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Image: Andy Mason

Forget "thumbs up" and "smiley face" text responses—upgrade your messages with graphics that hit close to home. H-Town Stickers, a new app released in January 2017, boasts more than 80 iconic and representational images that won't have Houstonians reading between the lines.

Local artist Andy Mason knows that the Bayou City has some of the best food in the country, so he spotlighted regional favorites when designing the stickers, which range from rodeo fair food (funnel cakes and corn dogs) to everyday staples (kolaches, donuts, queso). Next, Mason started sketching distinctive destinations, including the Waterwall in Uptown, the "We Love Houston" sign and historic landmark the Astrodome. 

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Image: Andy Mason

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Image: Andy Mason

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Image: Andy Mason

Mason began the project after noticing that the iMessage app store only had two sticker apps that were focused on Houston.

"I felt like I could do better," Mason says. "So I decided I was going to figure out how to make a sticker app, and started drawing concepts. I had to think about what Houston meant to me. I knew that if I put my heart and attention to detail into the drawings, that people would share that feeling."

Since graduating from Memorial High School in 1999, Mason has worked as a professional graphic designer. In his free time, the Houston native sketches sticker ideas by hand and then in Adobe Illustrator. "Once I get in the zone, I can make five to ten a day," he notes. "I stay up until 2 a.m. some nights, not realizing it's so late."

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Image: Andy Mason

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Image: Andy Mason

Mason will continue to update H-Town Stickers with more graphics down the road, but for now, he is enjoying consumers' responses. "I get so much joy making something with my hands, and then seeing people’s reactions," he says. "People have commented about how the stickers make them nostalgic for Houston if they have moved away, and how they use them in day-to-day conversations." 

So which sticker does Mason text the most? "Chile con queso—I could live off the stuff. I’m sure if you cut me open, I would bleed queso."

H-Town Stickers, $0.99 on the Apple store. Want actual stickers? Visit etsy.com

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