Israeli-Californian artist Hadas Tal marries realism and abstraction with a designer’s eye

“Finding the emotional climate and capturing the feeling of a scene.”

That’s the name of the creative game for Hadas Tal, who approaches her paintings with a designer’s eye. Whether she’s painting a California coastline or an abstract representation of high-rise windows, she carefully considers the composition, color, shapes, form, and cropping of everything she creates. “I like clean design, white, contemporary—The Guggenheim in New York, for example—expansive white walls,” she says.

Tal is a full-time artist in Emeryville, California, located about 10 miles northeast of San Francisco, but was born in Rishon Letzion, Israel. In 1980, her dad received a lucrative opportunity to work as a computer programmer for IBM, so her family moved to New Jersey, where Tal grew up. A new Minted artist, Tal earned a top-voted win for Windows,” in the Minted + West Elm on the Big Stage Challenge. “Windows” was inspired by a gray, rainy day in Chinatown, San Francisco—more specifically, the haziness of the gray rainy day and how it affected the light surrounding the building. “Each window looked like an abstract painting,” Tal says.

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Minted x West Elm Art on the Big Stage Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prize winners of our Minted x West Elm Art on the Big Stage Challenge! For our fifth year running, Minted and West Elm teamed up to put Minted’s independent artists on a big stage. Congratulations, winners!

West Elm Creative Director’s Award
For the piece that most captures the attention of West Elm’s senior vice president of design, Johanna Uurasjarvi.
Surf by Lauren Packard Art


Collection Award
For the best group of pieces (3-4) that could be purchased together.
Stay 1, Still 2, Still 3, Still 4, and Still 5 by Victoria Johnson


Painterly Neutrals Award
For the best painting created in a neutral color palette.
Mountain Movements by Kristen Franklin


Abstract Photography Award
For the best abstracted piece of photography.
Big Apple Blur by Emily Coey


Fauna Photography Award
For the best piece of photography showcasing animals.
Jane Gallagher by Amy Carroll


Printmaking Award
For the best piece of art created using a printmaking technique (lithography, etching, etc).
Ocean Abstract IIIOcean Abstract IV, and Ocean Abstract V by Alicia Schultz


Graphic & Geometric Award
For the most interesting graphic & geometric art print.
After Midnight by melanie mikecz


Drawing & Sketching Award
For the best black & white drawing or sketch.
Human One: Anton by Colin Stuart

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You can take the girl out of design, but you can’t take design out of Minted artist Karidy Walker

You can take the girl out of graphic design, but you can’t take the graphic design out of the girl. This was the case for Karidy Walker, the Minted artist who knew as early as middle school that she wanted to pursue a career in design in some shape or form. She went to college to study design, until she dropped out during the second-half of her freshman year. Several years later, she returned to Western Washington University and finished her degree in 2008, but she didn’t actually consider herself a full-time graphic designer until she started entering and winning Minted Challenges in 2013. Her success on Minted has led to freelance design opportunities for various clients, and now Karidy is a full-time, self-employed graphic designer who works from home in Anacortes, a seaside town in Washington state.

In the last four years, Karidy, who recently turned 40, has become known for her light-hearted, fun, and often illustrative design aesthetic. “I definitely swing more toward the whimsical side of design, but I still like clean lines and modern typography,” she says.

Minted: How did you know that you wanted to be a graphic designer so early in life?
Karidy Walker: When I was in seventh grade, we had a career day at school where people came to share their jobs and life experiences. I always knew I wanted to do something art or design-related, but I never had a “term” to describe it. A graphic designer was there that day, and I knew immediately that’s what I wanted to be.

Modern Angles” wedding invitation by Karidy Walker

Are you originally from the Pacific Northwest?
I was born in Texas, and we moved to Washington when I was almost 6, but lived in west Texas (where my dad was born and raised) and Hawaii (where my mom was born and raised) before that. I definitely have heart strings to both Texas and Hawaii, and my upbringing between them is a big part of who I am today. I’d describe myself as a Northwest girl mixed with a bit of Southern charm and aloha spirit.

Karidy and her husband, Matt, in a tulip field in Mount Vernon, Washington. Her daughters, Kaileia and Aneka, are 4 and 3.

Why did you drop out of college but return later to complete your BA in graphic design?
I always knew I wanted to be a graphic designer and enrolled in college right after high school. I realized early on, however, that I wasn’t ready for the work involved to finish my degree. I returned to school in my late 20s with a renewed focus. The WWU design program was really competitive at the time, so earning my degree not only gave me the skills I needed, but also the confidence I needed to become the graphic designer I always wanted to be.

