Japanese web service lets you request a portrait from professional illustrators



Drawing apps like Draw Something and French Girls are still wildly popular all around the world. I recently came across a similar service here in Japan called Draw Me, and if you like the aforementioned apps, you’ll want to try this one too.

Draw Me was launched back in April of this year as a sort of crowdsourcing platform where users can get professional illustrators to draw their portraits. There are over 160 professional illustrators registered on the site, some from Japan and even some from overseas. To date, there are over nine million people who have used the platform to create portraits. Examples can be viewed in the gallery over on the Draw Me website.

By looking at the profile pages of these professionals, users can choose who they want to draw their portraits, and then upload their photo to place an order. It usually takes about a week to complete a portrait. A one-person portrait of Twitter icon size is 980 yen, for two people it’s 1,480 yen, and for more people or for post card size, the price is set at 3,980 yen (or about $41). There is also a neat feature where you can ask anybody to draw your portrait for free, although there is no guarantee of when the picture will be submitted.

The paying method is pretty convenient too, allowing users to pay at the nearest convenient stores, or by mobile carrier billing (only available on NTT Docomo). Users can also pay with PayPal, and that is likely a big reason why 20% of their orders come from outside Japan. This is interesting, considering that the website is currently available only in Japanese. So far international orders have been made from countries such as the United States, England, Canada, Australia, and Asian countries like Taiwan or Singapore.