The Evolution of Minted Art

Written by Jennifer Griffin

Black 01” Minted art on canvas by Catalina Somolinos of Catilustre, a Spanish Minted artist who lives in Germany.

When Minted Art launched in 2012, five years after the company’s founding, Minted became publicly recognized for what it had already undeniably become: a global community of independent artists. Before then, many thought of Minted as primarily a stationery e-retailer. But the vision had always been far bolder.

Early on, we recognized that the breadth and range of talent within our artist community was incredibly deep. There were graphic designers, illustrators, painters, and creative artists of all kinds. Minted artists clearly needed more canvases, more ways to reach a broader audience in a more comprehensive way. Unleashing their creative output into the $45 billion global art market became a leading drive.

Minted Art launched in May 2012 with a carefully curated selection of limited-edition art prints created by our global community of artists, providing further access to income opportunities, exposure, and creative community. The earliest offerings were primarily graphic design works, including illustrations and customizable children’s art. Photography and prints of painted works would follow. Minted’s prints were and continue to be produced on museum-quality, cotton rag archival paper.

Since 2012, Minted Art has evolved significantly, with each new launch part of a continuous and deliberate effort to provide Minted artists and consumers the best platform to sell and acquire art through both traditional and emerging channels.

A Timeline of Minted Art

  • Spring 2012. Launch of Minted Art with a percentage of sales from children’s and nursery art supporting Every Mother Counts, a nonprofit advocating for maternal health around the world.
  • Spring 2013. Minted’s first West Elm partnership art challenge
  • Summer 2014. Self-launch of artworks debuts for non-custom prints. The introduction of self-launch allows artists to include works in their portfolio beyond those submitted to challenges.

Wild Grass” foil-pressed wall art by LemonBirch Design

  • Fall 2014. Foil-pressed art debuts.
  • Spring 2015. Artist signatures launches, allowing artists to include a signature on the lower right corner of limited-edition prints.
  • Summer 2015. Minted offers the largest frame size to date — 40”x54” — an optimal size for statement pieces. The inclusion of a higher-priced larger frame boosts the commission-based income potential for Minted artists.
  • Winter 2015. Metal frames debut.
  • Spring 2016. A new light grey frame debuts to showcase children’s art.
  • Spring 2016. The Minted x Pottery Barn Kids x PBteen Wall Art Challenge is the largest art challenge in Minted’s history. Read “2 PBTeen X Kids Challenge Artists Share ‘Winner Stories’”
  • Summer 2016. Minted Gallery Personal Art Styling services debut.

Minted Commissioned Original Art by Julia Contacessi, $8,250 for 60″ x 72″

  • Summer 2016. Minted launches Commissioned Original Art, allowing consumers to work with Minted artists directly on commissioned original individual works.  
  • Summer 2016. Minted adds premium mounting options: float-mounting, matted, and full-bleed to better showcase our art.
  • Summer 2016. Minted adds sleek new versions of four classic wood frames with thinner profiles and transitions to a new frames manufacturer, based in Italy.
  • Fall 2017. Minted Art on Canvas launches

Joshua Tree No. 10” Minted Art on Canvas by Jane Wilder of Wilder California

About the global community of artists behind the work

Minted artist Kamala Nahas, a photographer from Ventura, California, links her own development as an artist to both the support provided by the Minted artist community and to growing opportunities within Minted Art. Nahas joined Minted in 2011, initially to transition from being a stay-at-home parent to building a nascent portrait photography business. “I started out with Minted as a hobbyist,” she says, but her development exceeded her early expectations. “It turned out to be a career path for me, something I could be professional at and throw myself into to.” Better yet, her now thriving career has been empowering for her 16-year-old daughter to witness. “She sees you can be in a creative field, make something of it, be fulfilled, make a living. On a big scale, that’s what it’s really meant to me.”

Minted artist Kamala Nahas photographs a surfer in Southern California.

Nahas began submitting her work to challenges energetically and prolifically, winning both West Elm and Pottery Barn Teen partnership challenges. “I’m in West Elm, I’m in Pottery Barn Teen, and my friends see my work at the mall and send me pictures. It’s wonderful. This is the real deal that I’m doing,” she says.

Resiste” wall art print by Kamala Nahas

Nahas has directly benefited from Minted’s Commissioned Original Art and is now wrapping up her third commision, her biggest to date. “It’s something I never thought would happen,” she says, an advancement made possible by being part of the Minted artist community.

Minted Art’s growing mounting, matting, and framing options have boosted Nahas’ channels as well, giving her a wealth of ways to display her work on social media. The addition of Art on Canvas especially excites her as canvas tops the list of her customers’ requests. With her sales going up consistently every month, Nahas attributes her financial success as an artist in large part to Minted’s increasing options within art assortments.  

Dutch artist Miranda Mol has relished Minted Art opportunities to reach a worldwide audience. Her vibrant Minted work — ranging from surface pattern design to figure drawing to photography to children’s art — has been bought by appreciators in Singapore, Norway, the Philippines, Canada, and the U.S. “For me as a Dutch and European artist, Minted has certainly broadened my horizons, opening this new market for me, the huge American and world market,” she says, adding that being part of a worldwide community of supportive artists has fueled her growth as an artist and lead to new friendships.

Mol points to the value of the Signatures feature for art prints, adding a layer of refinement and exclusivity. “For the consumer, it really feels like they are buying a special piece of art,” she explains, “and for the artist, it’s very special to know your signed art has been bought by people around the world and is hanging on their walls.”

Model9” by Miranda Mol for Minted

Trained during art school in a nonconventional approach to figure drawing by the famed South African artist Marlene Dumas, Mol has returned to figure drawing, practicing regularly with a local group of artists in her home town of Den Bosch in the Netherlands. The evolution of Minted Art has broadly expanded the potential reach of her renewed focus and creative output. Thinking outside the box is paying off in spades.


About the author: Jennifer Griffin is a print and radio journalist with an avid interest in the arts. More recently, she’s expanded into the nonprofit and tech industries, covering a broad range of subjects including the arts, business, tech, healthcare, wine, and impact investing. Nicely dovetailing with her work at Minted is her role as a docent for SFMOMA.

Published November 2, 2017

  1. Hilair

    Minted means more for many and certainly Mianda Mol

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