After Building Her Style on Minted, Roxy Cervantes Tries Her Hand at Illustration

When Roxy Cervantes joined the Minted artist community in 2010, she was fresh out of college and hadn’t developed her own design style. Eager to learn and gain real-world experience, she entered her first Minted Design Challenge for business cards. Seven years on, she credits Minted Challenges with helping her develop her aesthetic, which has evolved into what it is today: clean, simple, typography-driven cards and stationery with a dollop of white space.

Now 29, Roxy works by day as a graphic designer, and by night, she’s steering herself in a new direction with her Minted design work. “I am not an illustrator by any means; in fact, I am very intimidated by illustration, but recently I’ve been trying to push myself to develop my own illustrative style,” she says. “Illustration is definitely challenging and outside of my comfort zone, but that’s one of the things I love about the Minted Challenges—you can put anything out there and the community is always supportive and incredibly helpful.”

In this Meet a Minted Artist interview, Roxy talks about how fellow Minted artists’ talent inspires her to grow.

“Big News” foil-pressed save the date card by Roxy Cervantes

Minted: How are you trying to push your illustrative style?
Roxy Cervantes: Illustration was never one of my strengths. I don’t draw or illustrate, but seeing amazing designs by other artists inspires me to try. There’s not just one way to do illustration; I’m trying watercolor, painting, and drawing. I’m working on figuring out how I can take my style in a more illustrative direction and grow myself as a designer to get outside my comfort zone. I signed up for a Skillshare and take classes online, and I’m also learning how to do hand-lettering, which is very challenging. I’m practicing on my own to see how I can incorporate my own illustrative style into Minted Challenges. Even if I think my work is terrible, you can get great feedback, and it’s encouraging. I feel comfortable putting myself out there on Minted, and I know I will improve.

“Stable” wedding invitation by Roxy Cervantes

How have you changed as a designer?
I used to think my designs weren’t good enough, but over time, I was able to get over that insecurity. Now I realize there’s a place for all kinds of style, especially on Minted. There’s a wide range of what people are looking for. I have my own style, and other artists I admire may not have the same strength that I do. Minted is a great place for new designers to help you find your style and your voice as a designer. At first, it might feel a little overwhelming and intimidating, but there’s a place for everyone. It really can help someone grow and a designer everyone’s so nice it’s a great networking tool.

Where did you go to school?
I went to Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles and majored in Communication Arts, Graphic Design. I originally went for photography but ended up switching to Graphic Design. While I wouldn’t call myself a photographer, I do enjoy taking photos and usually have at least one camera with me.

What drives you?
The desire to learn, to improve. I’m proud of the work I do, but I always think there’s something else to learn. There’s another way to improve. There’s someone else to learn from.

“Scripted Ampersand” wedding invitation by Roxy Cervantes

What obstacles have you faced in your career, and how have you overcome them?
I struggled for a while to find my own design style and to feel like there is place for my style. It is so easy to say, “I can’t do this or I can’t do that.” Instead, I try to focus on what I can do and push myself to try new things.

What do you want to learn?
Right now I’m focusing on getting back to pen and paper. I like to get off the computer and do things by hand. I spend so much time on a computer because of my day job, as a designer for an exhibit house creating creating large-scale graphics for events and tradeshows. Then after work and sometimes on weekends, I often go home and end up going back on the computer. I’ve been doing watercolor, painting, sketching, and pattern work. Lately I’ve been using a Sharpie, which is a great way of creating hand-drawn patterns. Then I scan the designs to convert into a cool background. Hand-lettering is a huge trend right now, and for me it’s a little easier to do by hand than on computer.

What kind of stationery do you most enjoy designing?
Wedding is my favorite category to design for. Weddings are something to celebrate and I love creating something that is going to be part of such a special day.

What’s your most memorable Minted community experience?
One of my first holiday card designs, “Mistletoe Kiss,” placed 15th in the Holiday Challenge in 2012. I was beyond surprised and so excited. It definitely encouraged me to keep entering challenges.

What’s your favorite Minted art or design that another Minted artist created?
Basically anything that Kelli Hall designs, creates, or styles. She is unbelievable. Everything she creates is so beautiful — I absolutely love her work.

What makes the Minted artist community unique to you?
I never considered designing stationery until Minted, and now it’s my favorite thing to design. There are so many talented people in the community, which definitely keeps me going. After those long days or weeks, I look forward to designing for Minted.

I’ve got to ask about your love for The Golden Girls. Who’s your favorite?
It’s a nostalgic attachment. I remember growing up, The Golden Girls came on before dinnertime; for some odd reason, my whole family watched together. Rose is my favorite character, and I love Betty White’s comeback in recent years. I love the dynamic of the show because it reminds me of what my friends and I will be like in 40 years. It’s a great show to have on in the background. It definitely takes me back to my childhood, my sister and I still have inside jokes about the show. I own the whole series on DVD and I go to a Golden Girls drag show every December in San Francisco, where they reenact Christmas episodes.

Roxy’s Inspiration & Favorite Things

Favorite place in the world: Lisboa, Portugal

Favorite Instagrammers: At the moment, Lauren Bullen of @gypsea_lust and Erin Wheeler of @sunnycirclestudio

Favorite design tool: A Sharpie — it’s great for creating patterns and textures.

Favorite website: Apartment Therapy! I just moved and am obsessed with this site.

Caffeine addiction: Really anything. San Francisco has amazing coffee shops, favorite is Phils. Cup in the morning and do work at the coffee shop.

“Ampersand” foil-pressed holiday card by Roxy Cervantes

More About Roxy Cervantes
Roxy Cervantes’ Minted Artist Store
Roxy Cervantes on Instagram @roxydcervantes

About the Author: Amy Schroeder, Minted’s Community Content Manager, founded Venus, the magazine about women in the arts and DIY culture, and has written for Etsy, West Elm, and NYLON. Connect on Instagram @thevenuslady.

Published April 27, 2017

  1. Jody Wody

    Loved reading about Roxy’s foray into illustration and seeing her beautiful workspace! <3



    Visit my Roxy page