Date: Feb 8th 2014 3:25a.m.
Contributed by: amidanruo

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the City Weekend editorial staff are pretty into our Instagram accounts (@amidanruo and @siennapc for those of you keeping track at home). So we were utterly transported to find out about Pixelist, a newish company based out of Hong Kong, where you can turn your mobile Instagram masterpieces into physical, oil-paint-on-canvas works of art.

Pixelist is the brainchild of former Beijing resident Will Freeman and his business partner Conor Colwell. Having lived in China for many years previously, Freeman reveled in the sheer expanse of customizable goods available on the mainland. On a visit to an art village in Shenzhen, he and Colwell came back with a needlepointed replica of a 1960s-era Soviet circus poster and the idea to turn Instagram photos into painted canvases. The kernel of an idea turned into a successful crowdfunding venture in the summer of 2013 and then a fully-realized company.

Customers upload their Instagram photos directly onto the Pixelist website, choose the size of their painting, and the company takes care of the rest. Pixelist works with artists in and around Xiamen, Fujian Province, where Freeman says the quality of the artwork and talent levels of the artists are much higher than comparable “art villages” near Shenzhen. Prices vary depending on size and number of subjects; they start at US$149 for a 12” x 12” canvas, including shipping anywhere in the world. Custom commissions are also available.

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