Written by Jenny Griffin
Minted artist Kristin Doversberger of Lorent & Leif dances a fine line, deftly balancing between the realms of fine art and graphic design. Take a look at her work and you’ll see exceptional examples of both disciplines. West Elm selected her ethereal pastel abstract landscape “Rise” to be sold in their stores as part of the Minted + West Elm collaboration and both her fine art and graphic design work have secured numerous Minted awards.
Kristin grew up in Indiana and earned her BFA from Indiana University, with a minor in graphic design. She studied painting, drawing, and printmaking, all influences you can see in her Minted work in her playful mixes of color and texture. More recently, she’s experimented with a more illustrative style.
Kristin and her family—husband Mike and sons Thomas and Brooks—recently moved to Holland, Michigan, right on the shores of Lake Macatawa and not far from Lake Michigan. Her new community excites her, and she’s eager to get more involved with the local art museums, historical society, and architectural preservation efforts.
Kristin’s balancing act started early. In college, drawn by her interest in fine art, she interned with a local art museum, learning about art history and working on community education, art preservation, art shipment, and acquisitions. After college she delved into the world of industrial style design, creating advertisements for an array of manufacturing companies. She found she enjoyed translating messages, ideas, and company visions into tangible art and design. It was gratifying and linked her training with her work.
She became a Minted customer in 2011 before winning her first Minted Challenge in 2014. A foray into creating custom wedding invitation for one of her business clients offered a hint that designing for Minted might be in her future. “My entry into the Minted artist community came as an escape from industrial style design and a urge to really get back into what I enjoyed the most—freedom of expression and artistic creativity in an inspired form,” she says. Kristin continues to work as a freelance designer for businesses and individuals in addition to her work for Minted.
We talked with Kristin about her balance of fine art and graphic design and her interest in historical architecture.
Minted: How do you keep both your fine art and graphic design threads going?
Kristin Doversberger: I think these threads are intertwined, at least to some extent. By working in fine arts, I can see backgrounds and textures to replicate in graphic design. In graphic design, I can perfect layouts and think of ways to create emphasis in a more restricted, computer environment. I can then apply these concepts in fine art. In some instances, I will entirely blend the two and paint or create elements to incorporate into a graphic design (for example, my wedding invitation “Conservatory.”) I think we may see more technology in the future with touch screens being used to illustrate graphic works. I have yet to bridge this gap!
Do graphic design and fine arts require different ways of thinking?
I think fine art tends to be open-ended, without limitation on the medium, detail, size, or emphasis of the work. In contrast, graphic design is constrained, at least to some extent, by the program you’re working in. It requires patience and precision and the systematic use of confined spaces. Digital illustration is a good example of where both have to work together. Illustrations often start on paper and finish in Photoshop or Illustrator.
What drew you to professional work in graphic design?
I was drawn to graphic design as an addition to my long-standing love of fine arts. Graphic design and industrial style design help me be versatile in my work and create opportunities I may not otherwise have. I started with an internship that involved “industrial” style design, and then went on to design custom wedding invitations, before returning to industrial design. I’ve designed for housing manufacturers, RV manufacturers, construction retailers (boots and clothing), and other similar companies. It’s a different challenge to take a subject that might otherwise be not thought of as artistic—like work clothing—and blend it with new light, new angles, or emphasis to communicate a message, whether that’s one of durability, quality, or simply hard work.
You’ve talked a bit about your interest in Holland’s historical society and architectural preservation efforts. Do you see opportunities to express your interest in history through your art making?
I’m really interested in historical architecture. I’ve always wanted an older home. The characters and stories within the walls appeal to me, and older homes are always unique. You also see a level of craftsmanship and detail that’s less prevalent in newer homes.
In the process of looking for an older home, we became interested in local history and began researching the stories behind some of the homes. I like to overlay old plat maps onto current maps to uncover where historic homes and buildings once stood to determine the history and stories of various parcels. This becomes a way to figure out who may have owned an old home and a tool to see where homes were previously located. Local preservation groups can also be a great contact. Ones here in Holland have sent me files on old homes to give a boost to further research and to help tell their stories. My husband and I have also enjoyed going to the local history section of the library to look at old illustrations of the homes in the area.
What has the Minted experience meant to you in terms of how you work, what you do, and where you’re going as an artist?
I have a great appreciation for the talent within the Minted community and for the hard work that goes into the many designs entered into competitions. More than anything, I think I value seeing how Minted has allowed my design and fine art to be distributed on a much larger scale. It always feels good to learn where my work has been sold, or to see a painting, design, invitation, or other work mentioned in a blog or article somewhere in the world. I also think it’s great—and a huge compliment—to play a small part in the lives of so many people, whether it’s the design of their wedding invitation, the Christmas card they mail to their friends and family, or birth or moving announcements.
Kristin Doversberger’s Top Sources of Inspiration
- Dribbble.com, where professionals post designs and illustrations. “I look for unique style and see if the artist behind the design has videos or photos of the process I can learn from.”
- Talking with fellow artists. “Artists are a great resource for referrals to those who can help me or vice versa.”
About the Author: Jenny Griffin is a print and broadcast journalist and the founder of Silverplume Press. An avid art lover, she’s also a museum educator at SFMOMA in San Francisco, working with students in grades 3-12. She lives with her husband and three kids in San Francisco. She’s never stopped lacing up her ice skates.
Published October 15, 2018Comments Off on Minted artist Kristin Doversberger weaves together industrial design influences with fine arts training