Meet a Minted Artist: Lea Delaveris

Minted artist Lea Delaveris spent a decade working tough hours in the newspaper business and loved just about every minute of it — tight deadlines and all. Now that she’s a mom of two boys and the news industry has changed substantially, she’s designed a career for herself as an independent stationery designer. “Most of my day is spent in ‘mom mode,” the Columbus, Ohio, artist says of her freelance lifestyle. “The line is quite blurry between work and play for me. I honestly don’t think I can quantify the hours I work, but I know I spend quite a bit of time at my computer. Lea says she enjoys being able to work from home and be with her kiddos. “I just wish I were better at resisting the lure of my desk, though.”

In the past six years, Lea has made a name for herself on Minted as a designer who creates clean, simple, type-drive designs. “I really like when I can incorporate a bit of humor or playfulness, too.” In this interview, the Ohio artist talks about her love of visual communication, being “Mintie spotted” by a teenage boy, and what she hopes 2017 has in store for her.

Did you study art or design formally in school?
Yes, I majored in publication design and informational graphics at Ohio University. It was sort of a journalism and graphic design hybrid that felt like it was created just for me. In high school, I was really involved in the journalism department, but I didn’t love the writing part — layout and design was my area. So when I was looking at colleges and majors and found OU’s School of Visual Communication, I knew that’s where I had to be. It was exactly what I wanted to be doing.

Give Glory” by Lea Delaveris

Before life as a wife, mom, and stationery designer, you spent 10 years working in newspaper design. Why and how did you make the transition into stationery design?
I interned at a few newspapers in college and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I liked the fast pace, quick turnaround, and the behind-the-scenes aspect of it. I admired the work of The Columbus Dispatch while I was at Ohio University and jumped at a job opportunity there just a few months out of school. I got to work with such an amazingly talented staff of artists, designers, writers, photojournalists, and editors. I have such an appreciation for the way words and images work together — and the importance of good journalism in general.

But I got in as the news industry was really beginning to change dramatically, so I had a few years of getting to do a lot of really fun creative stuff (my absolute favorite work was for an irreverent humor page), but as more and more cutbacks happened, the more scarce the fun stuff became. Between that and the hours — which were not very conducive to having a family; typically working 4 p.m. to midnight and having to be on duty some holidays and weekends — I opted to stay home when my oldest was born and start a freelance design business. I stayed on staff a few more years as a weekend fill-in, but it was too hard after that late night Sunday sports design shift, from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., to snap back into mom mode bright and early Monday morning. I do miss it sometimes — especially the people I worked with — but the newspaper world is just so different now even from when I left for good three years ago.

Colorful New Year Wishes” by Lea Delaveris

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2016 Minted Holiday Challenge Winner Milestones

We’re thrilled to celebrate Minted artists who have reached tremendous milestones in this year’s Holiday Challenges. Reaching a Challenge-win milestone on Minted takes time, hard work, and perseverance. We’re excited to recognize all of the artists who reached their 50th, 100th, and 200th win milestones across all of our 2016 Holiday Challenges: Christmas Photo Card, Holiday Photo Card, Non Photo and Corporate Holiday Card, New Year Photo Card, Holiday Party Invitation, Letterpress Holiday Photo Card, and Holiday Gifting.

Congratulations for going above and beyond — we’re so honored to have such talented artists in our community!

200th Win Milestone

Three artists reached their 200th win milestones in this year’s holiday Challenges. Congrats to Lehan Veenker, Eric Beckett of GeekInk Design, and Erica Krystek.

Lehan Veenker

Lehan joined Minted in 2010. She has 202 wins, made 2,294 comments, and casted 19,158 votes during her time with Minted.

Merrily Frosted” by Lehan Veenker

“I have always been fond of art and design and stumbled upon Minted in 2008 when it was just starting. I decided to enter a couple of challenges and didn’t have any winning designs. In my mind, I completely failed to enter anything close to the caliber of designs already present at Minted. I was scared of failing again and missing this amazing opportunity to work at home with our then-future-now-present children, so I took a break to learn. I taught myself about Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, textures, typography—anything design-related that I could get my hands on. This self-teaching hiatus lasted about two years. In September 2010, I decided to give Minted another shot and actually had some winning designs in the wedding challenge that year.”

