New Minted Artists Talk Prince, Day Jobs, And Creativity

Introducing the first edition of the Minted Welcome Wagon, where we spotlight a handful of new members of the community—and find out what makes our talented designers tick.

Zhay Smith
New York Metro Area

My first winning design: “Where Creativity Soars” for the Art On Your Sleeve Challenge

My Instagram:

The highlight of my Minted experience so far:
You want me to name just one? Now that’s a challenge! How about three?

1. I like that Minted is not just your run-of-the mill crowdsourcing experience. The people in the community are really present and willing to give advice that will move you forward when you need it.

2. The challenges are fun!

3. I like that we artists are encouraged to innovate, be ourselves, and bring our uniqueness to the table. As an artist, you get to hone your craft and expand your skill set. Minted has a true commitment to meritocracy, respects artists, and champions art and design. Wait, that’s beyond three, isn’t it?

Where Creativity Soars” by Zhay Smith

The most interesting thing about me: I’ve been told the most interesting thing about me is my perspective. I tend to see things through four lenses: fashion, history, craft, and culture. I always have my eyes open for things that intrigue me. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am constantly taking pictures of things that inspire my creativity. Whether it’s street fashion, a random oil slick, or it could just be noticing the way the leaves or flower petals fell on the ground that day. I appreciate latent beauty.


DIY: Make Your Own Clipboard Frame

Graduation season is officially upon us, which means a thoughtful gift for the soon-to-be graduate is in order. Help the grad in your life celebrate this huge milestone and embark on post-high school or college life (aka the real world!) with an art print bearing an encouraging, motivational message. Then, display the art piece on this easy-to-make clipboard “frame.”

• Bulldog clips (small or large)
• Gold spray paint
• Craft wood, cut to size
Art print (featured here are “World Awaits” by Johanna Phillips Huuva and “California Seascape” by Wilder California)
Command adhesive strips


1. Once you’ve selected your art print, cut the craft wood down to size. I cut mine so there was an extra inch on each side of the print to give it some breathing room.

2. Decide which clip size looks best. I used the smaller size clip for 5″ x 7″ prints and the larger clip for 8″ x 8″ and 8″ x 10″ prints. Spray paint your clip in a well-ventilated space; let dry completely.

3. Center your art print on the wood sheet and clip the print into place to secure.

4. Attach an adhesive strip to the back of the clipboard to adhere to your wall.

More DIY Ideas:
DIY: “Congrats” Screen-Printed Felt Flags
• DIY: Easy Ruler-Clip Frame
• DIY: Fabric-Covered Locker Magnets

More from Minted:
• Graduation Announcements and Invitations
Graduation Gifts
• Personalized Stationery for Graduates


Behind the Design: “Abstract Union” Wedding Invitation

Minted designer Simona Cavallaro, who lives and works in San Jose, Calif., takes us through the creative process for her modern, brushstroke-patterned “Abstract Union” wedding invitation.

What was the inspiration behind this wedding invitation?
I love combining contrasting trends together in interesting ways. Here I wanted to create something that felt chic and sophisticated with a fresh and unexpected look. I think the result is classic with a twist.

Describe the couple that might choose this invitation for their wedding.
This design is for the couple that wants elegance but with an unexpected twist. Maybe the wedding venue is an old urban loft instead of a ballroom. Or the couple opted to use succulents instead of flowers at the event. I want my design to set the tone and hint to guests that there will be something special at the wedding.

What wedding trends do you love right now?
I feel like weddings are becoming less about tradition and more about what makes a couple unique. Personal touches are apparent all throughout the details of the ceremony and reception which makes weddings feel more bespoke, no matter the budget. I guess I would call this “the anything goes trend.” And I love it!

Abstract Union modern wedding invitation from Minted

Describe your design process, from initial idea to end result.
Here is my typical process: A fantastic idea pops into my head while I’m driving, sleeping, showering, or doing something else that prevents me from writing it down. I repeat the idea in my head until it no longer makes sense, then I forget it altogether. I finally get to my workspace, clear my mind, relax, and start playing with paint on a blank canvas. Usually I’ll get a totally unexpected result that will naturally spark a new—even better—idea. And I just go with it.

In this case, it was the combination of rough brushstrokes and organic dots that really spoke to me. Once I finish painting, I scan and start working with the art on my computer by pairing it with typography. I really believe that type can make or break my designs, so I probably spend way more time setting type than any other part of my design process. The final thing I do is get feedback to make sure I’m not completely off with what I’m trying to achieve.

What were some challenges you faced while designing this invitation?
The most challenging thing with this design, and probably most of my others, was narrowing down the color options. I love playing with color and being limiting to only six different palettes is really hard! But I tried my best to choose a broad range that will appeal to different couples.

Abstract Union modern wedding invitation from Minted

Tell us about your workspace.
I like to say that I have a mobile or traveling workspace. I have a designated space set up for working, but most of the time I find myself getting more work done if I’m open to moving around. Sometimes a coffee shop can be the most productive place in the world, other times my dinner table might become my painting studio. The couch, the floor, my patio, even a picnic table at a park have all been my workspaces at some point. The more open I am about how I work, the more opportunities I make for my creativity to build.

