Meet a Minted Artist: Jessie Steury

Scroll through Jessie Steury’s Minted Artist Store, and you can see that she is a prolific illustrator. Since joining Minted in 2011, she’s built a strong reputation for her signature style of perky, colorful illustrations of animals, maps, trucks, and more. Hers is the kind of art that transforms a child’s room into a gallery of rainbow-colored wonders. Jessie’s illustration style is a mix of modern and vintage influences, a direct reflection of the things she loves in real life. “I love clean modern spaces, but I also like to spend my spare time searching thrift stores for silly old knick-knacks,” she says.

Funny thing is that Jessie never planned a career in illustration. “I’ve always loved drawing, but never thought I could actually do it for a living,” says the Indiana artist and mom of three. “This is where I owe another big thanks to Minted. Entering all these design challenges have really helped me grow and find my own style.”

In this interview, Jessie talks about her original career plan, life as a “farmer’s wife,” and how she developed her successful path on Minted.

Animal World Map” by Jessie Steury

Minted: Did you study art or design formally in school?
Jessie Steury: I did! I attended the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago, with a focus on graphic design. It was such a great experience — both the formal education and what I learned while living in the city.

Animals of the World” fabric by Jessie Steury

Illustration comprises a lot of your work now. What were your “original” career plans?
Graphic design was the original plan. It seemed like a more realistic career choice — something I could do and get a job anywhere, even in an Indiana small town. I worked for a marketing company in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on projects like RV brochures and outdoor furniture catalogs. It wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t a good fit for me. Looking back, I realize that before I left for college, I had no idea that the Internet would allow me to work with companies all over the country.

Can you share the schedule of a typical day in the life now, as a Minted artist?
I’m happy to say there is no “typical” day, although, they are all probably pretty similar. It’s a mix of normal mom duties and designing on my computer. I really do enjoy the flexibility of working for myself. I don’t force myself to sit at a desk for a certain amount of time every day, and I probably never will. If I sit down to work and I’m not feeling it, I do something else — just until that creativity comes back. Usually a few minutes of housework, and I’ll quickly feel like getting back to designing.

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Save the Date Challenges: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the Special Prizes for our Lucky in Love Save the Date Challenge and our We Belong Together Photo + Letterpress Save the Date Challenge. Your beautiful designs are sure to inspire soon-to-weds for a day filled with matrimonial bliss. Congratulations to all the winners!

We Belong Together Photo + Letterpress Save the Date Challenge

For the best design featuring chunky text or design elements that show off letterpress best
DESPINA by Melanie Kosuge

Runners-up: Candy Striped by Shirley Lin Schneider, Impressed by AK Graphicsaccentuated by Kimberly Chow,


For the most unique, original take on a Letterpress + Photo Save the Date that we’ve ever seen
Written by Annie Montgomery

Runner-up: sparrows in flight by Morgan Kendall


For a design that incorporates edgy design elements, bold colors, or other designs that are not typically seen in letterpress
Love Lines by Belia Simm

Runner-up: Modernist by Amber Barkley


For the design that best gives the impression of a full bleed photo (even though it’s not)
Refined by Sarah Brown


For the design that best lays the groundwork for a sophisticated, classic wedding
sacher by chocomocacino

Runner-up: Timelesss by Sarah Brown


For the best design that puts the couples’ names or other customizable text on a curvilinear path
Sea you there by Gwen Bedat

Runner-up: Modern Romance by Nicole Barreto


Lucky in Love Save the Date Challenge

For the most daring, innovative take on a Save the Date that we’ve ever seen
wash of color by Karidy Walker

Runners-up: modern angles by Rebecca DurflingerCrossed Brushstrokes by Everett Paper Goods


For the best humorous or clever design that just makes you smile
In Tandem by Laura Moyer

Runners-up: Chemistry Love by Coco and Ellie Design


For the best design featuring non-floral, yet organic elements of the earth
Coastal Lines by Grace Kreinbrink

Runners-up: Mod Palm by Fig and CottonMarbled by Pine and Lark


For the most inventive and unique copy that shows an alternative way to say “Save the Date”
Definitely by Jennifer Lew

Runners-up: Cake (and a Wedding) by Up Up CreativeToss the Dice by Little Words DesignForever We Do by Ana SharpeSimply Best by Jessica Williams


For the best gender-neutral design that will appeal to both men and women
Stacked Banner by Amy Kross

Runners-up: Watercolor Edged Border by BaumbirdyModern Rusticism by Jessica OgdenSimply bliss by Seven Swans


For the best design featuring multiple photos
maybe im amazed by Bella Carta Boutique

Runners-up: Sleek & Chic by jomoloLove Square by Michelle Taylor


For the best Save the Date that doubles as a holiday card
Winter Day by Michelle Taylor