Read more about Lehan Veenker in this blog post: Has Anything Ever Scared You So Much It Inspired You?

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Spaces & Places Art Challenge: Guest Judge’s Pick

We’re thrilled to announce the Guest Judge’s pick for our Spaces & Places Art Challenge!

Back in June 2016, we asked artist and art instructor Nathan Bond to be our Guest Judge for this Minted Challenge. A graduate of The Rhode Island School of Design, Nathan accepted a teaching post at Parsons School of Design in 2002, where he helps guide students in classes from Freshman Drawing to Sophomore and Junior level painting as well as Illustration Concepts and Senior Thesis. As a painter, Nathan’s work has been exhibited internationally from London to Japan to Spain, and all over the United States from New York City to Washington, D.C., to Colorado, and is included in several public and private collections.

Nathan described the selection process as “a lovely and yet frustrating task.” He further explains that “it was a pleasure to experience so many spectacular places as seen through the eyes of so many artists. Yet it was so heartbreaking to also have to view them through the critical lens of a judge and slowly narrow the selection to a small group that spoke out just a little more than the others. I sat looking at this selected group of images on my screen for a long time. Wishing that I could have seen the real works in front of me. I had to be very critical of each work, weighing specific attributes like their compositional arrangement, color balance, emotional voice and visual depth.”

After long deliberation, Nathan selected “Wild Blue Yonder” by Korry Brown as his Guest Judge Pick. Coincidentally, “Wild Blue Yonder” was also voted first place by consumers and artists. Additionally, this was Korry’s first win in a Minted Challenge. There’s so many things to congratulate you on, Korry!

Nathan said, “Like so many of the works it had a strong voice and sense of place. It didn’t, however, rely just on the strength of the natural beauty of the location. It also had — along with beautiful color harmonies, good visual movement, and composition– a psychologically engaging element. The presence of the viewfinder in the photograph places the viewer into the image itself. It invites us to not only enjoy the vista we see now but to also imagine what lays hidden from view by the distance. The more I looked the more I wanted to know what did lie where the mountains meet the water just out of my sight. I always appreciate art that pulls the viewer further in and asks us to bring something from ourselves along. “Wild Blue Yonder” does just that.”

Congratulations, Korry! We can’t wait to see what you submit next.

Published November 2, 2016

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Janine Vangool, Bonnie Tsang, Haskell Harris, and Caitlin Flemming’s Holiday Card Picks

We’re more than excited to announce our Guest Judges’ picks from three 2016 Holiday Challenges: the Cheers to a New Year! Photo Card Challenge, the Hot Off the Press Letterpress Holiday Photo Card Challenge, and the No Business Like Snow Business Challenge. Read more about Minted Guest Judges here.

Guest Judge Pick: Cheers to a New Year! Photo Card Challenge

Janine Vangool is the Guest Judge of Minted’s 2016 Cheers to a New Year! Photo Card Challenge. Janine is the publisher, editor, and designer of UPPERCASE, a quarterly print magazine for the creative and curious. UPPERCASE publishes content inspired by design, typography, illustration, and craft. Her magazine and books celebrate the process of making, the commitment to craft and the art of living creatively. Janine got her start working as a freelance graphic designer in for arts and culture clients and has also taught typography and publication design at the college level. She has been a shop owner and bookseller, gallery curator, sold a line of greeting cards wholesale, made 10,000 books by hand (with lots of help!) and has sewn her own products for retail. She has a particular fondness for typewriters, a passion that has inspired a book about their graphic history. Her debut fabric collection is launching this June with Windham Fabrics. She is often asked, “Do you ever sleep?” To which she replies, “Yes! By the end of the day I’m exhausted!” She lives in Calgary, Canada, with her boardgame-designing husband and curious son.

