Minted Real Wedding: Alyssa & Nic in Brooklyn

After more than seven years of dating, Alyssa and Nic (who first met on MySpace!) decided to make it official and tied the knot at the Brooklyn Courthouse with just their immediate family as witnesses. Later, they broke the happy news to friends and extended family by mailing marriage announcements (from Minted, natch!), then invited everyone to the Brooklyn Winery in Williamsburg eight months later for a wedding reception and party. The celebration featured deep-red tones and French-themed details (a jazz band performed “La Vie en Rose” for the couple’s first dance; guests were given boxes of Ladurée macarons as favors) and the winery’s collection of vintage, mismatched china perfectly complemented the look.

Bride and groom: Alyssa Mozdzen & Nic diPierro
Occupations: Freelance IT tech, actor, and writer (Nic); literary agency assistant (Alyssa) and graduate student (she will be attending graduate school for writing in the fall)
Based in: Brooklyn, NY
Wedding ceremony: December 12, 2014 at the Brooklyn Courthouse
Wedding reception: August 9, 2015 at the Brooklyn Winery
Number of guests: About 130
Minted wedding invitation: “Johannis” by Jack Knoebber (letterpressed)
Wedding gown: Rembo Styling, purchased from VeKa Bridal in Brooklyn
Florist: Faye + Renee
Musicians: Avalon Jazz Band
Photographer: Bia Sampaio

Brooklyn Winery Wedding Minted Wedding Invitation

How did you and Nic meet? 
Through MySpace! We’ve been together a very long time…

Tell us about the proposal…
We’d been together for more than seven years before deciding to make it official, so there really wasn’t a formal proposal. Getting married was never really something either of us were dying to do. We’re supremely happy together, and knew we’d spend the rest of our lives together regardless of whether or not we were married. But after crunching the numbers and deciding we wanted that official security of marriage, we figured we might as well! My parents had already planned a visit to New York in December, so we got married while they were in town. Nic’s mom signed as our witness, and we didn’t tell anyone but our immediate families. We broke the news to all of our friends and extended family in late January by mailing marriage announcements (using Minted!). It made the whole reveal so much more personal than simply posting something on social media. We got so many texts and phone calls after people opened their mail and saw the good news!

How did you find your wedding venues?
The Brooklyn Courthouse was purely for convenience: we live within walking distance! And we found Brooklyn Winery after doing some research on Brooklyn venues that fit not only our budget, but our style and size. Plus, they make it so easy by providing the food, wine, and a day-of planner to help assist coordinating all your vendors.

What was the wedding-dress shopping process like?
My mom came in from out of town and my sister (who lives in Brooklyn as well) joined me in searching for the perfect dress. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted because I knew exactly what I didn’t want: no strapless, no ball gown, no white—I really wanted a blue dress. We must have looked at about five or six different locations over a few days, but found this one at the first place we looked, Veka Bridal in Brooklyn. The designer was Rembo Styling and it fit everything on my wish list: vintage looking, simple, unique, and, most importantly, a lovely shade of light blue peeking out through the white lace.

And what about your accessories?
I carried a book-themed clutch by Kate Spade. Since I didn’t have a bouquet, I wanted my clutch to have some significance, and since I work in publishing, that clutch was perfect.

Click through for more from Alyssa and Nic’s Brooklyn wedding

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Minted Launches Minted Local (Our First Retail Store!)

Last week, Minted opened the doors to its first-ever brick-and-mortar store Minted Local, situated in the heart of San Francisco’s Union Square neighborhood. The shop brings the e-commerce company’s products to life and features art, home goods, and stationery from Minted’s community of independent artists and designers. The boutique also emphasizes the work of California-based artists and offers original art and one-of-a-kind items (which we’ve never done before!).

We kicked things off last Thursday with an opening party featuring pressman Matt Kelsey operating an old-school letterpress in the shop window (he made art prints for guests to take home!), delicious bites from Taste Catering, and a flower bar where guests could create their own bouquet (and have it wrapped by yours truly!). During the first week, 50 percent of all sales will benefit Every Mother Counts, a non-profit organization founded by Christy Turlington Burns that is dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safer for mothers around the world.

