Minted Artists Critique Holiday Designs at Atlanta Meetup

Story and photos by Kristen Smith

In late April, I had the pleasure of organizing an incredible live holiday stationery design critique session with six fellow Atlanta area Minted artists. The meetup was especially exciting because it was the very first in a series of gatherings we’ve planned this year as part of the pilot Minted Ambassador program.

In addition to Kristen Smith, the six artists who attended the Atlanta meetup were Stacey Meacham, Ashley Ottinger, Kelli Hall, Camilla Acosta, Zanne Bedore, and Susie Stern.

We all gathered at the lovely home of Kelli Hall, who was so very gracious to host us, and we each brought print-outs of designs we were currently working on. Because the “Making Spirits Bright” Holiday Photo Card Challenge is one of Minted’s biggest and most competitive challenges of the year, sharing live critiques was absolutely invaluable. Being able to take a break from our computer monitors and interact with the printed, tangible work was a much needed, fresh perspective. We scheduled our critiquing meetup about a week before the day final submissions were due, so it was the perfect little boost to motivate us and carry us weary and cross-eyed through the finish line.

As there are quite a few Minted artists in the Atlanta area, we were fortunate to have veteran community members like Stacey Meacham (pictured above) as well as a few first-timers and recent first-challenge participants. Our hope is to see many new faces at future meetups as our talented community of independent artists and designers continues to grow.

Stacey said she enjoyed the holiday critique because it gave her the confidence to move forward with submissions that she was questioning. “I often have designs that linger on my artboards that I know have something but am unsure if they are finished or good enough,” she said. “Having in-person feedback from respected designers, friends, and artists is invaluable. Even if there are not changes that need to be made, just getting the confirmation that ‘yes, this is good—you should definitely submit’ is so helpful.”
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First Minted Artist Paris Meetup Full of ‘Pinch-Me’ Moments

In mid-May, London-based Minted Artist Annie Montgomery organized the very first Minted artist meetup in Paris, bringing together one Parisian, as well as a German, French, American, and Italian. “It was absolutely lovely! An evening filled with inspiration and new friends…all set on a rooftop overlooking the rooftops of Paris,” Annie said.

Cheers! (From left) Annie Montgomery (London), Cécile Kotsch of Bonjour Paper (Germany), Liz Conley (U.S.), Gwen Bedat (Paris), and Gerrie Magnani of chocomocacino (Italy).

The five artists met at 43 Up on the Roof, dined at Fish La Boissonnerie, and finished the evening at Grom for gelato—”trying to make the night linger for as long as possible,” Annie said. “There were lots of bubbles and cheers involved because we had so much to celebrate, including the end of the big Minted holiday design challenge.”

Despite being from various parts of the world, Annie said the artists had so many things in common, from travels and expatriatism to designer role models and friends and families humming Christmas music in March. “We laughed and nodded and bonded over so many similarities,” she said.

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Chicago Artists Create Collages at Self-Organized Meetup

“I have glitter glue on the front of my jacket, so I’ll carry a little bit of the meetup forever with me,” joked Melissa Egan, a Chicago artist who goes by Pistols on Minted. On a rainy Sunday afternoon on April 10, she and four fellow Chicago area Minted artists got together to create collages at One Strange Bird in Wicker Park.

Pooja Pittie, a new community member and recent first-time winner of the Minted x West Elm Round 4 Art Challenge, organized the event. “For a Minted newbie like me, it was incredible to meet other artists,” she said. “Our interaction in the community is usually online, so it was really nice to meet in person and get a glimpse of everyone’s artistic process as we worked through the collage board.”

Here’s a recap of the event. If you’re interested in organizing a Minted Artist Meetup in your area, please fill out this form.

Let the collaging begin! Clockwise from top: Pooja Pittie, Lindsay Megahed, Johanna Phillips Huuva, and Melissa Egan of Pistols.

Before we dove into creating our own collages, the teacher at One Strange Bird shared these samples of collages made by other artists.

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August L.A. Minted Meetup: A Two-Way Learning Experience

We always walk away from Minted Meetups newly inspired and full of ideas—and the August 21, 2015, L.A. Meetup was no exception. On an idyllic Southern California evening, more than 20 artists met at a restaurant called Primitivo in Venice Beach.

Conversation topics included the Minted Home launch, the challenges of managing a busy schedule, and artists’ desires to develop their personal brands.

Meetup attendees, top row from left: Dustin Miller, Maria Mordvintseva-Keeler,
Aeryn Donnelly-Terrey, Renee Pulve, Simone Klein, Erica Krystek, Eric Beckett,
Aspacia Kusulas, Karen Leung, Dariana Cruz, and Amy Hall.
Bottom row from left: Shirley Lin Schneider, Jessica Nugent, Patty Vargas, Aporn Khananusit-Hama, Jessica Miller, Jessica Druxman, Lynn Knipe, Tanya Peng Lee, Anthea Tjuanakis Cox,
Sara Berrenson, Jeanetta Gonzales.
Not pictured: Annie Seaton, Leah Bisch, Jennifer Thorp Morehead.

Dariana Cruz of Dari Design Studio said the event was a refreshing break from her working-from-home routine, and her takeaway was realizing Minted’s interest in learning from the community.

