New Minted Artists Talk Picasso, Pizza, and Mentors

Every month we welcome some of our newer Minted artists to the community in the Welcome Wagon series. Hop on and learn some fun facts about Belia Simm, Seth Smith, and Stephanie Strouse.

Belia Simm
Fishkill, New York

Personal website:
Instagram: @beliasimm
First winning design: “Name Initials” during the A is for Art challenge in August 2015.

Name Initials,” Belia’s first winning design for Minted

Which artist or designer would you like to invite to your home for dinner?
Pablo Picasso, since he was such well-rounded artist. He is famous for his paintings but he also did sculptures, sketching, printmaking, and even stage design. As an artist, my goal is to also have an extensive portfolio of quality, diverse work like he had.

Where do you find inspiration?
Mostly nature, but lately, balloons. My son Luke is just in love with them, and when we both get into our watercolor mood, we paint balloons over and over. I think at some point we are going to launch our little collection of watercolor balloons.

Seth Smith
Kansas City

Personal website:
Instagram: @wyldhunx
My first winning design for Minted:Turq

What’s your favorite part of your Minted experience so far?
Connecting with and realizing how many truly great artists and designers there are out there.

What steps did you take to become an artist?
After graduating from art school, I was spit out into the world with no real sense of direction or clear path to making this life as an artist “work.” They don’t teach you that. I think that might be one of the reasons I was able to land on my feet a bit. I sought out mentors and stubbornly pursued what I thought was the idealistic artistic life. That pursuit forced me to question every move I made. I tried to absorb as much as I could from artists I admired and observe how they were navigating and balancing their lives. The main advice I walked away with—what ultimately guides me—is to go to your studio every day and work. Always ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing, and follow every idea to completion. Do not worry about what critics say—as long as you are passionate about the work and it is moving you, it is not wrong.

Your paintings do such an excellent job of capturing the outdoors. What’s your favorite summer activity?
Definitely driving to get late-night ice cream with my kids, with every window rolled down.

Stephanie Strouse
Columbus, Ohio

Personal website:
My first winning design for Minted: “Adventure with Adoption

If you could only use three colors to design with, which colors would you choose?
Coral, mint, and a golden yellow, because I apparently can’t get away from just using a lot of color in my designs. I love the endless possibilities that come with using the primary colors. Also, I have a thing for bright, colorful things. There is no “theme” in my home—it’s just all of the colors.

What’s your favorite activity that helps you unwind and relax?
I love to drink a glass of wine, eat some spicy Hawaiian pizza, and read a good book. If that sounds gross to anyone, I don’t care! I love it.

Published June 6, 2016 • Want to join the Minted Artist Community? Submit to a Challenge here.

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