When we asked Laura Condouris to name her favorite Minted designs, she prioritized those that were created by artists other than herself. That’s the kind of selfless artist she is. Based in Baltimore, Laura works full time from home as an independent calligrapher, illustrator, and type designer. In this interview, she talks about her passion for animals, her most memorable experience of the year, and all the Minted designs she loves.
Do you think of yourself as an artist or a designer or both?
What a good question! I think everyone is a little of both. Design is just applied art.
How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
I started doing freelance calligraphy and design work while working full-time office jobs. After the hours of my freelance work began to tip the scales of my regular work hours, I had to make a tough decision. The first few years of freelance-only were very, very hard, but in the end, I’m glad I made the switch.
“Skyline-New York” wedding invitation by Laura Condouris
Did you study art formally in school?
I graduated from MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) as a General Fine Arts major. Also known as the major for people who can’t make up their minds.
What was your most memorable moment or experience in 2015?
I finally saw the Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree National Park for the first time.
How much time do you spend on calligraphy work?
During wedding design season (March through September), I usually work on calligraphy projects for around 60 hours per week. From October through February, I work on a more regular 40-hours-per-week schedule. Calligraphy dies down a bit, and I pick up other design projects, including Minted submissions, if I’m lucky.
You’re an active volunteer—who do you help?
I help out at the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) once a week, walking dogs, cleaning cages, and doing laundry (there is endless laundry at animal shelters). It’s great exercise, and makes me feel like I’m contributing—at least a little bit—to the world.
There are so many organizations that desperately need help during the typical workday, so freelance workers are a perfect fit. I am lucky enough to have a flexible schedule, so if any other Minties out there are as fortunate as I am, I hope they would consider volunteering, too.
Meet Roxie, an adoptable dog currently at the SPCA in Baltimore, Maryland.
When did you join Minted?
In 2009. I was browsing Minted designs for a client when I noticed they had a call for submissions. I cannot tell you how excited I was about that.
What do you enjoy most about being part of the Minted community?
The sense of community, rather than competition—a rarity in the art world.
“Tiny Sneakers” birth announcement by Laura Condouris
What have you learned from being part of the Minted artist community?
I’ve learned that one can never predict what design trends will take off, and which will fall flat.
What’s your favorite Minted design that you’ve designed and why?
It’s so simple, but I really like “Boutique.” I wanted to make a save-the-date that would lend an easy-breezy, casual vibe to pretty much any photo, no matter how formal.
“Boutique” save-the-date card by Laura Condouris
You suggested that we create a blog series in which Minted artists name the “designs I wish I’d made” by other Minted artists. What Minted designs do you wish you had created?
Oh my gosh, so many! The first one that comes to mind is a Moglea design that I think doesn’t exist on the site anymore—a baby shower invitation called “Simply Stork.” I was working on a realistic stork painting at the time, but when I saw that design—which features a stylized stork made of simple geometric shapes—I wish I’d thought of it first.
“Simply Stork,” a now-retired 2011 Minted design by Moglea
Here are some other Minted designs I wish I’d created:
- Jen Wick’s “Bookbinder” was so striking. It has none of her signature florals, but it has this perfect sense of visual balance, and takes your eyes on a journey all around the page. Jen’s innate sense of composition is really extraordinary.
- “Sundance Wildflowers” by j. bartyn design has always been a favorite. I think Cambria was one of the first to play around with layered florals.
- Susie Allen’s “Newspaper Sailboat” is brilliant, and makes the type look truly custom.
- Renee Stevens’ “On the Horizon” comes to mind as something I wish I’d done- the spare graphic mountains and type are really evocative of the awe of being in the wide open spaces of nature.
- My current thank-you card is Phrosné Ras’ “Botanical Filigree.”
- And for my holiday card this year, I’m having the toughest time deciding between Lori Wemple’s “Winter Birds” and Snow and Ivy’s “Turtledoves.”
Laura Condouris’ font “Freeland” was featured on a Banana Republic store window.
Who or what inspires you: Nature and vintage signs
Favorite place in the world: Pretty much any aquarium
Favorite movie or TV show: “The Simpsons,” seasons 2-9
Last stamp on your passport: Tulum, Mexico
Favorite publications and/or websites: “Martha Stewart Living” will forever be my jam.
Quick! Tell Us…
Photoshop or Illustrator? Illustrator, though I still kind of hate it sometimes.
Movies or TV? Movies
Modern or vintage? Vintage
Morning or night? Night
Summer or winter? I’m getting more into winter lately, but summer is when everything is in bloom- it’s hard to beat that.
City or country? City, with day trips to the country!
Junk food or healthy? Healthy
Car or public transportation? Car—Baltimore really needs some help in the public transportation department.
Dogs or cats? A dog is a goofy, loyal friend for life.
Sweet, sour, or salty? Salty, yum.
More About Laura Condouris
Laura’s Minted Artist Store
Personal website, trialbycupcakes.com
Read more Meet a Minted Artist
Published December 14, 20156 COMMENTS