How did you start designing for Minted?
I was at a point in my life when I needed to nourish my creativity or I would burst. Minted allowed me to do just that. I was able to create and design based on my inspirations and talents, join an amazing network of designers, make new friends, and literally infuse my life with the creative fuel it was craving.

More from Simona Cavallaro:
Simona’s Minted Store
• Simona’s Website
Simona’s Instagram

More from Minted:
• Wedding Invitations
• Save the Date Cards
• Wedding Websites

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on Behind the Design: “Abstract Union” Wedding Invitation

DIY: Modern Geometric Mobile

Written by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

I am loving all of the modern mobiles that have been popping up lately—the abstract shapes and bright colors are so whimsical and fun! I was so inspired by them that I tried my hand at making one myself using craft supplies I already had. The best part is that you can pretty much use any craft supply you like, just as long as it ties to a dowel rod! I used mostly plastic/styrofoam balls, straws, and paper. Wouldn’t it be fun to make a bunch of these to decorate for a party?

DIY Modern Mobile DIY Modern Mobile

Click through for step by step instructions …

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on DIY: Modern Geometric Mobile

Baby Shower Invitation Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prizes for our Great Expectations Baby Shower Invitation Challenge! Friends and family of expectant parents come to Minted seeking a baby shower invitation that not only sets the stage for this event, but is also special enough to serve as a cherished keepsake for the parents-to-be. We turned to you, our talented community, to shower us with the most unique baby shower invitation designs in the world! We were blown away with what you dreamed up for this challenge. Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up!

For the most design-forward, innovative baby shower invitation
Fresh Feathers by Simona Cavallaro

Runners-up: Agave Bebe by Marabou Design | Nesting by Anne Holmquist
Bohemian Babe by Lorent and Leif

For the best design specifically created for one of the Minted’s unique shapes
Welcome to the World by Laura Bolter Design

Runners-up: Up Up and Away by Baumbirdy | Baby’s Breath by Susan Moyal

For the best design that celebrates both parents-to-be
Good Sport by Shari Margolin

Runners-up: Brewing baby love by heythird | Baby Brews & BBQ by Sarah Brown

For the best design for an alternative to a traditional baby shower
Cool Little Reveal by Ashley Hegarty

Runners-up: Miles Apart by Sarah Brown | Box Reveal by Leah Bisch
Modern Sip & See by Hooray Creative

Click through for more special prize winners


Community Connections

community connections


we love our community.

Being a part of the Minted community is not all about the competition and money. It’s about helping you grow and thrive. It’s about paying it forward and helping others succeed. It’s about building meaningful relationships with other talented artists. It’s about friendships nearby and connections around the world.

get involved.

There are many ways you can get plugged into our community. Here are five easy ways to get connected:

1. Join our Facebook group.
Our community Facebook group is open to all Minted artists (artists who have submitted to at least one Minted challenge). This is a place where our artists can connect with one another online, share resources, ask questions, etc. Learn how to join here.

2. Participate in Minted calls and events.
The Minted team hosts weekly office hours, quarterly calls, and other events for our community. View and subscribe to our events calendar here.

3. Attend or host a meetup.
Meetups are in-person gatherings with Minted artists in the same region. The Minted team hosts meetups in various locations based on a variety of factors such as concentration of artists, our founder and CEO Mariam Naficy’s travel, other Minted events, etc. Be sure to update your address in your designer profile to receive invites for our meetups!

We can’t get to every location, so we encourage our artists to host their own meetups! If you’d like to host a meetup for Minted artists in your area, please fill out this form.

We are currently planning our 2017 calendar of upcoming Meetups . Please reach out with suggested locations!

4. Attend or host a meetup.

Here are some examples of our 2016 Meetups:

  • Chicago Meetup (Hosted by Minted Artist Pooja Pittie) – Read about the meetup here
  • Atlanta Meetup (Hosted by Minted Ambassador Kristen Smith) – Read about the meetup here!
  • Detroit Meetup (Hosted by Minted Artist Lisa Assenmacher) – Read about the meetup here!
  • Paris Meetup (Hosted by Minted Artist Annie Montgomery) – Read about the meetup here
  • New York City Cocktail Party (during the National Stationery Show) – Read about the event here
  • San Francisco Minted Local Opening Party – Read about the event here
  • San Francisco Meetup (during the Holiday Winner’s Trip) – Read about the even here
  • Austin Meetup (Hosted by Minted) – Read about the event here
  • London Meetup (Hosted by Minted CEO and Founder Mariam Naficy) – Read about the event here
  • Seattle Meetup (Hosted by Minted CEO and Founder Mariam Naficy) – Read about the event here!

5. Become a Minted Ambassador.
Minted Ambassador is a pilot program we created to help artists connect with each other in their local regions of the world. Our first Minted Ambassador is Kristen Smith. As the Minted Artist Ambassador, Kristen volunteers to organize a number of events for existing community members and prospectives in and around her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. Sign up for Atlanta events here.

