Written by Annie Shapiro

Let’s jump right into it. We’re thrilled to announce the third-place winner, as determined by voters, of Minted’s It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like the Holiday Photo Card Challenge. We are grateful to the winner—this artist has given so much to the Minted Artist community over the years.



Written by Easter Kim

We’re happy to continue the countdown of winners for the It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like the Holiday Photo Card Challenge. Every year, the Artist Relations team brainstorms fun ways to get artists engaged and excited about our annual holiday photo card challenge. This year we had new team members join the festivities to celebrate the artists who never cease to amaze us with their beautiful holiday designs. Your talent and wild holiday spirit during spring and summer months keep our work interesting and worthwhile.

Congratulations to the 4th to 20th-place winners of our tenth annual holiday photo card challenge!



Written by Katherine Philpot

On April 12, we kicked off The It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like the Holiday Photo Card Challenge, our 10th annual Holiday Photo Card Challenge. We asked the Minted artist community to push the boundaries of holiday card design. Because our customers count on Minted to find fresh, innovative designs, we look to our independent artists to think outside the box, and craft a card that they would be proud to send to their own friends and family. Minted artists did just that, and today we’re thrilled to begin counting down the top winners, as determined by voters, for this esteemed Minted Design Challenge, one of our biggest competitions of the year.

This year, our international artist community submitted 5,461 designs, and our consumers and community of voters generated a whopping 2,447,005 votes — that’s an additional 425,000 votes compared to last year.

Please help me congratulate the following artists on their remarkable work!



Written by Christiane Pendarvis

When we kicked off the Do You Hear What I Hear? Religious Christmas Photo Card Challenge, our second faith-based design challenge, our goal was to showcase spiritual aspects of the holiday season — from scripture greetings to faith-centric images — in a fresh and innovative way. We asked Minted artists to create religious designs across a broad range of styles, from traditional and classic to modern and edgy. As usual, Minted’s global community of artists surpassed our expectations. I’m delighted to present the 10th through 1st place winners!


  1. Cat Caudillo’s holiday sprigs embrace the word “Noel” abundantly in her design.
  1. Framed with elegant white space, Jamie Schultz Designs’ message of “Hallelujah” bursts in foil.
  1. Kristie Kern’s fresh winter greens adorn the family photo, in her signature style of clean design with exquisite detail.
  1. Lori Wemple’s minimalist design draws the eye to the photo, with a playful tiding of joy.


Written by Leah Conroy

While the rest of the world gets into the holiday spirit in late November, at Minted, we start the process in the spring. That’s when we invited Minted artists to submit designs to the Do You Hear What I Hear? Religious Christmas Photo Card Challenge, our second faith-based design challenge. We developed this competition to produce cards for people who are specifically looking for religious or spiritual Christmas greetings and designs.

Since the spring, Minted artists have been heads-down, focused on creating the most beautiful, unique holiday card designs in the world. They’ve also been anxiously awaiting this blog post — the kickoff of our annual winner announcements for some of our most anticipated and celebrated Minted Design Challenges of the year.

For our 10th annual holiday card season, we’re thrilled with the creativity of designs that artists submitted. The Minted Artist community continues to surpass our expectations in design for the most unique, cutting-edge holiday cards. We appreciate every artist who submitted a design, gave a critique, voted in a design poll, and shared festive posts in the Minted Community Facebook group to help fellow community members get in the holiday spirit. At the end of the day, the heart and soul of who Minted is centers around our global community of independent artists.

Here’s the start of our winner countdown, as determined by voters, for the Do You Hear What I Hear Religious Christmas Photo Card. Heartfelt congrats to our first group of holiday winners!


Minted’s Follow Your Passion Tour an action-packed art adventure

Written by Amy Schroeder & Easter Kim

Three days. Three cities. Dozens of artists. One huge surprise. That’s the condensed version of our Follow Your Passion Tour, in which Minted Founder and CEO Mariam Naficy and her team traveled from California to celebrate the art and design worlds of Austin, Nashville, and Miami, August 23–25. During our action-packed 24 hours in each city, we explored art hot spots, enjoyed discussions with local Minted artists, and celebrated in the evenings with gallery events showcasing artists’ original work and Minted Art prints.

Now that we’ve returned from the whirlwind tour, our feelings are a mix of inspiration and compassion. We loved talking with the artists who create Minted art and design, and we learned so much by experiencing their cities firsthand. But shortly after we returned to our San Francisco headquarters, Hurricane Harvey reared its head in south Texas, touching too close to home for a number of Minted artists. 