Runner-up: merry and almost married by Sara Hicks Malone


For the foil design that best lays the groundwork for a sophisticated, classic wedding
Have and Hold by Kimberly FitzSimons

Runners-up: Winter Foil by Susan Brown, Simply Striking by Stacey Meacham


For the Save the Date design which uses bold typography
Numerals by Up Up Creative

Runners-up: the big classic by Sara Hicks Malone, Bold & Gold by Meg Chalmers


For the design that best showcases one of Minted’s unique die-cut shapes in an original way
poised by Sara Hicks Malone


For the best design that puts the couples’ names or other customizable text on a curvilinear path
Wildflower by Lehan Veenker

Runner-up: Fall Foliage by Lorent and Leif


For the best design from a first-time winner
Autumn Gold by Olivia Faye Design

Runner-up: Modern Landscape by seulghi


Collection Awards
The following 20 designs will each receive a guaranteed full wedding invitation suite collection, including a matching Wedding Invitation, Day Of pieces (wedding program, menu, place card, table number, favor tag (for non-foil), and favor sticker (for non-foil)).

Watercolor Edged Border by Baumbirdydistressed tile by Carolyn NicksOrnate by Nazia HyderElegant Monogram by Simona Cavallaro

Wildflower Floral by Katharine Watson, This Love by Eric CleggGemstones by Lori Wemplefloral vignette by Kristen Smith

wash of color by Karidy WalkerGilded Crest by Kelly Schmidt, Mod Palm by Fig and CottonCoastal Lines by Grace Kreinbrink

Marble Matrimony by AK GraphicsSweet Leaves by Ana de SousaGeo Chic by Hooray CreativeTropical Hibiscus by Smudge Design

Orange Blossoms by Susan MoyalParadise by GeekInk Designboho glam by Carolyn NicksOmbre by roxy

 

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For Minted, customer service is an Oscar-worthy performance

“Sir, I’m literally sitting on a bench with a gun on my lap. I’m calling you from a military phone in Iraq — regarding envelopes.”

That’s a slice of what an American soldier, a Minted customer, described to Donald Antoine, Minted’s customer service supervisor, in 2014. The calm-voiced soldier called Minted on behalf of his fiancée, who had ordered save the date cards for their forthcoming wedding ceremony back home in the States. They needed their return address corrected on their envelopes — and they needed it yesterday.

Enter Donald to the rescue. “Rest assured we’ll do everything we can,” Donald said to the soon-to-be husband. Donald corrected the address, reprocessed the order, and shipped the envelopes to the bride-to-be the same day. Three months later, Donald received an email from the Mrs., thanking Minted for its service.

Donald Antoine heads up Minted’s customer service team. Minted Customer Service not only benefits customers, but also our community of independent artists who produce the products you see on Minted. The Customer Service team helps “close the deal” with customers and retain them as loyal shoppers. By providing this service, we free up time for our community of artists to focus on their creative work and spend less time on administrative work.

This is just one of the stories Donald shared when we asked him to recall some of the most memorable customers he’s met on the job. Donald and his team of associates serve customers around the world, many of whom are celebrating life’s most memorable moments — weddings, births, graduations, birthdays, and anniversaries. “It’s amazing the people you come across,” Donald says, gleefully.

Donald retells a number of stories from the front lines of customer service with vigor, but one is particularly close to his heart. In 2014, Donald “hit it off right away” with a customer who was also a nearly-wed — this time, a Golden Girl who needed help with the process of ordering her wedding invitations online. She loved the elegance of many of Minted’s designs and knew she wanted crisp black text — but was searching for something a little more simplistic. Like a trio in harmony, Donald, the customer, and her fiancée talked on the phone for nearly four hours, throughout the course of a day. Donald helped to personalize the couple’s invitation design and message, and the more they talked, the more they got to know each other. Donald got choked up when he learned the customer’s first name — which is the same as his sister’s middle name. “My sister passed away in 2012, and we were very close. Then when we realized the couple’s wedding date was the same day as my sister’s passing, they started crying,” Donald says. “We established a wonderful relationship, and they invited me to their wedding.” Although he wasn’t able to attend, he’ll never forget the experience.

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Wedding Inspiration: Pantone Color of the Year Greenery

The color experts at Pantone recently announced their “it” color for 2017: a bright, vibrant hue called “Greenery.” They describe the color as “a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore, and renew.” From bridal bouquets and wedding cakes to invitations (natch!), we’re loving how “Greenery” effortlessly translates into a lush, nature-inspired celebration. Here are a few of our favorite ways to incorporate the color into your nuptials.

Pantone Color of the Year - Wedding Ideas

1. Bridal Bouquet: Opt for a full, textured arrangement with simple white blooms and an emphasis on fresh greenery like eucalyptus leaves and trailing ferns.