Minted Local also will feature workshops, artists-in-residence programs, styling services, as well as interactive crafts and complimentary mementos to keep children entertained while you’re shopping. Come by to see it in real life and say hello! Minted Local is located at 222 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94108; we’re open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Minted Local store, San Francisco

Minted Local store, San Francisco

Minted Local, San Francisco

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Behind the Design: “Abstract Union” Wedding Invitation

Minted designer Simona Cavallaro, who lives and works in San Jose, Calif., takes us through the creative process for her modern, brushstroke-patterned “Abstract Union” wedding invitation.

What was the inspiration behind this wedding invitation?
I love combining contrasting trends together in interesting ways. Here I wanted to create something that felt chic and sophisticated with a fresh and unexpected look. I think the result is classic with a twist.

Describe the couple that might choose this invitation for their wedding.
This design is for the couple that wants elegance but with an unexpected twist. Maybe the wedding venue is an old urban loft instead of a ballroom. Or the couple opted to use succulents instead of flowers at the event. I want my design to set the tone and hint to guests that there will be something special at the wedding.

What wedding trends do you love right now?
I feel like weddings are becoming less about tradition and more about what makes a couple unique. Personal touches are apparent all throughout the details of the ceremony and reception which makes weddings feel more bespoke, no matter the budget. I guess I would call this “the anything goes trend.” And I love it!

Abstract Union modern wedding invitation from Minted

Describe your design process, from initial idea to end result.
Here is my typical process: A fantastic idea pops into my head while I’m driving, sleeping, showering, or doing something else that prevents me from writing it down. I repeat the idea in my head until it no longer makes sense, then I forget it altogether. I finally get to my workspace, clear my mind, relax, and start playing with paint on a blank canvas. Usually I’ll get a totally unexpected result that will naturally spark a new—even better—idea. And I just go with it.

In this case, it was the combination of rough brushstrokes and organic dots that really spoke to me. Once I finish painting, I scan and start working with the art on my computer by pairing it with typography. I really believe that type can make or break my designs, so I probably spend way more time setting type than any other part of my design process. The final thing I do is get feedback to make sure I’m not completely off with what I’m trying to achieve.

What were some challenges you faced while designing this invitation?
The most challenging thing with this design, and probably most of my others, was narrowing down the color options. I love playing with color and being limiting to only six different palettes is really hard! But I tried my best to choose a broad range that will appeal to different couples.

Abstract Union modern wedding invitation from Minted

Tell us about your workspace.
I like to say that I have a mobile or traveling workspace. I have a designated space set up for working, but most of the time I find myself getting more work done if I’m open to moving around. Sometimes a coffee shop can be the most productive place in the world, other times my dinner table might become my painting studio. The couch, the floor, my patio, even a picnic table at a park have all been my workspaces at some point. The more open I am about how I work, the more opportunities I make for my creativity to build.

How did you start designing for Minted?
I was at a point in my life when I needed to nourish my creativity or I would burst. Minted allowed me to do just that. I was able to create and design based on my inspirations and talents, join an amazing network of designers, make new friends, and literally infuse my life with the creative fuel it was craving.

More from Simona Cavallaro:
Simona’s Minted Store
• Simona’s Website
Simona’s Instagram

More from Minted:
• Wedding Invitations
• Save the Date Cards
• Wedding Websites

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Roundup: Wedding Invitations & Matching Bouquets

Looking for some bridal bouquet inspiration? Take cues from your wedding invitation—the colors, featured flowers and greenery, and overall look and feel are the perfect reference points for your wedding-day florals. Check out three of our favorite wedding invitations paired with their beautiful bridal-bouquet counterparts.

Modern Greenery Bridal Bouquet

The Look: Simple Greenery
Laurel of Greens” by Jennifer Wick for Minted
Bouquet: Bay laurel leaves and astrantia, created by Coco Rose Design
For an elegant-yet-understated look, skip the showy blooms in favor of something simpler, like a cluster of tiny astrantia blooms surrounded by fresh, fragrant bay laurel leaves.

Pink Peonies Bridal Bouquet

The Look: Garden Romance
 “Garden” by Lori Wemple for Minted
Bouquet: Peonies and sweet peas, created by Southern Blooms
Lush deep-pink peonies and fluttery sweet peas make for an ethereal and utterly romantic combination.

