Big Brain Update: Designer Justin Katz of Flock of Pixels in Phoenix

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Leading up to this year's Big Brain Awards, we're checking in with past winners. Up today: Justin Katz.

Justin Katz has kept plenty busy since winning the Big Brain Award for design last year.

The Emmy Award-winning motion design director, producer, and editor at Flock of Pixels has taken on big-name clients, performed as a monologist for a February edition of Torch Theatre's The Neighborhood (the troupe was nominated for a Big Brain Award back in 2012), and played a few rounds of Jackalope Ranch bingo over at Crescent Ballroom.

See also: 2013 Big Brain Awards Winners Announced

What have you been up to since winning a Big Brain Award? I've been doing a lot more contract Creative Direction work and funneling the projects through my company, Flock of Pixels, which has been operating as a micro-agency for Apple, American Express, and others. I think my clients (especially on a corporate level) are really appreciating the level of service one can get when they are in direct communication with the person with all the answers.

What's your next big project? My next big project is actually myself. I've had a lot of changes occur over the past year for better and worse, (both personally and professionally) and I plan on taking as much of the summer off as possible to explore the world and see where it leads me.

Anyone you'd like to recommend for this year's award? This is tough. There are so many deserving people, especially in the design category. My immediate thoughts go to Eric Torres, Victor Vasquez, Jon Arvizu, Brandon Gore, Amy Lamp, Evelios Mattos, Marc Oxborrow, and The Ranch Mine.

And Steve Weiss and Lindsay Kinkade in the new Urban Vision category.

Where do you see Phoenix a year from now? I see the creative community continuing to grow along with the city itself--with more people moving downtown and creating a vibrant center.

Where do you see yourself a year from now? I will have hopefully challenged myself to the point where I pivot for the better. I will have worked less, played and traveled more, created personal art, and invested in other small businesses whose values align with my own.

Nominations for this year's Big Brain Awards are closed. Check back in the coming weeks for profiles of this year's finalists and information about New Times' Artopia, an evening of art, drinks, food, and music, on Saturday, April 26. Tickets are $25.

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