Let’s be honest: We’re all obsessed with taking pictures of our cats. And that’s a totally healthy thing to do. But there are levels to hoarding cat photos on your mobile phone or tablet — the next step is to turn them into examples of fine art. Thankfully, there are apps to do just that.
Here’s a guide to snapping up some gratis apps that will soon have your cat looking like an impressionist painting or an Andy Warhol-esque pop-art piece. I used my cat Mimosa as an unwitting model. No model release clause was required.
Glaze bills itself as being an app that “turns your photos into paintings.” In practice this means it adds varying levels of paint brush-esque texture to your pics. There are many filters to chose from, although most seemed to turn this picture of cutie-pie Mims on the windowsill into something less stately and, well, a little mean-looking.
At first I was going to attempt to photograph Mimosa against a backdrop of Campbell’s soup cans to showcase the PopArtLite app, but my local supermarket is barely one step removed from a riot scene on a good day, so I flaked out. I went with something more conservative here, although Mims’s expression suggests she has the superior taste to prefer Haring to Warhol.
Now you can satiate that desire to see your cat rendered in the impressionist style of Monet thanks to the wonders of the MobileMonet app. Thanks to the French master’s touch, Mims looks much sharper defined after she’s snugly nestled herself under a blanket on the couch.
At first, the MobileMonet app takes your existing photo and creates a black and white outline version of it. It’s a natty effect even on its own.
PhotoSketch does what its name suggests and transforms your photos into simple sketched outlines. A number of filter options are available, including this one, which I think casts a young Mimosa as something resembling a cat character from an Enid Blyton children’s book.
I’m not entirely sure what goes on with the Paint Booth app — it somewhat ambiguously boasts that it will turn your photos into “amazingly realistic paintings” — but there’s a weird video-game-esque charm to the results. Not only does Mims look extra dynamic bursting through a cardboard box here, but the app has made the apartment floors look super slick and clean.
To be honest, despite some fancy sample photos displayed in its App Store listing I found Impressionist to be pretty lackluster. The effects seemed to come out more pixelated than anything resembling something that would be hung in the sort of gallery they loot in the top TV show White Collar. Here Mimosa seems definitely more mosaic than impressionist.
Tadaa is a top notch photo editing app that I much prefer over Instagram. I’ve never found much use for the Bilitis filter, but I thought I’d try it out on Mims. I like to think this dreamy soft-focus effect casts her as something of an extra in Rochelle, Rochelle. Don’t pass judgment.
Turning your cat into a mosaic sounds like a fine idea. Alas, playing around with the Touch Mosaic app suggests that cats cast as mosaics just look rubbish. My attempts to mosaic-up Mimosa failed, but to ensure that it wasn’t just a case of her having a mosaic-unfriendly face, I used a friend’s feline as a test. The results were equally as terrible. Here I seem to have given the impression that the otherwise honorable Maximilian Jeffrey III has just robbed a post office. It’s like I’ve turned a cat into a criminal.
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About Phillip Mlynar: The self-appointed world’s foremost expert on rappers’ cats. When not penning posts on rap music, he can be found building DIY cat towers for his adopted domestic shorthair, Mimosa, and collecting Le Creuset cookware (in red). He has also invented cat sushi, but it’s not quite what you think it is.