Tropical Bouquet with Pink Proteas

The Look: Escape to the Tropics
 “Tropical Love” by Elly for Minted
Bouquet: King proteas, stock, ranunculuses, and tillandsia, created by Delovely Creative
Hosting a wedding in the tropics? Or perhaps you’re drawn to palm fronds and tropical flowers? Either way, incorporate modern, unexpected elements into your bouquet, like these striking king proteas and wispy air plants. 

Photos: Caroline Tran (simple greenery), Joey + Jessica Weddings (garden romance), and Blush Wedding Photography (escape to the tropics)

More Wedding Ideas:
Wedding Trend: Modern Maritime
Wedding Trend: Dark Florals
• Wedding Trend: Citrus Punch

More from Minted:
Wedding Invitations
Save the Dates
Wedding Websites 


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Meet a Minted Artist: Whitney Deal

A series where we highlight a member of our Minted artist community. Featured this month: designer and photographer Whitney Deal, who lives and works in Wilkesboro, NC.

Whitney Deal interned at Martha Stewart Living magazine and studied fashion design at Parsons before moving into photography. Here, the multidisciplinary artist and maker shares a peek at her creative life in rural Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

Meet a Minted Artist: Whitney Deal

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
Years of making and experimenting. I started out as a graphic designer, moved into photography, took a few years to learn the craft of garment design, and now my creative life is a mash of all those things. My husband and I ran a successful photography business for several years until we had children. We opted for a less transient lifestyle after that, so now I’m solo, blending my passions of photography, sewing, painting, quilting, and simply making all together, with a touch of freelance design on the side. Most recently, my second daughter had heart surgery as a newborn in 2014 which has led me to pursue an interest in medicine. My life and work is a blend of past experiences and a range of interests, and that’s the way I like it.

Did you study photography formally in school?
I have two undergraduate degrees, one in graphic design, the other fashion design. I started a grad program in photography but skipped out after a year because it wasn’t the right time for me.

Where do you currently reside?
A small town in western North Carolina where I was raised. I’ve had the opportunity to live in different types of places (Savannah, NYC, Raleigh) but now that I have a young family, the slow pace and familiarity—you just can’t beat that.

Can you share the schedule of a typical day in the life?
Along with all of my creative endeavors, I also stay home with my two young daughters, so most days are structured around them. I maintain an Etsy shop with PDF sewing patterns, so I’m often found sewing up new designs or managing that store. I paint to relax, so when I have a few minutes to myself, you can find me with my watercolors. And of course my photography, which on a typical day means snapping memories of my girls.

Please tell us about your studio space.
I keep my sewing machine out, a table to spread out on, and a pin-up board beside me. And light, lots of light.

What are some of your own “rules” for living + working?
I get pretty excited and energized by productivity and it has taken me a long time to understand that unfortunately I can’t add more hours into a day; so learning to accept that sometimes you just have to surrender to the day and start again tomorrow is a rule I try to live by when balancing life and work.

What objects have been most significant to you lately?
It’s always been a sewing machine and my camera.

What is your creative process like?
I typically start with an idea and then it’s GO time. When the juices are flowing, I’m making. I have to remind myself to slow down and reflect.

When did you take up photography?
After college I interned with Martha Stewart Living magazine in the art department. I enjoyed what I did with that department but I was most intrigued with the photo shoots and what the photographer was doing. As soon as I finished up that internship, I bought a camera and took a few photography classes at a local art center.

What are your favorite subject matters?
I’ve always had a thing for still life. Give me a bowl of fruit on a table any day!

Do you primarily shoot digitally or with film?
Now I shoot digitally, mostly because of the expense of film, but every now and again I’ll pull out the film cameras and take it slow.

Meet a Minted Artist: Whitney Deal

Click through to read more about Minted artist Whitney Deal and her work

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Winners: Become the Face of Minted Weddings

We asked our wonderful customers and fans to submit their favorite engagement and save-the-date photos for a chance to be featured in Minted’s newest wedding stationery collections. Amazingly, we received a whopping 3,630 submissions (way to make our jobs difficult!) and are so pleased to announce the winning shots. Check them out below, along with notes from our editors on how they selected the winners. Congratulations to all!

Minted Weddings Model Winners“Adorable! We loved this playful-yet-candid moment captured
in this stylish couple’s engagement photo.”