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Minted artist Erin Hodges mixes graphic design with Texas politics

Some people say art and politics don’t mix, but for Erin Hodges, they do. Well, sort of. Under the moniker Fig + Cotton Paperie, the longtime Minted artist has established her niche for modern yet timeless stationery design. And as a senior advisor to the Governor of Texas, she tackles the Lone Star State’s politics head-on. How does she manage to do both with grace? As a full-time working parent, she says she’s “still in search of that unicorn they call ‘balance.’” “However, I am one of those people who needs—not wants—a creative outlet. Stationery design scratches that itch in the most rewarding way,” Erin says.

By day, the 38-year-old works on almost every major state policy issue, and focuses a lot of her time on issues related to public education and child welfare. And by night, she’s a self-taught graphic designer who’s figured out the complexities of Adobe Illustrator. If you asked Erin during her college days as a Communications major at Texas State University what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would have said Public Relations, but as she explains now, “the public policy/government bug bit me quickly.” Fast-forward to 2010, Erin entered her first Minted design challenge, the 2010 Holiday Card Spectacular and the rest is history.


One of Erin’s favorite Minted designs is her “Mod Palm” wedding invitation. “It just feels like ‘me,’ she says. “I feel like my style can be all over the place sometimes, but I am really feel like this wedding suite captures it.”

Minted: Have you worked in politics for a long time?
Erin Hodges: I’ve worked for the Abbott Administration for the majority of my career—from when he was running for Texas Attorney General in 2001 through a large portion of his tenure as Texas Attorney General, and now as he is in his second year as the Governor of Texas. I did take a four-year break to serve a Chief of Staff in the Texas House of Representatives…but I didn’t stay gone very long.

Erin Hodges at the Texas Capitol office in Austin. Photo by Molly Quirk

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Meet Jody Worthington, the hula-hooping, metal-DJing Minted artist

Metal DJ. Judy Blume podcast co-host. Expert hula-hooper. Proud lefty. Oh, and graphic designer. Minted artist Jody Worthington is all of these things wrapped into one. And maybe her open mind to trying new adventures has something to do with her childhood, which involved her family moving every three years, to support of her father’s career for ExxonMobil. The Worthingtons lived in London, The Netherlands, New Orleans, Virginia, Dallas, Houston, Connecticut, Australia, San Francisco, and now Jody calls Oakland, California, home. “Even though I was always the ‘new kid,’ I’m now really grateful for our nomadic lifestyle and the experiences it provided.”

By day, Jody is a self-employed graphic designer who works with a wide variety of clients, and in her “spare” time, she creates wedding invitations, holiday cards, foil-pressed art of bridges, and more for Minted. Her design style is fluid and ever-evolving, but always lively, refined, detail-oriented, balanced, and sometimes vintage-inspired.

Jody Worthington hula-hooping at her wedding. Portraits by Cathy Haebe and Danny Zevallos

Minted: As a self-employed designer and art director, what kind of projects do you work on?
Jody Worthington: I’ve been running my “one-woman studio” full time since January 2013. My main focus is brand identity, which usually paves the way for other projects like logo design, packaging, websites/apps, editorial design, print collateral, and illustration. I’m lucky enough to work from home with my husband—a fellow designer and Minted artist Tyler Tea—for a roster of different clients and industries. Tyler’s focus is videogame design and illustration, so for the most part we work independently, but when the job is right, we get to collaborate and it’s the best.

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Discover Kati Ramer, the artist who paints the ‘pure magic’ of West Texas landscapes

By day, Kati Ramer works in software sales, and by night and weekends, she is a self-taught artist who loves painting the vast beauty of the desert. “My day job is such a dramatic contrast to painting—it’s fast-paced, high-stress, and very cerebral,” the Austin, Texas, artist says. “I like to tell myself that I’m working all parts of my brain by doing both.”

Kati uses heavy acrylics to bring texture and depth to her work, and one of her favorite landscapes is the Chisos mountains in the Big Bend area of West Texas. She takes photographs and paints scenes later in her home studio, though she dreams of someday participating in Big Bend National Park’s artist residency program, a month-long, plein air program. “It sounds glorious,” she says.

Minted: What strikes you about The Chisos?
Kati Ramer: Big Bend is pure magic. It’s remote in the truest sense of the word. It’s the least visited National Park in the country due to the accessibility, but it contains such a rich diversity of scenery—mountains, rivers, canyons. I’m constantly begging people to visit. There is absolutely no place like the desert to find stillness and silence, which I think we’re all desperate to find. In contrast, the grandeur of the Chisos Mountains remind you how small you are in the very best sort of way. It’s easy to forget about the little hurts and worries and frustrations of life when you stand beside or atop the mountains.

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Discover Elliot Stokes, the Brooklyn artist who enjoys solving problems with illustration

Elliot Stokes’ illustration of a milk jug evokes Andy Warhol, but his simple black on white clothes pins or “Slinky on the Stairs”? That’s his own thing. The young artist who grew up in the Atlanta area moved to New York right after college seven years ago and hasn’t looked back. By day, he art directs food photography for the PeopleFood franchise and designs story pages, which he says is not so unlike illustrating. “Both are forms of a kind of visual storytelling and share other creative commonalities, so hopping between one and the other is pretty easy,” the Greenpoint, Brooklyn, artist says. “I’m super lucky to get to do both.”

