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Influence Positively Questionnaire - Vicki Boatright

BZTAT Vicki Boatright
Vicki Boatright, known as "BZTAT" (pronounced bee-zee-tat), is an artist who specializes in whimsical drawings, paintings and prints of cats, dogs and other companion animals. She creates colorful, customized pet portraits, which are unique in their original contemporary style and are collected by people around the world. She also creates murals that follow pet motifs and other themes.

Vicki uses the name BZTAT in homage to a feline companion of that name who was with her for 19 years. You can learn more about the artist and view her artwork at

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

There was a time when I would get into a “half full or half empty?” kind of discussion with a question like this… Now that I am getting older, I am still philosophical, but less needy to query the nature of happiness. I will say, though, that preceding the word “happiness” with the word “perfect” tends to take away from it. Perfection is an unattainable ideal, in my opinion, and I really don’t seek it out.

Happiness does not need to be perfect. It just needs to be. Happiness is simply a state of feeling comfort, joy, peace, love, gratitude, and/or any combination of those things. Spending time with my cats, my family and my friends often bring these things to me. Meeting new friends through social media then meeting up with them in “real” life brings me joy. Creating artwork that brings joy or some other kind of gratifying experience to others brings another kind of happiness to me that I cannot fully describe. It just “is”. Seeing a homeless pet find a forever family brings me another kind of indescribable joy.
If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be and why?
I think both would be thrilling experiences! Cats are independent, intelligent and self aware. Dogs are loyal, playful and grateful. I suspect that I would come back as a cat, though, because I think that I have a feline soul within me already.

What is your pets most treasured possession?
I have 4 cats, each with their own preferences and treasures. They do all seem to battle for two particular sleeping spots, however. One is the mini-cat tower that sits next to my desk chair at the computer. The other is a purple laundry basket. I have long since given up using the basket and the few clothes that were left in it when it first became a pet bed.

Oh, and of course there is that video evidence of the world famous Brewskie Butt playing with his prize nip cigar that he got from his Twitter friend Baby Patches of Nip and Bones…

Your proudest achievement so far?

I have many accomplishments for which I am very proud. My most recent achievement for which I have great pride is a piece of public art that I just completed. The mural consists of 4 large panels painted as windows, each with a painted cat in it. The “Downtown Cats” mural was installed on the side of a building last week. People have followed the development of the mural from all over the world via Facebook and Twitter. We will be broadcasting the Dedication of the mural live via USTREAM so that my world-wide fans can participate.

As proud as I am of the “Downtown Cats” mural, however, there is actually another artwork that I consider my proudest achievement. “Jesse’s Journey” is an artwork that I did a few years ago highlighting the experience of children who are survivors of trauma. To complete an artwork that has such meaning and purpose is every artist’s dream.
Who are your heroes in real life?

My mother is my number one hero. Although she is seriously afflicted with Alzheimer ’s disease, she is still a very resilient and courageous woman. I have always aspired to have her tenacity and spirit of self-reinvention.

I also have some unlikely heroes who I admire and celebrate. I have worked for 19 years as a professional clinical counselor for children. In that time, I have met numerous children who have experienced horrible and terrifying things that no child should ever have to endure. Their spirit of recovery and resilience in overcoming emotional pain has both inspired and moved me. They are my heroes.

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