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This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

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If you travel and have a phone or camera, chances are you have hundreds of photos of epic adventures, dreamy destinations, and weekend trips hidden away in your photo library, just waiting to see the light of day.

Well, now's the time to put those hundreds of vacation photos to good use by commissioning an artist to paint your favorite travel photo for you. While galleries and art fairs are currently closed, artists all over the world are looking for ways to put their skills to use. Enter: Paintru. A new online service that connects people with artists all over the world. Upload a photo, pick your art medium and size, and then your one-off masterpiece will be on its way over to you in three weeks or less.

The idea originated from a problem co-founder JD Kameen was having with an anniversary gift for his wife and Paintru co-founder Liza Kameen. JD wanted to turn a beautiful photo the couple took in Paris into a piece of artwork for their home, "I approached a local gallery in Florida and the process was a little overwhelming," he told Departures. "I'm much more comfortable shopping online and didn’t know the art gallery lingo, so I ended up directly messaging the photograph to an artist in Seoul over Instagram and he painted it and sent it over in three weeks. I was blown away and thought it was such a great way to connect artists and buyers."

Related: The Best Gifts for Photographers

When Paintru first launched six months ago they received a lot of requests for baby, pet, and wedding photos, now with everyone staying at home with time to reflect and sift through all their photos they're seeing a huge surge in travel photo requests. "Travel photos have become the most ordered item because travel brings back that memory, a trip is often a special time and a painting is an awesome thing to have to remember those moments and places," Liza Keenan explains.

Before they launched the service, the couple had built up a huge following of artists on their Instagram account @paintru_ where they continue to build connections with global artists and actively promote different artists on their page. It's well worth taking a scroll through the different artists featured to kickstart the inspiration for your own masterpiece.


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