Editor’s Award: Best Photo
The couple: Tennessee Gist & Collin Hauser
Based in: Dallas, TX
Photographer: Ellen Wildhagen

Minted Weddings Model Winners“This shot feels like a magical stolen moment. The city lights, her chic jacket, the bustling background—no wonder this was the top-voted photo!”

The Award: Top Voted
The couple: Pedro Pacheco & Bruna Camargo
Based in: Novi, MI
Photographer: Remy Roman

Minted Weddings Model Winners“These sweet lovebirds are so dapper! Their elegant outfits combined
with those rich, fall colors are perfection.”

Editor’s Award: Black Tie Couple
For the couple with the best engagement photos with a formal feel
The couple: Anh Do & Vu Nguyen
Photographer: Christine Farah

Minted Weddings Model Winners“We loved the contrast between their crisp, stylish outfits and the soft, hazy
Eiffel Tower behind them. So evocative and romantic.”

Editor’s Award: Best Destination
The couple with the most breathtaking destination engagement photos (from beaches to mountains to getaways abroad)
The couple: Keith Barry & Paul Vouriot
Photographer: Brian Wright of French Grey Photography

Minted Weddings Model Winners“Smoke bombs?! Such a genius way to add some color and drama to your engagement photos.”

Editor’s Award: Most Creative Couple
The couple with the most unique engagement photos, like we’ve never seen before
The couple: Sarah Mohammadi & Ryan Platt
Photographer: Brogen Jessup

Minted Weddings Model Winners“This sweet shot feels very natural and in-the-moment, and made us feel all warm and cozy!” 

Editor’s Award: Baby It’s Cold Outside
The couple with beautiful engagement photos set in the fall or winter to complement our latest autumnal and wintry designs
The couple: Molly Horn & Johann Lepasana
Photographer: Jessica Mernin of Jessica Lindy Photography

More from Minted:
• Wedding Invitations
• Save the Date Cards
• Wedding Websites

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Meet a Minted Artist: Derek Overfield

A series where we highlight a member of our Minted artist community. Featured this month: artist and designer Derek Overfield, who is currently based in Fairmont, West Virginia.

Derek Overfield studied fine arts and graphic design at Fairmont State University alongside his wife and fellow painter (and Minted artist!) Lauren Adams. Working with charcoal and pastel on paper, as well as latex and acrylic paint on canvas, his bold pieces focus on the human figure. Here, Derek discusses life as a working artist, including overcoming artist’s block and challenging himself to create at least one drawing a day.

Meet a Minted Artist: Derek Overfield

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
Making and studying figurative art has always been a big part of my life. As a child I studied very closely the dynamic figures of comic book art, learning what I feel is the unique and expressive language of the body. That study of the figure continued into college where I was introduced to so many amazing examples of the human form in art history. This is also when I began to work from life models and from my own image. I set a goal as a student to complete a large-scale figure drawing every day, which I have stuck to as closely as possible since. I continue to be amazed at the potential of the figure in art.

Did you study art formally in school?
Yes, I have a degree in Fine Arts and Graphic Design from Fairmont State, where I studied with acclaimed painter Lynn Boggess and met my future wife (and also a Minted artist), Lauren Adams.

Where do you currently reside?
I live in a small town in West Virginia and have always been proud to call this state my home. It has remarkable beauty and my family’s roots here go back to the 1700s.

Meet a Minted Artist: Derek Overfield

Can you share the schedule of a typical day in the life?
I work on at least one drawing a day. On top of that, I usually work on canvases or do the not-so-fun stuff of  building our stretchers, stretching and priming canvas, etc. There’s always other work like photographing pieces, answering customer’s emails, updating my website, and social media.

What are some of your own “rules” for living and working?
I feel that art should come from a place of love. It’s difficult to explain, but I feel the artist should be moved by the subject matter first, before they can ever hope to move their audience.

How would you describe your artistic style?
Expressive, simple and bold, classic and modern.

What painting techniques have you been working with lately?
My works on paper could be characterized as a sustained gestural technique. They take elements from both classical drawing and expressive work. My works on canvas have a similar approach, and I’ve developed a technique of painting that feels very much like drawing.