Staggered” by Sara Hicks Malone (launching to Minted.com soon!)

Janine Vangool selected “Staggered” by Sara Hicks Malone, saying that she likes the playful yet simple typography. “The card looks fresh and inviting, and the multiple panes for photos makes it a great choice for a family card,” Janine says.

Sara Hicks Malone is an artist from Nashville, Tennessee, who joined the Minted artist community in 2011 and has won 165 awards in Minted Challenges.


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Meet a Minted Artist: Leah Bisch

Leah Bisch certainly is a talented graphic designer – especially for someone who majored in physical geography and originally intended to be a meteorologist. As she tells the story, Leah was always dropping in and out of art classes in elementary and high school, “but it never occurred to me that I could make a career out of it.”

Here, the Los Angeles Minted artist talks more about life as a part-time happy-go-lucky designer and part-time crazed-toddler-mommy.

Where did you go to school?
While I loved art and illustration, I ended up earning my BA from UC Santa Barbara in physical geography. I know—what? My studies focused on the planet and its processes, like weather and natural disasters. I’ve always had a strange fascination with weather—I’m actually irrationally terrified of thunderstorms, so I guess it’s a good thing I live in sunny Southern California. When I was a child, my dad owned a roofing company and he was always watching the weather channel to keep an eye out for rain in the forecast. I remember being interested in watching how weather patterns form and it seemed like a cool career.

So how did you go from geography student to artist?
After college, I eventually found myself working in marketing for a winery in Malibu. We didn’t have the budget to hire designers to create promotional items, so it was on my shoulders to create email blasts, event invitations, and flyers for the company. I found that I got swept up in that kind of work—in a good way. However, I soon felt limited in my design capabilities and wanted to get a formal education to enhance my skills. I enrolled in evening design classes at Otis College of Art and Design. The more classes I took, the more I wanted to learn, and I eventually left my job and enrolled in classes full time at Santa Monica College (SMC). The program at SMC gave me a solid foundation in the fundamentals of design like typography, layout and color theory. I also committed myself to reading every design book I could get my hands on.

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2016 Holiday and Christmas Photo Card: Special Prizes

Announcing the Special Prize winners of our Oh Come, All Ye Faithful Religious Christmas Photo Card Quickfire Challenge (non-foil and foil) and Making Spirits Bright Holiday Photo Card Challenge (non-foil and foil)! We counted down the top-voted winners and Editors’ Picks for these Challenges back in September, and we’re thrilled to share the Special Prizes winners with you now.

Oh Come, All Ye Faithful Religious Christmas Photo Card Quickfire Challenge

Completely Classic Award

For the most unique, traditional design inspired by a religious sentiment or hymn
Starry” by Jessica Williams


Religious Scripture Award

For the best design inspired by religious scripture
Glory Bookplate” by Lorent and Leif


Multi Photo Award

For the best religious design that showcases multiple photos
His Blessings” by Erica Krystek


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Minted Holiday Playbook 2016

For the 2016 Holiday season, we recommend that Minted Artists aim to drive traffic to product description pages (PDPs; see an example of a PDP here). We also welcome you to join Minted’s Affiliate program, which gives Minted Artists the opportunity to earn supplemental revenue while promoting their Minted products. Minted Affiliates use trackable URLs to promote Minted products to their own social networks and followings. As a Minted Affiliate, you are eligible to earn a 10% commission on sales resulting from traffic that you drive to Minted. As a Minted Artist, the 10% affiliate commission is in addition to your artist sales commission of 6%.

Here’s a roundup of articles to help you with your holiday marketing.

SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING, & BRAND ADVICE

Minted’s 7 Tips for Creating a Unique Artist Brand

Minted Affiliate Marketing 101

What are the Best Social Media Platforms For You?