“It felt really good to feel Minted’s sincere intention to connect with and listen to us,” said the L.A. artist who collaborates with her sister, Dariela. “By paying attention to that connection, we can create new systems, products, ideas, and projects that benefit the artists, the company, and the consumer as well. Not many companies allow for that openness to happen.”

Anthea Tjuanakis Cox, Director of Artist Relations, flew to L.A. from Minted’s San Francisco office and enjoyed the open dialogue. “I loved learning how Minted fits into different people’s lives and seeing just how diverse it is. During nap time, between jobs, a place to have full creative control after a day job,” she said.

One of Anthea’s takeaways centered around Minted’s growth and the need for creating a strategy to help artists manage the large number of design challenges. She also encouraged artists to enter new challenge categories. “Amazing things happen when artists bring their influences to a new canvas,” she said.

We gave L.A. Minted Meetup attendees totes and California-themed Minted prints,
like “San O Daydream.” This photo was created by husband-wife duo Jessica and Dustin Miller of Owl and Toad, who attended the event.

The next Los Angeles Minted event is a Maker’s Night in October 2015.

Published August 25, 2015

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Salt Lake City Minted Meetup and Holiday Winner’s Surprise

By Hope Tammany, Community Relations Team

Last Thursday, I traveled to Utah to host a Minted Meetup with local designers at Bambara in downtown Salt Lake City. I brought our signature banners, bunting and gift bags – and this time, we also had Mariam Naficy, our founder and CEO, on her way with one giant surprise. That night we announced the unsuspecting first place winner of our “Oh What Fun!” Holiday Card Challenge: Jill De Haan! (If you haven’t seen our video of the grand reveal yet, be sure to watch it all happen here.)  Jill’s “Hand-Lettered Christmas Wishes” was voted the #1 design by designers, customers, ,and fans out of a record-breaking 3,348 submissions. Jill came for a fun, relaxing evening with other Minted designers, and was presented with the $8,000 grand prize, a trip to San Francisco, and an enormous hug from Mariam.

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Minted at NSS

By Natasha, Julep Editor

We had such a great time at the National Stationery Show! It really is our favorite time of the year… we get to see many of our designers in person, walk through football fields of paper, party in the Big Apple, and talk about the merits of one font over another for hours on end with others who care about design as much as we do. Read on to check out our booth, our party and Oh So Beautiful Paper’s Paper Party.

Keep reading for lots more pictures!

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Dallas Mintie Meet Up

We love it when Minties get together and especially when they send us photos! Last week, Lauren Chism of Palm Papers organized a meet up for local Dallas-area minties. Here are some lovely photos and a few words from Lauren:


(Clockwise from the front): Jill Efrussy of Stamped Paper Co., Annie Roche of 5by7 Designs, Susan Asbill, Ann Gardner, Lauren Chism of Palm Papers, Rebecca Bowen, Vivien Jordan of The Eclectic Press, Lesa Abney of Paper Nest by Lesa, and Abigail Luby of Chips and Salsa Designs.

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Northwest Mintie Meet Up

This summer, the lovely Brandy Brown of Marabou hosted our first-ever home meet-up! She went all out to make the event beautiful, relaxing, and oh so much fun. Mariam, our founder and CEO, and Brady, our VP of Product Marketing, both headed to Brandy’s home for some sweet treats and great company.

All photos courtesy of Brandy Brown – thanks, Brandy!

Brandy had a gorgeous spread – can you get over this incredible custom cake? I think it’s safe to say that this may be the first edible Skinny-Wrap label ever created.

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Fiesta party at NSS.

We hosted a fun party at the National Stationery Show for our designers and interested designers, as well as a few members of the press.

The party had a fun fiesta theme.

It’s not easy to make an exceptionally bland room at a convention center cheerful, but the theme went a long way to helping!

And so did yummy margaritas!

I made a trip to a manhattan greenhouse and picked up some catci… which I then covered with pretty Mexican ribbon that I picked up at M&J, the most amazing ribbon store in the world! See more about the DIY behind this project here.

Then we popped the catci on some large print-outs of the backer to andres montaño’s Papel Picado invite.

The favor for all guests in attendance was a new minted tee-shirt. They are so cute!

Here the minted team is making final AV adjustments before everyone arrives…

And here our lovely CEO Mariam Naficy thanks people for coming and tells everyone a little more about the company she founded…

… while guests enjoy nibbles and cocktails.

I snuck a shot of Allison from The Social Type. Loved her green dress and colorful necklace.

I think everyone had a really fun time! And I’m definitely going to be borrowing the Mexican theme for a party again soon!

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Ohio Mintie Meet Up

In January, Paige Rothhaar of cadence paige design posted in the Minted forum about an informal Mintie gathering in Worthington, Ohio – just outside of Columbus. Being from the Buckeye State myself, I was really excited to see so many fabulous Minted designers would be in attendance and decided I’d have to make it out for the event. I flew out a month later for the meetup at Igloo Letterpress and had a wonderful time learning how to use the antique presses while stealing moments to chat over some pop and snacks with the girls. It was really fun to see some familiar faces and to meet some brand new designers as well.

Allison Chapman is the owner of Igloo Letterpress in Worthington. She was wonderful to share her studio with us for a few hours. She has a number of antique letterpresses in her studio and showed us how each one worked.

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