5 Less Expensive Alternatives to PaintYourLife for Custom Paintings | Turn picture into painting

May 12, 2022

A popular place to turn your photos into paintings is PaintYourLife, but the pricing to get custom portrait paintings there is excessively expensive. According to sources & actual data, many platforms outsource custom portrait paintings in places like China and Ukraine, where the costs to hire artists are much lower. For instance, a large-sized canvas custom painting may cost $50, but certain companies will mark-up to $400 or more - keeping the profit for themselves and overcharging customers. Not only do customers overpay, but the artists also gets underpaid.

Platforms like PaintYourLife act as the middle-man and charge excessive fees.

The most cost-efficient method is to work directly with independent, professional artists where customized art is produced in their studios and sent directly to customers. Of course, working through an intermediary is a great choice (if the fees are low) in order to get the benefit of a money-back guarantee.

In order to give customers more affordable pricing and variety in choosing a place to turn their pictures into paintings by real artists, we created a list of 5 alternative, reliable places to PaintYourLife to turn your pictures into paintings and get custom-made art.

Affordable Alternative #1 -

MadeMay is the preferred place people choose to find & hire expert artists for custom artwork, such as portrait paintings of someone or something. With over 500+ artists, with 90% based in the USA, MadeMay's algorithm connects you with the most relevant artists for your specific request.

Whether you want a portrait painting to remember a lost loved one, a painting to cherish a beloved pet, or a painting to reminisce your childhood home, there is a professional artist on MadeMay who can turn any photo (or idea) into a painting for you.

Since all artists are independent, this means the costs are kept low with minimal fees so the customer does not overpay and the artist keeps his or her earnings without a middleman. On average, pricing on MadeMay is 35% more affordable than PaintYourLife. Plus, MadeMay provides a 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back.

Affordable Alternative #2 - Instagram Artists

Many professional artists use Instagram to get commissioned and turn a client's photo into a painting. It is as easy as looking up a hashtag, browsing & finding an artist you like, and direct messaging them to get started. Here are some hashtags you can use to find artists that will affordably turn your picture or photo into a painting:

  • #commissionsopen
  • #commissionart
  • #commissionedart
  • #commissionartist
  • #commissionpainting
  • #commissionportrait
  • #commissionportraitpaintings
  • #custompainting
  • #customart
  • #customdrawing
  • #customportraitpainting
  • #hireartist
  • #hireartists
  • #artistsoninstagram
  • #artistsofinstagram
  • #petportrait
  • #petportraits
  • #petportraitartist
  • #petart
  • #petartwork
  • #petpainting
  • #petdrawing
  • #petdrawings

Affordable Alternative #3 - Reddit Artists

Similarly to Instagram, there are several subreddits where artists list their availability to fulfill commissions requests, such as turning a photo of someone into a painting.

Here are the top 3:

  • Hungry Artists - HungryArtists is an online community of freelance artists, designers and illustrators all looking to create custom art commissions for you! Commission an artist quickly and easily, just create an account in minutes and post your request. Artists will start replying with a range of portfolios for you to choose your best fit. Browse thousands of worldwide artists portfolios updated daily, when you find an artist that suits your budget and style just message them directly to get started.
  • Art Commissions - A subreddit for anyone seeking to have a commission made or those looking to sell their services. Tons of portfolios are advertised daily, along with many clients looking to hire services.
  • Artists for Hire - We welcome all kinds of artists-- writers, painters, illustrators, designers, etc.-- to sell their work here. If you're looking for someone to write a script, paint a picture, illustrate or design something, start here!

Affordable Alternative #4 -

Finally, there are independent artists on Etsy who provide their art commission services at affordable rates. Most creators on Etsy are independent, so you can browse pages of artisans to find the most affordable options for you.

Etsy is primarily popular with digital artwork, which tends to keep costs down since there is no material, packaging, or shipping involved. Many times, artists on Etsy are overseas so the labor cost is also slightly reduced.

Affordable Alternative #5 -

Do you have a photo that you want to make even more special? Instapainting lets you turn your photo into a piece of art. When you use Instapainting, real artists customize your painting and immortalize your photographic memory into something truly beautiful. Instapainting uses real paint on canvas, so you know you’ll be getting an amazing, high-quality product.


In summary, these 4 places are the cheaper & more affordable alternatives to get custom portrait paintings when compared to PaintYourLife.

If you have any questions or if you are looking to commission an artist, you can contact our friendly team.