KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
August 26, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
Passion and authenticity flows through the work of Katy artist Tyler Kay. Once a Cinco Ranch student and resident at LaCenterra, she will soon bring her brilliant, floral mural work to the popular shopping and entertainment hub.
Tyler Kay in front of her mural at Flavor the Kind in the Heights. Photo courtesy: Tyler Kay
Art Mural Coming to LaCenterra
Katy artist and paintress, Tyler Kay will debut a new mural next month at LaCenterra. She’s partial to the nostalgia of the space and how it holds memories of back to school shopping and Frappuccino at Starbucks.
“I love to see what the space has evolved into today,” says Tyler Kay. “I’m so excited to be painting a mural for LaCenterra next month.” As all her work, she promises it will come from her heart.
Inspiration Through Tragedy
A four-year conversation is finally turning into a dream project for the Katy artist. The 2011 Cinco Ranch graduate is a professional paintress, who is known nationally for her bright and uplifting murals inspired by the tragic death of her high school boyfriend.
“I wouldn’t even be an artist if it wasn’t for Chris,” says artist Tyler Kay. “By being my authentic self, I honor him in everything.”
28-year-old Kay had always loved art but planned to study economics in college. The tragic death of her high school boyfriend, Chris Saiz caused her to pause and rethink her plan.
Saiz was a passenger in a tragic car accident on December 20, 2011. He was a talented basketball player for Cinco Ranch High School.
“He intersected my life to help me find my bigger purpose,” says Kay. “He had so much potential and then he was gone.”
Kay believes in “Mortality Motivation” and puts herself out there to uplift, motivate, and live her best life. She obtained a Bachelors of Art and a Masters in Arts Leadership from The University of Houston. She focuses on community art and community engagement.
Persistence, Patience Pays Off
Kay makes her own luck by seeking out projects. She has wanted to paint at LaCenterra for a long time as the location is so personal to her having attended Cinco Ranch High School. She also lived in the apartments at LaCenterra when it was just a library and fields.
“If I see a blank wall, I’ll park my car and go meet the owners,” says Kay. “If they say no, I’ve made a friend.”
She first reached out 4 years ago, and they didn’t have it in the budget. Kay created a Fourth of July banner that Katy families took pictures in front of a few years back. The small project kept her in the door as she still wanted to be commissioned for a large-scale mural.
It has been a back and forth of if and when the work would be in the fiscal budget until one day she got the call asking when she could be there. Kay’s work is booked 4-6 months out, but she had time for the project.
She begins the mural next month and Katy families can look forward to taking it in along with their LaCenterra experience.
For 10 years now, Kay has spread joy throughout the U.S. and Greater Houston area, but she’s thrilled to be doing work in Katy.
Kay's work inside TAD's.
Katy’s TAD’s restaurant was her first Katy project. Since then she’s done a mural at a gas station off Clay and Porter Road. Not in Katy, though it attracts Katy residents, she has a 25-foot. by 30-foot mural at St. Arnold’s Brewery.
Her LaCenterra project is the popular Katy shopping and entertainment spot’s first official budgeted mural.
“They are giving me free reign and I’m planning it now,” says Kay, who believes she will do a variation of her popular Glitch 12.20 design that was inspired by Chris. “I’m on the fence about including a quote because I don’t want to distract from the art.”
She loves the idea of using the phrase,” You grow through what you go through,” as part of the LaCenterra project as she wants to inspire those who see it and so many are going through pain right now.
Covid hasn’t been fun for Kay who loves to travel and is a very social person.
“Covid has altered how I approach projects,” says Kay. “I stopped taking out of state work and my traveling stopped.”
“I Love the unfamiliarity of the unknown,” says Kay on her love of traveling.
Kay is from a long-standing Katy family. Her grandmother was in the second graduating class of Katy High School and she’s had many family members compete in the Katy Rodeo.
She still loves to run the hill near Cinco Ranch High School for a good workout. A perfect day is going for a walk in Katy and letting her dog run free around the bayous. And of course, she loves LaCenterra, especially Bar Louie.
“I wish I would go back in time and have someone like me give myself advice,” says Kay, who first discovered her love of art in her Katy ISD art class.
It’s such an entrepreneur world,” says Kay. “Trust your gut. If I listened to everyone’s advice, then I wouldn’t be here.”
Kay attributes networking to much of her success.
“Treat everyone like family,” says Kay. “It is a small world and you never know who knows someone.”
Kay continues to seek out projects that are meaningful and authentic to her.
“A non-response isn’t a no,” says Kay.
Katy residents can look forward to seeing her work next month at LaCenterra. She estimates it will be finished the end of September.
Learn more about Tyler Kay at her website or follow her on Instagram @TylerKay.