“The Minted team and I are saddened by the grave impact of Hurricane Harvey on Texas,” says Mariam. “We are thinking of our friends there. In honor of our visit to Texas for the Follow Your Passion Tour, we donated $5,000 to American Red Cross and we encourage everyone to donate. You can find a list of places to donate here.”

Minted artists Erin Hodges of Fig and Cotton and Megan Davis of Toast & Laurel gave Mariam Naficy and team a tour of the Austin art + design scene, including the Hope Outdoor Gallery pictured above.

(Above) Mariam Naficy talks with Austin area Minted artists at Hotel Saint Cecilia on August 23, before the art gallery event. (Below) We showcased works by Texas Minted artists at Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin.

Luckily for Maja Cunningham, a Minted artist who traveled from her home in Ft. Worth for the Austin event at Hotel Saint Cecilia on August 23, her town merely experienced more rainfall than usual. “It’s heartbreaking to see what’s happening in the south,” Maja said. As for the Austin art event, Maja found it inspiring, informative and “simply beautiful,” saying that she enjoyed talking with Texas Minted artists and meeting Minted team members in person. “The future of Minted looks bright, and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together. This unique community of independent artists is an incredible source of inspiration.”

Blogger Camille Styles (@camillestyles) attended the Austin Follow Your Passion gallery event and posted this Instagram shot, writing “Art + wine at @hotelsaintcecilia with my @minted friends tonight.”


Minted 2016 Holiday Challenge Winners Visit San Francisco

Written by Simone Monrad

Every year, the top three winners of one of Minted’s largest challenges of the year, the Holiday Photo Card Challenge, win a two-day trip to visit Minted in San Francisco. On August 14 and 15, we welcomed Susan Moyal, Ann Gardner and Angela Marzuki—the top three winners of Minted’s 2016 Making Spirits Bright Holiday Photo Card Challenge—to our hometown.

It was a typical foggy day in the city, but this didn’t take away from the excitement of finally meeting these very talented women in person. The two-day trip was a whirlwind of activities, including attending a new product development meeting with Minted Founder and CEO Mariam Naficy, a Q&A session with members of the Merchandising and Engineering teams, and a tour of the office. “The Minted office is like nothing I imagined,” said Susan Moyal, the first-place winner in the challenge. “It is amazing to see how many people are working behind the scenes and gain more insight on how the company runs.”

The 2016 Holiday Photo Card Challenge winners in some fun spaces in the San Francisco Minted office, the Printshop, and the Pillow Room. From left: Angela Marzuki, Susan Moyal, and Ann Gardner

During the trip, we got some tips on visiting their home cities (Toronto, Chicago, and Dallas) and gained valuable feedback on their experience as a Minted artist. “I work the best under pressure,” laughed Angela Marzuki. “I’m not one to plan much before challenges are posted. I focus on what I enjoy creating and getting it in before the deadline.” Each artist has been working with Minted for quite some time and we chatted about how Minted has grown over the years and exciting new developments, like our new wedding products and greeting cards. They all agreed that the submission process, especially for Holiday cards, can be overwhelming, but noted that file preparation has become easier and more streamlined. Something we were very happy to hear!


The winning designs of 2016 Making Spirits Bright Holiday Card Challenge, from left: “Christmas Sprigs” by Susan Moyal, “Winter Window” by Ann Gardner, and “Freshly Framed by Angela Marzuki

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Nashville Minted Artists to Watch

Written by Jennifer Griffin

Angela Simeone

For artist Angela Simeone, the creation of art is no picnic. It’s a struggle, a battle, and yet it’s one of the most profoundly human and life-affirming pursuits one can take on. Art can be lonely. It demands mightily of you. And yet look what comes out of it.

An abstract painter and mixed media artist, Angela has lived and worked in Nashville for the last decade with her husband and three sons. Self-taught, Angela has thrown herself into learning the craft of painting with the same tenacity and discipline she exacted in her former career. Before moving to Nashville, Angela worked in San Francisco at the height of the dot-com boom in the late ‘90s, doing marketing for an editorial startup called Chick Click, an online network of independent zines targeted toward young, hip, urban women.

“It was a highly creative group of primarily women. That was the first time I watched women create their own realities, their own lives, their own careers. They were self-starters, writing their own tickets. A lot of them had not done anything like what we were doing.”

That early lesson, that you can push forward, do good work, and experience success despite initial inexperience was a key one, though not entirely new. Prior to San Francisco, Angela worked in marketing in the music industry in Nashville, initially working for free at an independent publicity and marketing label while studying business at the University of Georgia. It was a thrilling gig; the label promoted Hootie and the Blowfish and the Dave Matthews Band on their first albums.

