![Kat Alyst. “Smoke and Mirrors”. Courtesy of the artist.](https://assets-global.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d3b4797bf8730c864f79_KatAlystFLAUNT.jpeg)
Kat Alyst. “Smoke and Mirrors”. Courtesy of the artist.
For over 200 years, photography has been a dynamic form of storytelling. Insert [Kat Alyst,](https://www.instagram.com/katinthecloudz/?igshid=1p02gu7xa8tzn) a Texas-born, artist who is enhancing the medium of photography with her personal messages on mental health and stylized life experiences. Through Alyst’s lens, she juxtaposes deeper meanings into contemporary visions. Oftentimes, her work has been described as “bright” and “whimsical,” but with a closer glance, there’s more than meets the eye.
Last year, Alyst spent quarantine adjusting new plans after the result of canceled photo shoots due to the pandemic’s rise. “I was looking forward to traveling and creating magic with so many talented people, but after Covid, things definitely changed for everyone. I decided to go back to my roots of self-portraits and telling my personal stories through photography... That’s when my ideas really took off,” says Alyst.
Her process draws on the traditions of the painter’s self-portrait work. “Some of the earliest work from Art History shows the artist at their easel,” she says, “As they study their human form, it’s inspiring to see how their styles and messages evolved in time, and I think one of the most unique experiences as an artist is portraying personal messages as yourself.”
“Where I do shoot digital, I treat it like film,” she explains, “I need to get all effects in-camera where possible, so thinking outside the box is a must in most cases.”
Most of Alyst’s work specializes in unique color palettes and combinations to create her signature look—shades of ROY G. BIV thrive throughout each frame. The use of special effects lenses, filters, and more bring her captivating imagery to life. It’s hard not to find beauty in her apathetic visions. In “Smoke and Mirrors” (featured above), she uses a soft filter to create a hazy look, and mylar for a “watery and reflective” look.
These days, when Alyst isn’t traveling or shooting recurring self-portraits, she’s connecting with communities around her and helping however possible. She posts daily to her stories on social media as a tool to spread awareness for important causes. “I believe the only way we can truly remind one another that you’re not alone, is simply by sharing ours and each other’s stories and supporting each other where possible.”