Handpainted with love
Handmade art for good
Pixelist is now a collective of about 30 artists based in Xiamen (Shia-Men): a city on China’s southeastern coast. Most artists paint in home studios and specialize in one particular genre. They earn about US$8,000 per year, so the $2,000 we’ve provided each of them on average is a very significant sum. However, we plan to do much more. We want to double their total income over the next two years.
We also work with charities to help them raise money and promote our aritsts and company. We’ve donated paintings to two charity auctions and have three more in the works. If you’re interested in paintings for charity, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviving the lost art of
There is a growing distaste for all the over-processed prints and cookie-cutter crafts that surround us these days. So little is unique or handmade anymore. We seek to change that by leveraging technology to bring back commissioned art.
Engaging minds and creating jobs. The developing world is filled with talented artists and craftsmen who struggle to make ends meet. At Pixelist we seek to help a small group of gifted – but relatively poor – artists reach a new rich-world audience.
Who we are
Pixelist co-founders are Will Freeman and Conor Colwell. Will spent the last decade in China as an journalist and macro economic analyst. Conor spent over 5 years in Hong Kong, also as an economic analyst. Both Will and Conor have a long history of making custom art, clothes, furniture and the like with Chinese artists. We are thrilled to make our hobby our business. Our time is split between Hong Kong, Xiamen, San Francisco, and Austin. Our head artist John Liu and his team coordinate artist assignments and painting touch ups from Xiamen.
Get to know your artist
All Pixelist paintings come with the commission date and artist’s name written on the inside stretch bar. We’ve added a few artist bios below and more are on the way. If your artist isn’t listed yet, check back with us in a few months.
Lin YouMin: Portrait
As a four year-old in a small town in Fujian province, YouMin began drawing after watching with amazement as his older brother sketched a realistic Arabian horse. From that day forward, YouMin endeavored to match his older brother’s talent. He’d often climb mountains with his brushes and canvas to find the most scenic views to paint. While his brother’s focus shifted from art to grades, YouMin became so enamored with art that he neglected his studies to draw instead – an offense met with corporal punishment in most Chinese households in the 1980s. As a teenager, he moved to Quanzhou, a city of about one million just north of Xiamen, to study with a renowned painting master. He later attended the Quanzhou university of Photography and Art. Today, YouMin is an accomplished human portrait specialist, who works on CAD and 3D computer modeling in his spare time. He lives in Xiamen, with his wife and daughter. YouMin spends his days painting in his home studio and taking care of his daughter, who is not allowed in the studio until all her homework is finished.
Jiang Ming: Lanscape
Jiang Ming is a veteran of Xiamen’s commercial art scene. He moved to the city in the early 90s after attending and attended San Ming College of Modern Art. That may seem recent, but there was not much of an export market for art (or anything else for that matter) in China until the mid-90s; and Xiamen has only been at the center of this trend for the last 10 years or so with young artists from all over the country migrating here to find work. Jiang regularly leads trips to the countryside to paint in nature with his old college classmates. And he loves to include artists who are new to Xiamen and show them around what’s left of Fujian’s lush countryside. He says he’s happiest painting outdoors among his fellows. Jiang still lives in Xiamen, with his wife, son, and elderly father.
Song Jun: Animal
Song Jun’s fascination with animals began as a child growing up near China’s famous Wuyi moutains – a Unesco World Heritage site and one of China’s richest natural habitats. Like so many children, he loved to watch animals and began to sketch them at a very young age. Song excelled as a young artist and had decided he’d paint for a living by the time he reached high school. But he recalls his first few years at university as a time of extreme frustration and depression when his technical progress slowed and his professors began to criticize his work. His confidence shot, Song planned to leave school and find work at a factory. He would have put down his brushes forever, he says, if not for the encouragement of Yanru, a fellow student he met at a party. Yanru found great beauty in his paintings and counseled him to be patient with his development. Now Song and Yanru are married with a 5 year old daughter and Song happily supports his family with his art.
People love it
“When I opened the package my jaw dropped to the ground. IT'S SO AWESOME! Honestly the details and quality of this painting are breathtaking. I truly love it!”
Robert Jahns: Art Director & Digital Artist with over 400,000 instagram followers (@nois7)
"I was impressed by the quality of the paintings. They make such a unique gift at a very reasonable price. And it's so much more special to know they are hand painted."
Katherine Don, Founder, CenterPiece Art Advisory
“I don't think I've ever heard the words ‘you're so thoughtful’ quite so many times in such a short time. Come to think of it I don't think I've ever heard those words”
Ben White, “The Gift Master”
"With both these paintings you've brought tears to my eyes. They're absolutely magnificent!"
Jesper Hessius, Loving son