Friggin’ Cat In The Friggin’ Library Already
- Yahoo The internet is going crazy over this library’s sign about a cat named Max
- StarTribune Internet rallies behind St. Paul cat banned from library after repeated attempts to enter
- PioneerPress How Max the Cat was kicked out of the Macalester Library and became an internet sensation
- MPR News How one cat’s quest to visit the library became an internet sensation
- BoingBoing Do not let the cat into the library
- Cox Media Group Book-loving tabby makes librarians crabby (Note: Good rhyme but we do love Max!)
- Independent.ie Meet Max the Cat: He’s banned from the library but that doesn’t stop him from venturing in