We’re hoping to expand this program to other regions. More details to come.

check out the fun.

Take a look at our past community events on social media. Make sure to use our hashtags #mintedmeetup, #mintedartists or #mintedartist when you post a picture at a Minted event!

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on Community Connections

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Looking for something for your lovely mama this Mother’s Day? My curated Mother’s Day gift guide has pretty presents for every personality, whether you’re shopping for your own mom, your best friend who just became one, or even yourself! Show the mom in your life how much you appreciate her with one of these thoughtful gifts. Happy Mother’s Day!

1. Mother Love card, $5.50, Moglea
2. Grapefruit Oleander Laurel Glass, $41.50, Illume
3. Laguna necklace, $210, History + Industry
4. Zodiac foil-stamped wall art, $31, Annie Clark for Minted
5. Coco Rose Lip collection, $49, Herbivore
6. Bodum Chambord Copper French press, $50, Crate & Barrel
7. Geometric Emma clutch $104, Son Of A Sailor
8. Bronzing oil, $40, French Girl Organics
9. Olive Leaf cuff, $124, Mejuri
10. Coffee Snob coffee mug, $14.50, Waiting On Martha

More Mother’s Day Ideas:
• DIY: Rustic Wood Jewelry Dish
• Mother’s Day Breakfast Printables
• Printable: Personalized Flower Bouquet Wrap
• Printable: Mother’s Day Treat Box

More from Minted:
• Fabric
• Stickers and Labels
• Name Labels

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Printable: Mother’s Day Gift Tags and Wrap

I don’t ask for much for Mother’s Day—just the day to shirk my responsibilities and perhaps a little treat (bonus points if it’s packaged nicely!). Treat your mom (or yourself!) this Mother’s Day by printing these fun floral-patterned wraps and gift tags to accompany a sweet gift.

mother's day gift wrap mother's day gift wrapping

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on Printable: Mother’s Day Gift Tags and Wrap

Q&A: What advice would you give to your younger self?

Living fully in the moment helps spawn creativity, but a little reflection every now and again also prepares us for a bright future. Which is why we asked Minted artists Amy Lighthall and Kim Dietrich Elam to answer the question, “What advice would you give to your younger self?” These two artists have come a long way since their beginnings as artists — Kim actually started her working life as an engineer.

Amy Lighthall
Amy’s Minted Artist Store

Trust that things will work out the way they should and at the right time. And, have patience in my art business.

This is a really tricky question for me to answer because I think all my experiences, both good and bad, have influenced me and my art business along the way. I have learned so much from creating, selling, and marketing my art over the years, and I’m still learning new things daily.

Magic Stones” limited edition print by Amy Lighthall

When I started my business, I remember getting discouraged by how much time and effort I put into my work compared to the sales I was getting. There were so many artists and art online. I would question how I could make a living from my art. In the second year of my business, in 2013, I decided to make my word for the year be “trust.” This single word had such a big impact on my outlook and was a constant reminder for me to trust that where I was in my art and business was where I was supposed to be.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on Q&A: What advice would you give to your younger self?

Roundup: Wedding Invitations & Matching Bouquets

Looking for some bridal bouquet inspiration? Take cues from your wedding invitation—the colors, featured flowers and greenery, and overall look and feel are the perfect reference points for your wedding-day florals. Check out three of our favorite wedding invitations paired with their beautiful bridal-bouquet counterparts.

Modern Greenery Bridal Bouquet

The Look: Simple Greenery
Laurel of Greens” by Jennifer Wick for Minted
Bouquet: Bay laurel leaves and astrantia, created by Coco Rose Design
For an elegant-yet-understated look, skip the showy blooms in favor of something simpler, like a cluster of tiny astrantia blooms surrounded by fresh, fragrant bay laurel leaves.

Pink Peonies Bridal Bouquet

The Look: Garden Romance
 “Garden” by Lori Wemple for Minted
Bouquet: Peonies and sweet peas, created by Southern Blooms
Lush deep-pink peonies and fluttery sweet peas make for an ethereal and utterly romantic combination.

Tropical Bouquet with Pink Proteas

The Look: Escape to the Tropics
 “Tropical Love” by Elly for Minted
Bouquet: King proteas, stock, ranunculuses, and tillandsia, created by Delovely Creative
Hosting a wedding in the tropics? Or perhaps you’re drawn to palm fronds and tropical flowers? Either way, incorporate modern, unexpected elements into your bouquet, like these striking king proteas and wispy air plants. 

Photos: Caroline Tran (simple greenery), Joey + Jessica Weddings (garden romance), and Blush Wedding Photography (escape to the tropics)

More Wedding Ideas:
Wedding Trend: Modern Maritime
Wedding Trend: Dark Florals
• Wedding Trend: Citrus Punch

More from Minted:
Wedding Invitations
Save the Dates
Wedding Websites 


MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on Roundup: Wedding Invitations & Matching Bouquets