2 Minted Artists Win Top Honors in 2016 Louie Awards

Often described as the “Oscars of the stationery world,” the annual Louie Awards are kind of a big deal—especially for the winners. This year, we’re proud to say that the awards’ parent organization, Greeting Card Association, named two Minted designs as winners: Laura Hankins for “Baby Brewing” and Kristie Kern for “Sparkling Frame.” In addition, Minted artist Paul Berthelot received a nomination for “Coal.”

The Louie Awards display of stationery nominees took center stage at the National Stationery Show in mid-May, inside the entryway of the Javits Center in New York.

Sparkling Frame” photo announcement by Kristie Kern

“Grateful is the word I’d use to describe the way I feel about winning a Louie,” Kristie said. “Grateful to Minted for the many amazing opportunities, and for choosing one of my designs to enter for consideration — such an honor in itself. I am grateful to all the talented Minties whose beautiful work sets the bar and inspires me to challenge myself. And especially grateful and honored to have won this award alongside the incredible Laura Hankins.”


Minted Artists Connect at National Stationery Show 2016

Just as Minted has come a long way since the company’s humble beginnings in 2007, NSS has evolved to become more than merely the country’s largest paper-goods trade show. It’s also an annual meeting place for the Minted community to connect, share ideas, and get inspired for the year ahead. Here’s a photo recap of the whirlwind that is NSS—from the vendor floor at Javits Center to the community cocktail party, CMYK Artist brunch, and the conversations in between.

Lower left: Mary-Kevin Stuart, Minted’s Senior Merchandise Manager, Baby + Kids, talks with NSS attendees about Minted Wholesale.
All Photos by Sara Wight

We showcased a sampling of Minted Home products for the first time at the 70th NSS.

Alicia Schultz of Vine and Thistle designed the lettering of this year’s brand statement for the Minted NSS booth.

NSS attendees were excited to take home this postcard map of New York’s High Line, designed by Minted Artist Jordan Sondler.


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.

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Meet a Minted Artist: Betty Hatchett

The Minted artist community consists of more than a handful of observant, thoughtful artists, and Betty Hatchett is definitely one of them. As she shares on her Minted Artist Store, the Cincinnati artist says she feels “more human when I make things, more aware of how strange and wonderful it is to be alive, more grateful.”

In this interview, Betty reflects on a number of those strange and wonderful things, including new motherhood, taking creative risks, and the art of lingering.

Portraits of Betty Hatchett by Julianna Boehm

You recently had your first baby—what is parenthood like for you?
Our son was born in October 2015, and life has been a magical blur ever since. I feel so grateful for the chance to watch his personality emerge, to see my love for him grow evermore specific as I get to know him, and to witness my husband’s devotion to him and to me on a whole new level. My heart feels more raw, stronger, and more vulnerable all at once. Being entrusted with his little life has been clarifying—I want to see him live heart-connected, with empathy and confidence and in pursuit of his calling. With that often on my mind, I’m seeing more and more opportunities to live from my own heart and different obstacles I’ve entertained that derail me from that path.

Parenthood so far has been both an unspeakable joy and incredible challenge. If I wasn’t so sleep-deprived, I’d wax poetic about this.

You live in Ohio, but there are elements of Florida in your work. Are you originally from Florida?
You can often find glimpses of the palette, wilderness, or kitsch of Florida’s gulf coast in my work, where I first fell in love with art making and the sun-kissed, gypsy Floridian artists I met at my neighborhood community center’s outdoor art fairs. I was enchanted as a child walking through booth after booth filled with snowy egrets, great blue herons, and gentle manatees, all the while serenaded by wafting Jimmy Buffett songs.

Float” limited edition art print by Betty Hatchett


Chicago Artists Create Collages at Self-Organized Meetup

“I have glitter glue on the front of my jacket, so I’ll carry a little bit of the meetup forever with me,” joked Melissa Egan, a Chicago artist who goes by Pistols on Minted. On a rainy Sunday afternoon on April 10, she and four fellow Chicago area Minted artists got together to create collages at One Strange Bird in Wicker Park.