Meet a Minted Artist: Derek Overfield

Please tell us about your studio space.
We have converted part of our 1935 two-story house into a studio space. We’ve renovated two rooms into one studio space, large enough to accommodate both of our needs!

When did you begin painting?
I began painting in college, watercolor landscapes on location.

What medium(s) do you most enjoy working with?
On paper, charcoal and/or pastel. On canvas, latex and/or acrylic paint.

What is your creative process like?
I use my works on paper as a way of preparing for and experimenting with themes for my larger canvas works.

Meet a Minted Artist: Derek Overfield

What are your favorite subject matters?
The human figure, usually in reference to a heroic or tragic theme.

Your work primarily focuses on the human form, almost always with the male figure. How did you arrive at this?
I’ve done figurative work of both genders, but the stylistic approach I’m currently employing has a very masculine feel to it. I feel it works best with the male figure at the moment.

Is there a movement in art history that speaks to you?
That’s a great question. So many movements have embraced figurative art, so they usually always speak to me. I would say that the most essential would be the late classical period of Greece/Rome and the High Renaissance of Italy, with their humanistic focus on the figure as the epitome of artistic expression. I respond to non-figurative work as well, and really admire the work of the Abstract Expressionists. Their embrace of the artist’s personal touch and view of art-making as an event, very much influences my approach to art.

If you could sit down with any artist past or present, who would it be and where?
Couldn’t pass up the chance to witness Michelangelo at work, or anywhere, really. I don’t think I’d have the guts to speak to him though!

Click through to read more about Minted artist Derek Overfield and his work

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Minted Real Wedding: Dawn & Tommy in Los Angeles

When a wedding industry pro gets married, you know it’s going to be one helluva party. And that’s exactly what happened last August, when San Diego-based wedding photographer Dawn Parker married her police-officer beau Tommy Charles. The couple chose 440 Seaton, an industrial warehouse in Los Angeles’ Arts District, as the site for their nuptials, and added decorations to help “bring the outdoors in,” with loads of lush greenery, wood surfaces, antlers, and globe lights.

440 Seaton Wedding in Los Angeles

Bride and groom: Dawn Parker & Tommy Charles
Occupations: Wedding photographer (bride); police officer (groom)
Based in: San Diego, CA
Wedding date: August 22, 2015
Wedding venue: 440 Seaton, Los Angeles
Number of guests: 190
Minted wedding invitation: “Modern Botanicals” by Natalie Nakai
Wedding gown: Anna Campbell
Wedding Coordinator: Jen Krueger Design
Florist: Flowers by Hilary
Cake: Susie Cakes
Photographer: Lauren Scotti Photographer

How did you and Tommy meet?
Through mutual friends at a game night.

Tell us about the proposal!
Tommy took me to Balboa Park in San Diego and proposed in front of the botanical gardens. All of our family members were hiding and watching from a bridge across the reflecting pool.

What was the wedding-dress shopping process like?
It was amazing. I found my Anna Campbell dress at The Dress Theory in San Diego. It was the first dress I tried on and I fell in love!

Los Angeles Wedding at 440 Seaton

Click through for more from Dawn and Tommy’s celebration


Download: March Desktop Wallpapers

Spring is right around the corner, which means it’s time to get a head start on some spring cleaning. And that applies to your digital space, too. Breathe new life into your computer desktop with one of these two season-inspired wallpaper designs by Minted artist and graphic designer Kristin Doversberger of Lorent & Leif.

March 2016 Downloadable Desktop Wallpaper

Download: “Cherry Blossoms” Desktop Wallpaper (above)

March 2016 Downloadable Desktop Wallpaper

Download: “Trees” Desktop Wallpaper (above)

Download instructions: Click on the download links above and the image will open in its own tab (depending on your browser, you might need to click again to make it full size), Next, drag the image to your desktop; for Macs, select System Preferences and then Desktop & Screen Saver; for PCs, right-click the picture and then click Set as Desktop Background.

Note: These designs are for personal use only and were created by Lorent & Leif for Minted.

More From Lorent & Leif:
• Lorent & Leif’s Minted Store
• Lorent & Leif’s Instagram

More From Minted:
• Gift Tags
Easter Cards
• Photo Calendars

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Meet a Minted Artist: Maja Cunningham

A series where we highlight a member of our Minted artist community. Featured this month: illustrator (and trained architect!) Maja Cunningham, who is currently based in Fort Worth, Texas.

