Startup JuicyCanvas has launched a new service for buying custom art.
The experience is pretty straightforward. You go to the JuicyCanvas site and choose a piece of art that you like. Then you can tweak it to your liking, adjusting the size, rotating it, changing the colors, and so on. When you’re done, you can pay JuicyCanvas to print the piece and ship it to you. You can also share your version on social networks.
The final result, according to a company spokesperson, should be “influenced by the buyer’s own tastes and imagination, but ultimately keeping the core spirit of the artist’s original vision.”
We’ve written about other companies trying to give people a custom art experience. The most well-known is probably Zazzle, where you can create goods like t-shirts, iPhone cases, and more using custom designs. On the more art-y side, there’s EveryArt, where you can commission a painting tailored to your tastes. But neither of them is doing exactly what JuicyCanvas is doing, and when I brought them up with the spokesperson, he described Zazzle as “the Walmart of customization” and said that EveryArt and similar companies can’t scale, because they’re “stuck in the same 1:1 artist-to-buyer dogma of the ancient art model.”
JuicyCanvas was founded by the husband-and-wife team of Artur Maklyarevsky and Deb Brugiati. Apparently there’s a lot of personal history that led to the company’s idea, which you can read more about here, but to boil it down, they say, “Their shared love for street art, along with the dream to recreate the magic of those NYC art parties, slowly evolved into what they’re now proud to call JuicyCanvas — the only place on the web where the creative impulse of the novice is married with the genius of the artist.”
I tried out the customization features for myself, and as I worked, I felt vaguely guilty — like I was taking a perfectly okay piece of art and defacing it. On the other hand, maybe I’m just the equivalent of the old man standing on his lawn and shouting that remixes aren’t real music. After all, playing with the art was fun. And if the guilt becomes too much for you, you can always skip the customization and order the art as-is.