Pooja Pittie, a new community member and recent first-time winner of the Minted x West Elm Round 4 Art Challenge, organized the event. “For a Minted newbie like me, it was incredible to meet other artists,” she said. “Our interaction in the community is usually online, so it was really nice to meet in person and get a glimpse of everyone’s artistic process as we worked through the collage board.”

Here’s a recap of the event. If you’re interested in organizing a Minted Artist Meetup in your area, please fill out this form.

Let the collaging begin! Clockwise from top: Pooja Pittie, Lindsay Megahed, Johanna Phillips Huuva, and Melissa Egan of Pistols.

Before we dove into creating our own collages, the teacher at One Strange Bird shared these samples of collages made by other artists.


How to Thrive During Minted’s Holiday Challenge Season

We’ve heard from Minted artists that some of you are a little stressed right now, because we’re in the thick of Minted’s annual holiday design challenge season. To provide insights about staying cool, calm, and creatively collected, the best sources of advice often come from leaders in the community. Here, Minted artists Amy Ehmann of Design Lotus and Lea Delaveris answer this question: What’s your best advice for avoiding burnout and staying motivated, especially during the holiday design challenge season?

Amy Ehmann
Denver, Colorado
Design Lotus Minted Artist Store

Pray before I work. I once read an interview where Megan Gonzalez of Mae Mae & Co. said this is her motto: “People Before Paper. Prayer Before Productivity.” It stuck with me. So I try to pray before each workday that I would do my very best to honor God with my work and time.

Participate in community. I’ve been participating in the Minted holiday challenges since 2008. There were years when I was very heavily involved in community and years where I was not. I’ve found that I do better the years when I am involved and active in the community. I think the process is much more enjoyable and the real-time feedback is invaluable. It’s like having a team of design experts eager to help you grow and improve.

Try something new. It’s easy to get bored if you’re doing the same thing over and over again. I’m a creature of habit, and many of you probably see my work as nothing groundbreaking. For me, “new” may be using a new font, trying a new technique, or learning a new software. I am trying really hard to stick to my brand and style, and that is new for me…

Keep my eye on the prize. I try my very best to block out time for the Minted holiday challenge each year. This is my bread and butter, so I need to give it as much undivided attention as I can, without neglecting my family too much. I am blessed to have a husband who is incredibly supportive and not only helps pick up my slack, but reminds me to keep focused.

Perfect Harmony” foil-pressed wedding invitation by Design Lotus

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Expert Tips for Self-Launching Minted Home Decor

Minted’s Self-launch Home Decor is an industry game-changer. When Minted artists self-launch one fabric design to their Artist Store, they will automatically be able to sell eight products using that fabric: fabric by the yard, pillows, curtains, drum lampshades, chandelier lampshades, placemats, napkins, and table runners.

“Watercolor Dots” Home Decor by Erin Niehenke

If you recently opened your Minted Artist Store and want to learn about the self-launch process, read these FAQs. Download self-launch templates here.

Kirby Lee Smith, a Minted artist who works by day as a home decor and fabric designer for a leading fashion designer—and who formerly created home decor for Target—shares these seven insights about the intricate details and the bigger picture of home decor design.

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Kristen Smith Serves as Minted’s Community Ambassador

Minted artist Kristen Smith was at the top of the list of candidates for the first Minted ambassador, a pilot program we created to help artists connect with each other in their local regions of the world. Minted artists are constantly connecting with each other online, and routinely share with us how much they enjoy meeting and interacting with other community members in person. 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.

“Kristen is a passionate advocate for the Minted community, excellent at coming up with fun ideas, has good relationships with the creative community in Atlanta and has an infectious enthusiasm,” says Anthea Tjuanakis Cox, Minted’s Director of Artist Relations. “You can’t help but feel better after chatting with Kristen.”

Here, Kristen shares a few thoughts about the ambassador program.


