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


A Beginner’s Guide: Starting an Art Collection

Collecting art sounds like a daunting task, something that perhaps requires an art-history major, loads of disposable income, and jet-setting to the latest “it” art fair. Not to mention all the questions that come along with it: How do you know what’s good? Where do I look? How much should you pay? Rest assured and definitely don’t be intimidated—anyone can collect art, whether you’re bidding for Klees at Christie’s or thrifting at garage sales in search of an overlooked gem.

Ready to dive in and start your own art collection? Click through for our guide to starting an art collection you love (without breaking the bank).

1. Browse a ton of art.
The best way to start your personal art collection is to figure out what types of art you like. Are there certain styles, colors, or subject matters that draw you in? Do you gravitate toward black-and-white photos, modern abstract paintings, Dutch-inspired still lifes? Note what you love.

Seeing art up close and personal, of course, is the best way to get acquainted with art. Visit local museums and galleries, attend MFA shows and exhibitions at nearby art schools, check out nearby First Fridays art strolls and chat with the exhibiting artists. In addition to browsing art in person, flip through art magazines at the bookstore and browse the many online resources for great (and affordable!) art: Minted, Etsy, 20×200, Artfully Walls, Saatchi Art, just to name a few.

Click through for more tips on buying art and starting your own art collection


Minted x Pottery Barn Art Challenge: Special Prizes

We were thrilled to partner with two of the most widely recognized and largest brands in the children and teens home decor space: PotteryBarn Kids and PBteen. Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen share Minted’s dedication to producing high quality and well-designed products, and we can’t wait to introduce unique artwork from Minted’s community of independent artists into their assortments. Congratulations to all the special prize winners!

Minted Editor’s Choice Award
For the artwork that is chosen as most innovative by the Minted Team
Anim-Alphabet by Sarah York

From the Heart –Teen Award
For the best piece of art displaying an inspirational or unique quote for a teen room
Stay Awesome by Hannah Williams

From the Heart – Children’s Award
For the best piece of art displaying an inspirational or unique quote for a child’s room
You are so Loved by Alethea and Ruth

Click through for more special prize winners

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Minted x West Elm Art Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prizes from our Minted x West Elm Round 4 Art Challenge! We were excited to partner with West Elm for the fourth year.  West Elm is a widely admired brand in the home decor space, known for their contemporary and eclectic style. And most importantly, West Elm shares our passion for discovering and supporting independent artists and makers. Congratulations to all the special prize winners!

West Elm Curator’s Choice Award
For the piece that most captures the attention of the West Elm Team
Lina y Challie by Lauren Packard Art

Photography Award
For the most beautiful and unique piece of photography
praia da ursa by Hi Uan Kang Haaga

Urban Award
For the best piece of art inspired by a city or industrial space
Scoring Through by Van Tsao

Click through for more special prize winners

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Graduation Art Gifts Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prize winners from our Graduation Art Gift Challenge! With graduation just around the corner, we’re looking forward to celebrating the class of 2016. Graduation is a large, important event in our customers’ lives, and parents and students alike will be looking for that perfect keepsake as a graduation gift for their daughters, sons, or fellow graduates. We looked to you, our talented Minted community, to create pieces that would help customers remember one of life’s greatest milestones. A huge congrats to all the winners!

Out of the Box Award
For the most unique and creative graduation art gift
Done!” by Alisa Hall

Collage Award
For the best photo art gift incorporating 15+ photos
The Years Flew By” by Carrie O’Neal

Class of 2017 Award
For the best photo art gift that incorporates the student’s graduating year
Golden Date” by Erin Deegan

Classmates Award
For the best art gift for a fellow graduate or group of friends
Senior Year Snapshots” by Christina Novak

Words of Wisdom
For the best piece of typography for a graduate
Bright” by Grace Kreinbrink

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A is for Art Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prizes winners for our A is for Art Challenge! At Minted, we believe that it’s never too early to surround children with beautiful art. We asked you, our talented artist community, to create unique customizable pieces of artwork, perfect for any child’s room or nursery. Congratulations to all the winners!