“I got far more out of everything I’ve done for free than what I gave,” she says. “By working along someone for free, learning and becoming part of the process, that person becomes invested in you.”

Southern Cotton Series 4” by Angela Simeone

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Hip Hip Hooray Kid’s Invitation Challenge Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prize winners of our Hip Hip Hooray Kid’s Birthday Party Invitation Challenge. We invite our talented Minted community to design fun and unique invitations that set the tone for a major, memorable party and become a keepsake that the parent and child will enjoy for years to come. Congratulations, winners!

Out of the Box Award
For the most design-forward, innovative kids’
birthday party invitation that you would only find at Minted.
Bow and Arrow by Alethea and Ruth

Runners-up: Jungle One by Grace Kreinbrink | Party Lion by Melanie Mikecz | Book Party by Shiny Penny Studio

Birthday Boy Award
For the best design for a boy.

Birthday Rider by Rebecca Durflinger

Runners-up: Skip Go by Jennifer Lew | Ready, Set, Jet! by Susan Asbill | MVP Collectors Card by Shiny Penny Studio

Say Cheese Award
Some of our top-selling birthday party designs
incorporate photos and we are looking to grow our photo assortment.
This award is for the best party invite featuring one or more photos of the
birthday boy or girl.
Cartoon B-Day by Avie Designs

Runners-up:  Fairytale Princess by Karidy Walker | I’m This Many by Kelly Kirkbride | I Am One by Phones Ras

First Fete Award
For the best party invitation for a 1 year old girl or
boy (which ideally works well for either gender).
Butterfly Garden by Angela Marzuki

Runners-up:  Little Racer by Jennifer Lew | Dundee by Chicimicacuno | Toucan by Lori Wemple

Foil Fiesta Award
For the best design with elements that would truly
shine in foil. Please note only non-customizable text and elements can be
Magical by Laura Hankins

Runners-up:  Unicorno by Peetie Design | Glitter & Glam by Oma N. Ramkhelawan | Rinaldi by Chicimicacuno

Great Shape Award
Our die-cut shapes are especially popular with
customers purchasing kids’ birthday party invitations. This award is for the
best design specifically created for one of the unique shapes Minted offers.

Splash Pool Party by Anupama

Runners-up:  The Magic One by Anna de Sousa | Berry Sweet by Laura Hankins | Pizza Pie Party by Paper Sun Studio 

Changing Seasons Award
Some of our top-selling designs are seasonally
inspired and we would like to augment our assortment of autumnal and
wintery designs (think pumpkins, fall leaves, snowflakes, etc.)

Winter Train by Baumbirdy

Runners-up:  Autumn Pumpkin by Karidy Walker | Pumpkin Patch by Laura Hankins 

Curvilinear Award
For the best design that puts the name or other
customizable text on a curvilinear path.

Animal Pool Party by Lori Wemple

Runners-up:  Over the Moon by Jessie Steury | Slither Snake by Jessica Ogden | Purrfect Kittens by Shiny Penny Studio

Newbie Award
For the best design from a designer winning for the first time.

Calling All Superheroes by Jessica Prout 

Originality Award
For the best design that incorporates an original hand-drawn illustration or hand lettering.

Ellie Fun by Sweta Modi


Minted x West Elm Art on the Big Stage Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prize winners of our Minted x West Elm Art on the Big Stage Challenge! For our fifth year running, Minted and West Elm teamed up to put Minted’s independent artists on a big stage. Congratulations, winners!

West Elm Creative Director’s Award
For the piece that most captures the attention of West Elm’s senior vice president of design, Johanna Uurasjarvi.
Surf by Lauren Packard Art

Collection Award
For the best group of pieces (3-4) that could be purchased together.
Stay 1, Still 2, Still 3, Still 4, and Still 5 by Victoria Johnson

Painterly Neutrals Award
For the best painting created in a neutral color palette.
Mountain Movements by Kristen Franklin

Abstract Photography Award
For the best abstracted piece of photography.
Big Apple Blur by Emily Coey

Fauna Photography Award
For the best piece of photography showcasing animals.
Jane Gallagher by Amy Carroll

Printmaking Award
For the best piece of art created using a printmaking technique (lithography, etching, etc).
Ocean Abstract IIIOcean Abstract IV, and Ocean Abstract V by Alicia Schultz

Graphic & Geometric Award
For the most interesting graphic & geometric art print.
After Midnight by melanie mikecz

Drawing & Sketching Award
For the best black & white drawing or sketch.
Human One: Anton by Colin Stuart