A Talk with Minted Artist Jorey Hurley

By Jen Casebeer, Community Editor

Last week, we were very lucky to have Minted artist, illustrator, and author Jorey Hurley visit us here at Minted HQ in San Francisco. Jorey sat down with Mariam, our CEO and Founder, for a Fireside Chat to talk about Jorey’s work, her inspiration, her Minted experience, and her new book, Nest, with Simon & Schuster.

Jorey joined the Minted Community in 2012 after reading about Minted on the blog sfgirlbybay and has since contributed so much to our art collection. So when she let us know that she was publishing her first book, we invited her to come speak to the whole Minted Office about it. Nest was inspired by the birds in the plum tree outside Jorey’s kitchen window here in San Francisco. The beautiful picture book follows a baby robin’s first year from egg to adulthood. Take a peek inside Nest in this video:

Here are some highlights from the chat:

Tell us about your artistic process. Where does an idea come from, both for the Nest and other projects?

My process is very rooted in everyday life. I find inspiration in the most mundane details. Constantly throughout the day I take phone photos of everything and keep a log… things like light bulbs and exit signs. So I always have a stash of ideas ready to go. Every night I have a sacrosanct time that the kids are down, my husband isn’t home yet, and that’s my hour - blinders on, I just do it and put up work. 

Do you ever get stuck creatively? And what do you do to unblock yourself?

I just give it space until the next day… I feel pretty comfortable to just close the computer and I know that I’ll come back to it. I know that 24 hours of marination will change things. It will… when your brain switches and totally relaxes and starts going down a different track, then the other part kind of loosens up.

What inspirations factor into your process?

I look to a lot of photography. I’m a big National Geographic reader and I look to a lot of photo journalism for inspiration. And a lot of vintage and ethnic textiles.  

What tools do you use?

I have a super old Wacom tablet and I covet the new Wacom tablet that has the monitor in it… [my tablet] is great, it has the pressure sensitivity which gives a hand-drawn, handmade feel to the work, even if it is all done digitally. I find you can achieve that, so I’m a big fan.

What’s your favorite part of working with us?

I like that Minted brings that merchandising eye to [my work]. I definitely have subjects that I’ll draw repeatedly and end up making a set, but I don’t follow through had merchandise it that way on my own. That is it self a job and a project and so I let someone else do that! You guys have great marketing, you already have a set pool of customers and for someone like me, that’s exactly who you want to reach. You’ve got your Minted people and that’s just invaluable.

How have you handled work/life balance as a mom with a four-year-old and a six-year-old?

You are never not doing anything. If it can be done with a kid present, it must be done with a kid present. So don’t do the dishes when you have childcare. Just don’t do them! 

Anything you’re obsessed with right now? Anything we should check out?

Well I can recommend kids books! There’s a fabulous kid’s book called Journey by Aaron Becker and it is gorgeous. Other books and illustrators that I admire: Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson, Steve Jenkins’ animal illustrations. Beatrix Potter is my idol.

Thank you so much for visiting, Jorey, and best of luck with Nest!

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