5 Places to Commission Art Online, Perfect for Valentine's Day

We're fairly fresh off the heels of the December holiday season, and you may be feeling a little burnt out in the gift idea department. In our experience, the most well-received gifts are those that are thoughtful, personalized and totally unique. With these qualities in mind, we’ve created this list of five places to commission one-of-a-kind, custom art that's perfect for your S.O., parents, and friends alike.


1. PaperHandsDesignCo

Image source: Etsy

Owned by Graphic Designer/Illustrator Brandie Kay, this adorable Etsy shop has something for any occasion, or no occasion at all. If you're looking for a romantic V-Day gift, Paper Hands Design Co's custom illustrated portraits are simple, stunning and the delicate botanical accents add an extra elegant touch. Added bonus? With their neutral color palettes, these would suit any home in pretty much any frame. And if you're looking for a splash of color when framing your portrait, try choosing an accent mat that complements the colors already presented in the illustration or your valentine's favorite color to make things even more personal.


2. Sketchmob

Image source: Sketchmob, Sketchmob

Essentially a virtual collective of artists-for-hire, Sketchmob is an ultra-scrollable resource that one could easily get lost in. Artists on the platform solicit their signature styles with sample images, descriptions of how their services work and a button you can click for commission requests. With Sketchmob, you can search based on art style, which range from well-known, like pop art or caricature, , to the more obscure, like pixel art. There are also no rules saying you have to choose a photo of yourself or your recipient for the artist to work off of; choose their favorite musician or someone else they admire for a gift that shows just how well you know them.


3. The Paper Woodland

Image source: Etsy

These charming pet portraits are hand painted with watercolor by the shop owner, Emily, who then scans them onto a computer to make the finishing touches before finally turning them into fine art prints. As you can see from the little bat above, she doesn't draw the line at cats & dogs, but can create portraits of even the most exotic and unusual pets. And if you're cutting it too close on time to wait for a portrait to be completed, Paper Woodland also offers illustrated gift certificates to the shop so you won't be empty handed when gift-giving time rolls around.


4. CartoonPortrait

Image source: Etsy

If you've ever wanted to see yourself or someone's as a pop art masterpiece, or drawn in the style of your favorite cartoon or comic, you're going to want to give this shop a browse. The artist Andrew will take your photo and use a graphic tablet to redesign it in one of the many eclectic styles he has on offer, turning any familiar face or image into something completely brand new. The finished product is a digital image file that's ready to be printed & framed.


5. Canine Caricatures

Image source: Canine Caricatures

Pet portraits are always a surefire crowd pleaser, Canine Caricatures can help you achieve that goal. Illustrator John LaFree has been drawing animals (and people) for about a decade, and he knows exactly how to capture their essence, whether it's sweet and innocent or a little more on the devious side. When you commission one of these, you know you'll be getting a high quality (and generally pretty funny) piece of artwork to immortalize the unique spirit of your favorite pet(s).


As February approaches, we hope this list will help ease you in, while also giving you some fun ideas on how to think outside the box next time you're in need of a gift for someone special.

As always, feel free to reach out to us via the chat bubble in the bottom right corner of the page if you have any questions about a custom project, or just framing in general!

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