Maja Cunningham grew up in former Yugoslavia and moved to the United States in 2000 as a war refugee. Here, she studied architecture, then recently began to create her own art while working as a full-time mother to her two-year-old son Jack. We chatted with Maja and asked her to share with us a glimpse into her art, work, and family life.

Maja Cunningham Artist Interview

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
My husband and I bought a house three months after our two-year-old son Jack was born, and as we were getting settled in, I realized we didn’t have any artwork for his room. My husband and I almost exclusively decorate with photographs and art from our travels. Jack was new and didn’t have any stamps in his passport yet so I decided to make something for him. “That’s One Fast Bike, Said The Cloud” was the very first framed piece in his room.

Did you study art formally in school?
I considered it briefly but architecture has always been my passion and calling, so art took a back seat. It was just biding its time though, of course.

Where do you currently reside? And why do you like living there?
We live outside Fort Worth, next door to my family. I came to United States as a refugee in summer of 2000 and stayed with my cousin’s family in Texas for several years. We have always lived either together or very close by. So when my husband and I decided to have a baby, I was finishing graduate school in Portland, Oregon. As much as we loved the Pacific Northwest we were missing two things: sunshine and family. Texas has always been good to us and there is something here that gives me the feeling of home. As only a refugee knows, when you find that feeling again, you hold on to it and never let go.

Meet a Minted Artist: Maja Cunningham Maja and Jack go over print proofs before nap time.

Can you share the schedule of a typical day in the life?
Breakfast is a big deal, always has been. My husband’s schedule changes but he’s with us most mornings. After that, Jack and I go out: to the park, zoo, botanical garden, our backyard, museums, Target (on rainy days!). My cousin joins us most of the time. When we get back home we eat lunch and then we nap. Sometimes it’s just Jack but a lot of times I sneak in a nap, too. Running around with a toddler all morning is a workout because I wouldn’t otherwise. Other times I use nap time to work. Afternoons usually go by fast and they vary in location and activity as well. We spend a lot of time outside. I think that childhood surrounded by nature is the best way to grow up. And I find that my best art pieces are inspired by those moments or memories created during those times.

What are some of your own “rules” for living and working?
Family and health come first, the rest always finds a way of flowing in between and around it. My husband works a lot so that I don’t have to until Jack is ready for school. But we always find time for each other. There was a time when I thought I could never give up architecture, but motherhood changes pretty much everything and you adjust. It’s a kind of adjustment that makes living and working a brand-new experience. Also, naps are a priority. Dishes, laundry, showers—not so much. Work happens when inspiration strikes and if that’s during, say, a playdate, then ideas might get scribbled on a chalkboard. All this to say, there are no more rules. We go with the flow and make happiness instead of to-do lists.

Please describe your last month in a word.

Can you share an as-of-yet unrealized project with us?
I am working on a storybook for Jack. All my art work is essentially a painted story, so I’m very excited about this.

What are you serious about?
Keeping priorities in check. One can easily get carried away with distractions, but our family will always come first.

What things will you never take seriously?
Material things.

Meet a Minted Artist: Maja Cunningham

What medium(s) do you most enjoy working with?
I’ve been sketching with pencil, ink, and markers for a very long time, they’re what I’m most comfortable with. But lately I’ve been going back to my school days where experimenting with materials was a daily exercise. So I’ve been trying watercolors, gouache, charcoal, collage—I love trying different textures. I know exactly what the end result is supposed to look like, so I experiment a lot until I reach my goal.

When did you begin painting and drawing?
I’ve enjoyed art for as long as I can remember. But I’ve only recently started producing actual art pieces. Before, it was always a part of a design process or just a sketch exercise. My subject matter was architecture or interior design, so the end result was quite different.

Is there a movement in art history that speaks to you?
Without thinking too much about it and getting lost I’d say Impressionism has always evoked my deepest appreciation for art. I could sit in front of a Monet, Degas, or Pissarro for days. The beauty and tranquility of those works is immeasurable.

How do you approach your art?
It all starts with a story, a memory, or even a silly tune I sing to Jack. The characters emerge from our outdoor adventures, a cartoon, or favorite toy. From there, I sketch an idea. Composition. Colors. Textures. It’s a kind of dance. All these elements move until everything is just right.