Meet the Minted Judge: Haskell Harris of Garden and Gun

As Style Director of Garden & Gun Magazine, Haskell Harris knows a thing or two about good design, which is why we asked her to be a guest judge in Minted’s first religious Christmas photo card challenge. Along with Summer Bellessa and Brooke White from The Girls with Glasses, Haskell will select one of her favorite designs in the “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful” Quickfire Challenge to feature on her Instagram, @haskellharris.

In the following interview, Haskell talks about the power of storytelling and the journey of honing personal style. Read about more Minted Design Challenge guest judges here. Read Haskell’s Garden & Gun blog posts here.

Minted: As style director of Garden & Gun, you oversee fashion, entertaining, interior design, architecture, gardens, and Southern artisans—which is a lot! What is your philosophy about directing style for all these topics?

Haskell Harris: From day one at G&G, I wanted the style content to reflect the same soulfulness and great storytelling that the rest of the magazine is known for. Yes, we feature houses and gardens, beautiful clothes, artisans, and entertaining, but unlike a lot of other titles covering similar content, G&G doesn’t just run pretty photos and leave it at that. We show you the people and the craftsmanship behind the things that would otherwise just be things, and the history and pride of places that make those things compelling.

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7 Podcasts For Inspiring Your Creativity

What inspires your best creative work—audio stimulation or the sound of silence? Some artists need absolute quiet; others, not so much. Jennifer Wick, a prolific artist with 283 Minted Design Challenge wins to her name, says she is unable to work in silence, so she fills the void with good music and talks. “I remember getting my first walkman in sixth grade and raiding my older sister’s mixed tapes, finding a whole new world of music that put me in such an inspired mood,” the Pennsylvania artist says. “From then on, I’ve always worked with music or the news in the background.”

Especially during Minted’s busy holiday stationery design challenge season each spring, Jennifer’s working ritual includes several podcasts per week, in addition to Pandora, HGTV, and the Food Network. If you’re looking for recommendations for podcasts to help stimulate creativity, you’ve come to the right place. With so, so many great podcasts to choose from, we’re limiting our list to seven, but we’d love to hear your ideas—share them in Comments below.

Podcasts About Art, Design, and Creativity

The Jealous Curator: Art for Your Ear

Danielle Krysa is the blogger behind The Jealous Curator, the author of Creative Block, and the host of Art for Your Ear, the podcast featuring “inside-scoop stories from the artsiest people” she knows. Minted artist Kelly Schmidt likes Art for Your Ear for its tips and tricks about artists’ technical aspects, creative process, and materials. “Danielle talks to artists about challenges they face and how they found success,” Kelly says. “There are common themes about artists who are parents, as well as comments about insecurities as artists, which I’m guessing many of us relate to.”

Kelly suggests listening to the episode featuring fellow Minted artist Jaime Derringer (“Design Milk by Day & Sketchbooks by Night”), and to inspire holiday spirit, Kelly likes “The Best Gift Ever,” in which 12 artists talk about the best gift they’ve ever received. She also loves: Xochi Solis: “Paper Nerds Unite“; Kiana Mosley “Late One Night“; and Maryann Moodie: “Textiles Treasures, and a New Tribe.”

The work of textile artist Maryanne Moodie

Design Matters

Design Matters is the world’s first podcast about design and an inquiry into the broader world of creative culture through wide-ranging conversations with designers, artists, curators, musicians, and other leaders of contemporary thought. Host Debbie Millman has interviewed more than 250 design luminaries and cultural commentators, including Massimo Vignelli, Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Pink, Barbara Kruger, and Seth Godin.

Creative Commoners

Creative Commoners explores a particular topic about the creative process, with each host bringing their own flavor and experience to the mix, and plenty of witty and tangential banter to keep things fun. Jennifer Wick recommends “Episode 140: How the Creative Mind Works” (skip to 15:35), in which the speakers talk about their creative processes and the mind exercises they do to help get ideas flowing. “For me, I’ll do whatever it takes to put myself in the holiday mindset,” Jennifer says.

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