2. Ceremony Backdrop: DIY your own ceremony or photo booth backdrop by attaching small bundles of fresh greenery to twine with clothespins.

3. Reception Centerpiece: A grouping of potted ferns in different containers makes for an elegant-yet-unexpected tablescape.

4. Wedding Cake: Decorate a simple fondant-covered confection with a handful of sculptural ferns.

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Recipe: Citrus Bars

At the start of the new year, I always crave citrus flavors. I think it’s due in part to all the heavy holiday foods and flavors: spices, chocolate, gingerbread, pumpkin. People always want to start eating better, cleaner food in January, and if I’m going to have dessert, I want treats that taste fresh and vibrant.

Luckily, winter is prime citrus season and one of my favorite zingy desserts is lemon bars. They’re so tart and buttery, and they look so beautiful, with their golden lemon curd and a dusting of snowy powdered sugar. You can actually make them using any citrus fruit and they taste equally amazing. Each variety brings a unique zing and right now, we have a huge basket of limes from our lime tree. So I pulled out my favorite lemon bar recipe, swapped out the lemons for limes, and no one can get enough of them! They are just a little more mouth-puckering than lemon bars, with that wonderful, tropical lime flavor. Make a batch with your favorite citrus fruit and bring a little winter sunshine to your tastebuds!

These tart and tasty lime bars feature creamy lime curd atop buttery shortbread.

Click through for ingredients and instructions…

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Printable: New Year’s Resolutions

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

Are you throwing an intimate gathering or a big soirée this New Year’s Eve? We designed a colorful New Year’s Resolutions printable for you to download and print for your party, no matter how many guests you have coming over. This printable is designed to be used by both adults and kids with questions like “I Want To Learn,” “I Want To Go,” and “I Want To Be.”

You can set up a table next to the cocktails with enough printables for each guest. Throw some colorful confetti and noisemakers, along with pens, so your guests can starts dreaming up where they want to go and what they want to learn for the new year. You can also use these at each place setting if you’re hosting a dinner party on New Year’s Eve. Throw some gold confetti on the table and scatter some pens to invite your guests to participate in creating their resolutions.

Supplies:
• White card stock
• Pens

Steps:
1. Download our free New Year’s Resolutions Printable and print on white card stock.
2. Distribute to guests at your New Year’s party!

Photos: Melissa Fenlon


More Holiday Card Display Ideas:
• DIY Holiday Card Display: Paint-Stirrer Mobile
• DIY Holiday Card Display: Fabric-Covered Cork Board
• DIY Holiday Card Display: Christmas Tree Pinboard

More from Minted:
• New Year Photo Cards
• Holiday Photo Cards
• Non-Photo Holiday Cards

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DIY: Recycled Holiday-Card Garland

Written by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

New Year’s Eve has never been a massive affair for us—usually we end up at home watching movies or playing board games with friends and family, snacking on chocolate fondue. We don’t put away Christmas decorations until New Year’s Day, so it still feels a bit like Christmas. When I’m tidying up I never quite know what to do with holiday cards, so this year I thought it would be neat to turn them into a garland for New Year’s Eve. I think I’ll even keep it up the rest of January to keep the mood festive for a few weeks longer. Happy New Year!

DIY Recycled Holiday Card Garland | Julep DIY Recycled Holiday Card Garland | Julep

Click through for step-by-step instructions …

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DIY Holiday Card Display: Magnetic Picture Rails

Written by Melanie Blodgett of  You Are My Fave

Since the Christmas cards and holiday cards keep arriving, display them at home on these easy-to-make magnetic picture rails. Then, once the holidays are over, swap out the cards for some favorite family photos and keep using the display year-round.

DIY Magnetic Holiday Card Display DIY Magnetic Holiday Card Display

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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2016 Holiday Cocktail Party Playlist

While you’re opening gifts, frosting cookies, and mixing eggnog, cue up some holiday cheer with our annual Yuletide playlist. This year’s compilation includes a nice mix of genres to encourage good cheer, mingling, and merriment. The playlist features songs from one of my favorite Seattle bands, Deep Sea Diver, as well as classics from Run-DMC. Enjoy!

Listen to my 2016 Holiday Playlist right here (total listening time: 1hr 5min).

Photo: Cover image via Anthropologie

 

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Printable: Coloring Wrapping Paper

Written by Kersey Campbell of  And We Play

To me, the holidays are just so much more magical with kids involved. I thought it would be fun if the kiddos had their own wrapping paper to wrap their gifts in (with mom’s help of course). This printable wrapping paper is the perfect thing to make your child feel special and also keep their hands busy for a while. Basically a Christmas miracle!


More after the jump…

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