Minted: What drives you, and where does your inspiration tend to come from?
Elliot Stokes: I love making interesting and pretty pictures, to put in plainly—images that delight me and other people. So much inspires me: the thrilling parts of life and the boring parts; all printed matter I get my hands on; my computer desktop, too. It’s very messy and covered in image thumbnails I’ve dragged onto it. Nothing snaps to grid. My desktop is better than Pinterest to me, since I don’t have to log in anywhere and I can see everything all at once. Sometimes I’ll click through random thumbnails on my desktop until something rubs off.Two Percent Milk” by Elliot Stokes

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Minted Real Wedding: Anne & Chris in Healdsburg, CA

Minted’s very own creative director, Anne Donnard, envisioned a romantic, Secret Garden-like feel for her wedding to fiancé Christopher Bogart. The couple found Barndiva, a farm-to-table restaurant in Healdsburg, Calif., which proved to be the perfect setting for their alfresco celebration. Foil-pressed wedding invitations by Minted (“Floral Crown” by Lori Wemple) set an inviting tone, and the couple’s 92 guests were treated to an evening of poignant vows and toasts, delicious food and wine, lush florals, and plenty of sweets, dancing, and merriment.

Healdsburg wedding at Barndiva

Bride and groom: Anne Donnard & Christopher Bogart
Occupations: Creative director at Minted (Anne); director of supply chain management (Christopher)
Based in: Oakland, CA
Wedding date: April 15, 2017
Venue: Barndiva, Healdsburg, CA
Number of guests: 92
Minted wedding invitation: “Floral Crown” by Lori Wemple
Florist: Home Sweet Flowers
Cake designer: Moustache Baked Goods

How did you and Chris meet?
We met through a mutual friend who set us up on a blind date. Chris and I had lunch at The Grove in San Francisco and then wound up going for a long walk in the neighborhood. It was a date that lasted well beyond lunch.

Tell us about the proposal!
My parents came to visit for Labor Day weekend last year; Chris got to my apartment ahead of me and the plan was for all of us to have dinner together at my place. When I got home, Chris and I went up to the roof to watch the sun set behind the Golden Gate Bridge, and as we were admiring the beautiful sunset, Chris got down on one knee. It was actually the same place where we had our first kiss!

Barndiva Healdsburg CA wedding

Who made your wedding dress?
It was a style called “Kinsley” by Angel Rivera.

What was the wedding-dress shopping process like?
It was actually the first dress I tried on and I bought it that day! Dress shopping was an amazing experience—I went to Kingsley James, a salon in Walnut Creek. We toasted with champagne and hoped that everything would be as simple as getting the dress!

Where were  the bridesmaids’ dresses from?
Jenny Yoo

Did you incorporate any meaningful family traditions into the wedding day?
I wore the earrings that my mother wore on her wedding day; also, my sister, who was my maid of honor, and I wore pearl necklaces—the pearls were from earrings that our grandmother wore on her wedding day.  

Click through for more from Anne and Chris’ wedding

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Discover Alexandra Feo, the Venezuelan Dutch photographer who calls her style ‘busy minimalism’


Born in Caracas, Venezuela, and raised in a family of musicians and artists, Alexandra Feo grew up in opera and ballet theaters, and developed a passion for the aesthetic of stage arts. Now living in Amsterdam, she works as a photographer but is also a trained ballet dancer and studied music for more than a decade.

Minted: How did you learn photography?
Alexandra Feo: I started in 2009 while living in Tokyo, Japan. Photography is pretty much a national sport there, so I got a camera and started playing around with it. I took several online courses and classes to learn about the basics, including photography techniques, studio shootings, postproduction of images, makeup, and styling.

Fullness – I” by Alexandra Feo

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2 Minted Artists Win Top Honors in 2017 LOUIE Awards

Written by Kelly Hird

We’re proud to announce that two Minted designs, “Party Sloth” by Melissa Egan and “Adagio” by Meg Gleason, were chosen as winners in the 2017 LOUIE Awards. One of the most esteemed awards ceremonies in the stationery world, the LOUIE Awards are hosted by the National Greeting Card Association and took place during the National Stationery Show in New York in May. Kelli Hall’s striking holiday photo card “Statement Joy” also made it to the final round, and all three designs were exhibited prominently in the trade show’s entrance at the Javits Center.

This year’s finalists in the 2017 LOUIE Awards on display at the entry to the Javits Center at the National Stationery Show.

While the three finalists weren’t able to attend this year’s annual award gala, Meg Gleason attended NSS and was thrilled to receive the good news. Her design, “Adagio,” features hand-painted backgrounds, with an original painting created for each colorway.

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