Meet a Minted Artist: Maja Cunningham  A storyboard for “Mrs. Edith Plans a Trip”

A great artist gets inspiration from anywhere—what are some of the most unusual sources of inspiration for you?
Mrs. Edith” emerged from a sewing box and a string of yarn. Literally. I see ideas in patterns, textures and colors—they are everywhere to me, I just need to open my eyes to them.

How would your describe your artistic style?

What do you do when you encounter artist’s block?
I move on. I have at least three projects I’m working on at any given time. If one is stalling, I give it time and air to breathe until it’s ready and I work on something else.

What are you working on now?
A moon series. Jack is obsessed with the moon. We go out almost every night to look at the moon and say goodnight, of course.

What color palettes have you been into lately?
Cool blues, greys, and browns.

What are some of your favorite Minted pieces?
Mornings Away” by Emily Jeffords will soon finds its way on my freshly painted wall! As well as Whitney Deal’sGoing for a Swim.” They both evoke a happy feeling, of freedom and serenity.

How do you encourage creativity in your own little one?
I believe that at an early age kids learn most from observing and trying things on their own. Under supervision, of course, but letting children be children. They have an innate ability to invent and create, and giving them time and space to experiment is the key. Providing a safe and diverse environment. Taking them out into the world rather than keeping them inside a classroom. There will be plenty time for that later.

Meet a Minted Artist: Maja CunninghamLittle Jack, paintbrush in hand, photobombs his mama’s portrait.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Minted community?
I love comments and feedback. Since I work from home I miss that interaction I had in the architecture studio. The Minted community is my studio surrogate.

What does Minted mean to you as a working artist?
Minted gave me a platform to become one! I never thought I could reach as many people with my art as I do now. It makes me so very happy to know that my art stories are finding a home all over the world and that children are waking up and growing up with them. There is no greater work satisfaction than that!

Please tell me more behind your Minted artist name “Llinella.
Llinella was a mistake, really. I was having a conversation with my husband about favorite cartoons. I grew up in former Yugoslavia and, later when the war started, in Germany. I watched a lot of European cartoons—French, Polish, Italian, there was a lot of Disney ones, too. But one of my most favorite ones was an Italian one called La Linea (“The Line”), with very simple animations of a man drawn as a white-outline silhouette on a blue background, walking on an infinite line of which he is a part. Facing obstacles and going around them. I found it so entertaining as a child. Decades later, when I attempted to remember the name of it, I called it falsely Llinella. It’s a made-up word but it comes with a story.

Maja’s Favorite Things
We asked Maja to share her current favorite art, style, fashion, and home décor inspirations.

What inspires you: Nature
Favorite recent discovery: Inside Out  (Pixar movie)
Favorite place in the world: Home
Favorite charity: SOS Children’s Villages
Favorite movie: Gone With the Wind
Favorite colors: Black and white—not really colors but let’s not get too technical!
Fashion idol: Kate Moss
Favorite city: Rovinj, Croatia
Last stamp on your passport: Madrid, Spain
Song in your head: “Slow Motion” by PHOX
Favorite Instagrammer: @Meg_Nlo

Favorite pieces of art in your home: Photographs taken when Jack was born
China: Broken!
Stationery: Oblation Paper & Press in Portland, OR
Pets: None yet but according to Jack, very soon
Favorite flowers: Tulips
Favorite gadgets: iPhone
Favorite drink: Mojito
Favorite dessert: Swiss or Belgian chocolate
Coffee-table book: The Sea Ranch by Donlyn Lyndon and Jim Alinder
Favorite snack: Sunflower seeds
What’s in your Netflix queue: Inside Out, Cars, and Despicable Me

Favorite artist: Edgar Degas
Favorite works of art: “A Carriage at the Races,”, Degas; “Soleil Levant,” Claude Monet
Favorite art supply store: Utrecht
Favorite watercolor paints: Winsor & Newton
Favorite brushes: Raphael Kolinsky

More from Maja Cunningham:
• Maja’s Minted Store
• “Moon Balloon” Art Print
• “How About Jupiter” Art Print

More from Minted:
• Art Prints
Kids Wall Art
• Photography Prints

Photos: Courtesy of Maja Cunningham