Internet Fun: Cartoonized.net
Have you ever wanted a cartoon version of yourself? It’s not very useful, but it’s fun to have and looks really professional on your Facebook and Twitter avatars. (I’m also going to use mine for PoMoCast album art.)
I’ve tried for a long time to make one myself, but I never had one turn out very well. However, after quite a bit of scrounging about on Google, I found the site cartoonized.net. The idea is this: you send them a picture, they tell you if it’s big enough, charge you, and get to work. In 3-5 business days, you’ll get a PDF proof copy, which you can then request changes to until you’re satisfied. Once you like it, you tell them and they send you a final copy of the image (this is mine), along with a smaller version perfectly cropped to be a Facebook or Twitter avatar.
My experience, though close to this, was not exactly perfect. The first time I sent them a photo, I go it off of Facebook. About 12 hours later, I got an email from Brian at Cartoonized, who said that my image was too small. After some scrounging around, I found a copy of something that looked like this, when Brian accepted promptly.
When I got the billing statement, it was a little strange. Instead of asking me to go through a typical checkout system like most retailers online, I was told to send a $15.00 payment to the email address email@example.com through PayPal. This concerned me a little, as an upfront payment like this could mean I never get my image. When I contacted, Brian, though, he was very helpful and told me he only needed a down payment, so I sent $8.00 then and another $8.00 ($7 plus a $1 tip for being so helpful) when we were done. When I got my proof (3 days later), It was exactly as I wanted it, so he sent me the final copies right away.
Based on my interactions with the company, I’m relatively certain when I posit a couple of things. Since all my interactions were with Brian, and it uses PayPal’s personal payment system instead of a more complex checkout system, I would assume that this operation is pretty small-time. Brian is probably the only employee. Further, since all my interactions with him were late at night, I would assume that either he does this in addition to his day job or that he’s somewhere in Asia or Eastern Europe. I can’t see why either of these things (except for the quirky PayPal payment) should bother you, but if they do, I would avoid this company. Otherwise, I give Cartoonized.net a thumbs-up.