Pixelist Instagram Contest Winner- Finished Painting

Painting of Contest Winner Janna Gibson’s Instagram

We just got a look at the final painting from our Instagram contest with Pixelist and it looks amazing. HolgaDirect had a chance to chat with Janna about her image and how she ended up taking such an amazing pic with her iPhone.

About the photo:

This photo was taken in Ulsan, South Korea in January, 2012. The portrait is of a friend HeeJinnie and was snapped as we were walking from my apartment down the road to a nearby bus stop. Growing up landlocked in the southeastearn part of America, I’d never been so bone chillingly cold as I’ve been in the winters of South Korea. When this photo was taken, my first year in Korea, I lived just 1 kilometer from the sea, which led to some terrific wind on days that were as cold as -18 C ( – 4 F). I remember asking to take her photo as I laughed at the ridiculousness of the weather and the clothes we were forced to be bundled in.  As a Korean, the weather was nothing to Heejinnie as she turned at my iPhone with that model-like pose that so many young Korean women seem to innately know how to give. Afterwards, we met up with 2 out of town visitors and went to Deawangam Park by the sea, where it seemed exponentially more cold.  I literally couldn’t believe it.

I will never forget my first winter in South Korea and I’ll never forget the day I took this photo.Daewangam: https://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=264310

I love displaying art in my home — it’s what makes it feel like my home, especially living abroad.  If I have my art with me, I’m comfortable. When I visit the States, I go through my boxes of art and photography to decide what I can bring back.


Having art reflect meaning is crucial and, further, in growing from my 20s into my 30s, I like frames and canvas over posters. To make one of my photos into an oil painting, not only appeals to my current interior decorating style, but gives the personal touch that I need in my home.


To others, it may just be a striking photography, but as the photographer, the details of the story that lives with it will forever repeat each time I pass by.  I’ll think of the two other friends we met after and what they mean to me then and still today. I’ll think of the park we visited.  I’ll think of the coffee we clutched, the song that was made up to remember my phone number, and all of the laughter.  I’ll think of that city and year of my life and I’ll smile.


Taking this memory with me as an oil painting wherever I live and displaying it in my home is more special to me than scrolling through thousands of photos on my Instagram will ever be. I can’t thank you enough, Pixelist!


Janna in Seoul (for one more year!)


Thanks Janna and Pixelist!



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One Response to “Pixelist Instagram Contest Winner- Finished Painting”

  1. Gabi_Leigh December 22, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    I love being able to follow and keep up with awesome artists, no matter the choice of craft. And the journey and hard work it takes to become one of those highly recognized and inspirational people sure is a committed trek. I am a photographer and my good friend is… an amazing artist. Along with taking notice of acclaimed artists, I try to spend time recognizing talented, upcoming individuals in their line of work as well. Check out @TwoFailures on instagram

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