6 Tips for Creating Engaging Social Media Content

9 Ways to Build a Social Media Following

How to Build Your Creative Brand on Instagram

MINTED ARTIST STORE ADVICE

10 Tips for Taking Great Photos for Your Artist Store

The Essential Checklist for Minted Artist Stores

Top 10 Tips for Curating Your Minted Artist Store

How to Merchandise Your Minted Artist Store for the Holidays


Published October 18, 2016

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Minted Affiliate Marketing 101

Minted’s Affiliate program gives Minted Artists the opportunity to earn supplemental revenue while promoting their Minted products. Minted Affiliates use trackable URLs to promote Minted products to their own social networks and followings. As a Minted Affiliate, you are eligible to earn a 10% referral commission each time you refer a customer who makes a purchase. The affiliate fee is paid in addition to any artist commissions that you receive for sales of your products. Affiliate fees are an advertising expense and are only paid when an affiliate refers a paying customer. Artist commissions are paid on every purchase, regardless of where the customer comes from.

The holiday season can be a particularly fruitful time to experiment with affiliate marketing; like many retailers, November and December are very important sales months at Minted. Regarding how much time the program involves, keep in mind that the bulk of the work will likely involve content generation (which we’ll touch on in a minute). Once you’ve signed up for an affiliate account, it’s just a matter of creating specialized links.

Here are the basics for getting started with Minted Affiliate Marketing, along with tips for success.

1. Set Up Your Minted Affiliate Account

Visit minted.com/affiliate. You’ll have two choices of affiliate networks: ShareASale and CJ. We recommend using ShareASale, because it’s the network that we’ve integrated into Minted Artist Stores.

Once you register, you should be approved within one business day, but keep in mind that during the busy holiday season, the process may take slightly longer. If you have questions, email the Affiliate Support Team at affiliates@minted.com; please tell the team that you’re a Minted Artist.

2. Create Affiliate Links 

Go here to create affiliate links. You can link to any page on Minted, and we recommend linking to specific product description pages (PDPs), as opposed to focusing all your energy on your Minted Artist Store landing page.

When a customer clicks on one of your affiliate links, a tracking cookie is placed on their browser. All sales referred by you through affiliate links will yield a 10% commission (based on sale price) and tracked via our affiliate network, ShareASale.

Minted offers a generous 120-day tracking window from first click to sale. All sales made on that “cookied” device/browser would net you a commission for the length of that 120-day window.

Please note these commissions are processed separately from artist commissions paid out directly from Minted. They are tracked and distributed by our affiliate network (ShareASale or Commission Junction).
3. Use your Artist Store Vanity URL
If you have a Minted Artist Store and you’re on our ShareASale affiliate program, you can also direct visitors to your vanity URL (yourname.minted.com), and it will automatically redirect through your affiliate URL. It’s your choice whether to direct your followers to a product details page or your Artist Store. Both options can get you credit as an affiliate.

4. Pick Your Promotional Platforms

As you’re developing a content strategy, focus on the promotional channels that work best for you. Whether it’s a particular social media platform, email newsletter, a blog, or your website, there are a number of ways that you can drive traffic to the Minted URLs of your choice.

Some Minted Artists include affiliate links in the navigation bars of their personal websites, social media accounts, and email signatures to monetize the traffic they receive to their personal blogs.

Minted Artist Kristy Kapturowski of Hooray Creative uses Minted Affiliate links on Pinterest. ”A few of my Minted designs have enjoyed a lot of action on Pinterest, so it’s a great way to drive traffic to a Minted Artist Store and spread your personal brand,” Kristy says. “It’s also a fantastic opportunity to incorporate an affiliate link to boost your commission.”

Did you know that Pinterest now allows use of affiliate links? Learn more here.

Suggested Reading: “What Are the Best Social Media Platforms for You?

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Meet a Minted Artist: Denise Wong

After working in a variety of art-based professions—art-exhibition planning and design as well as practicing art law—New York City-based painter Denise Wong decided to quit in order to pursue her own art practice full time. Here, Denise shares her artistic journey, where she finds inspiration, and what Minted means to her as a working artist.

Meet a Minted Artist Denise Wong Denise Wong was photographed at the Minted Local store in San Francisco alongside her limited edition art prints “California” and “Highway One.”

Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always wanted to be an artist, ever since I was a child. I have very early memories of drawing, it was my favorite activity to do. When I was younger, I treasured my art supplies and I’m happy now to have finally integrated my childhood visions into my adult life and to have made art a full-time career. I think the things we truly enjoy should be the stuff of our everyday lives.

Tell us about your art.
My specialty is painting, particularly acrylic painting, but I also work with mixed-media works on paper. Painting is a wonderful, expressive form—it’s a very visceral form and I really love getting my hands into the paint. I started out drawing, like many artists do, and eventually transitioned into painting, starting with figurative painting. Later, I transitioned from figurative painting to more abstract works.

What did you do before pursuing art full time?
I’ve dabbled in many things over the course of my life—I’ve worked at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Columbia University Department of Art History in their Modern Art and Curatorial Studies department—but my own art practice is the thing that keeps pulling me back. Whenever I would veer off course, I would continue making art. I went to law school to study art law; prior to that, I was in graduate school for social science, focused on anthropology. I studied museum-exhibition design to make art more accessible to the public in an approachable way. While doing that I became interested in issues on cultural property and repatriation of stolen art; so I went to law school and studied art law, worked for an art-law journal, and became a lawyer. The legal work was very detail-oriented and I found that the more detail-oriented my work became, the art I was making—which initially was figurative in nature—started to come more abstract. Painting was a great outlet for me because I could balance the details of my work with the free-flowing nature of abstract painting.

How did you transition into a full-time art career?
It was slow and gradual. I took a number of art classes on the side as I pursued a variety of career opportunities. I was always making art but I just needed the right opportunity to begin selling art. While I was a student, I was interested in making art accessible to a wide variety of audiences and was always interested in innovative models of art exhibition and art sales. Companies like Minted are very forward-thinking and when I saw that Minted had expanded to the art world, it was a perfect match.

Meet a Minted Artist: Denise Wong

How did you discover Minted?
I was extremely busy with my day job and my art practice was getting pushed to the side. I was trying to think of ways to get back into making art and spending more time with my art practice. One day, I discovered through a blog post an ad for Minted and I checked out the website. Once work calmed down a bit, one day I opened up a magazine to a full-page ad for Minted. I went back to the website again and saw they were launching an art competition in a couple of weeks—I applied and the rest is history.

What makes Minted’s artist community unique?
What I love about the Minted community is that it’s extremely friendly, it’s almost like being in art school with family. It’s a very personal community and is a great way to get feedback in an honest and friendly way—I love it.

What’s inspiring you these days?
Inspiration is everywhere. I live in New York City and it’s very diverse and vibrant. I find inspiration around every corner—I love where I live and it’s a great place to get inspiration daily for the variety of pieces I’m working on.

How would your friends and family describe you?
They’d probably describe me as creative, with many interests, and very dedicated to pursuing them all.

What does your future look like?
When I think about the future, I’m very excited about the many opportunities I have in mind. One of those is Minted’s recently launched commissioned art program. It enables me to connect with art enthusiasts from all over the United States. I love working on commissioned pieces because it’s a way to connect with a customer in a personal way to create a piece that suits them.

Click through for more from Minted artist Denise Wong…

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Chip + Joanna Gaines, Sweet Paul, and Girls With Glasses’ Holiday Card Picks

Back in April we announced the guest judges of our “Making Spirits Bright” Holiday Photo Card Challenge: Joanna and Chip Gaines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, and Paul “Sweet Paul” Lowe, Editor-in-Chief of Sweet Paul Magazine. Shortly before that, we announced that blog and YouTube personalities The Girls With Glasses would be the guest judges of our “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful” Religious Christmas Card Challenge. To say that a number of Minted artists were excited is an understatement.

Without further ado, here are our guest judges’ picks from each challenge, along with their thoughts about the designs.

Guest Judges Picks: 2016 Holiday Card Photo Card Challenge

Joanna and Chip Gaines (pictured above) are one of the most popular couples on TV — they’re in the business of flipping left-for-dead homes for their clients: Chip handles construction and Joanna focuses on design.

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