Bold Name Award
For the art piece that most beautifully displays child’s name
Watercolor Whale” by Lindsay Megahed

Monogram Award
For the most interesting use of a child’s initial
Track Initial” by Erica Krystek

Cradle Award
For the best work of art that celebrates the birth of a new baby
Meadow Fawn” by Jennifer Wick

Little Artist Award
For the best executed and beautifully artistic piece
Vintage Floral Monogram” by Hannah Williams

Rhyme Time Award
For the best piece that showcases a quote, pieces of poetry, or literature
Eeny Meeny” by Ariel Rutland

Back to School Award
For the best art print that also teaches kids something in a fun way
Homes” by Natalie Groves

Tiny Dancer Award
For the best ballet or dance inspired piece
The Ballerina” by Oma N. Ramkhelawan

Rainbow Award
For the brightest most colorful piece
Welcome to the World” by Shiny Penny Studio

The following awards will be announced with a catalog round-up post at a later date: Just for Boys Award, Little League Award, & Petting Zoo Award

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Mariam’s Family Heirloom, Turned into a Custom Art Print

My family loves to cook—we’re definitely in the “live to eat” rather than “eat to live” category. My grandmother, Sophie Sun, was a great cook and loved making food for me. She was born in Shanghai in 1918, moved to Hong Kong in the early 1950s, and then to California in the 1970s; she passed away in 2004, during a trip back to Shanghai. I was lucky enough to spend time with her as an adult and wrote down some of her recipes as she gave me cooking lessons. Recently, I was going through some old papers and found Sophie’s “Chicken Plus Soup” recipe, which she had written for me in a lined notebook. It’s a great winter recipe that includes traditional Chinese ingredients like dried scallops, ginseng, and ginger, and my grandmother swore it was a restorer of health. She encouraged me to have this soup often when I was pregnant with my first child.  (For those of you trying to read the recipe, there is a good interpretation of the same recipe here.)

This year, I realized I could take advantage of Minted’s new Completely Custom Art service and turn my grandmother’s handwritten recipe into a framed, foil-pressed art print, which I’ll be giving to my mom, aunts, uncle, and cousins as a gift this Christmas. (Our talented design associates are able to turn pretty much anything into a beautiful foil-pressed keepsake—kid’s drawings, your pet’s silhouette, you name it!) Check out how it turned out, below. And, of course, I ordered one for myself, too—I’m planning to hang it in my kitchen in honor of Sophie.

—Mariam Naficy, Founder & CEO of Minted

Holiday Gift Idea: Family Recipe Keepsake Art Print




Through the Lens Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prize winners for our first ever photography-only art challenge! In this challenge, we asked you, the Minted Community, to channel your inner Gursky, Weston, Sherman, or Steiglitz. We were blown away by the artistic photographs we received in this challenge. Congratulations to our special prize winners!

Curator’s Choice Award: for the photograph that most captures
the eye of Minted’s Curatorial Team
Going for a Swim” by Whitney Deal

Outer Edge Award: for the photograph that pushes
the boundaries of our assortment
Joshua Tree” by Kaitlin Rebesco

Urban Landscape Award: for the photograph which best
celebrates the urban environment
NYC Viewpoint” by Debra Pruskowski

Still Life Award: for the most interesting composition
using a combination of objects
Collection” by Sadie Holden

The Good Sport Award: for the best artistic and innovative
photographic image involving sports
Our Pastime” by Karen Kaul

Click through to see more special prize winners from our invitation challenge


Currently Loving: Oversize Art

A simple way to make a huge design impact in your home? Oversize art. Large-format wall art is the latest home-decorating trend we’re loving—placing a super-size piece in just the right spot immediately injects some serious personality into your space. Ready to go big? Here are some of our favorite takes on this trend.

Home Decor Trend: Oversize Art

1. Above the Sofa
It’s one of the biggest design dilemmas: What do you hang in the space above your sofa? A single oversize piece is an easy solution. As a general rule of thumb, choose a horizontal or square piece that measures at least half the length of the sofa.

Photo: Minted
Shop: “Mornings Away” by Emily Jeffords

Trend Alert: Oversized Art

2. On Its Own
This contemporary living room designed by Pamplemousse Design is anchored by an oversize painting (Phoenicia VIII by Al Held). The crisp lines of the black-and-white piece nicely juxtapose against the curved sofa.

Photo: Via Pamplemousse Design
Shop similar:Untitled B+W #1 2012” by Jaime Derringer

3. Gallery Wall
Place a large, oversize piece adjacent to a gallery wall consisting of multiple smaller works to help provide balance.

Photo: Sean Fennessy
Shop similar: “Off the Coast on the Shore” by Christina Flowers

4. Picture Ledge
If you’re not ready to commit to a full-on gallery wall, then a picture ledge is the perfect in-between. Frame your favorite pieces (Tip: Choosing the same type of frame will help unite the different pieces together), then lean them on the ledge, starting with the largest print, first.

Photo: Minted
Shop: “Hexagon Cluster” by Yao Cheng (left);Desert Diptych” by Annie Clark (right)

Trend Alert: Oversize Art

5. Kid’s Bedroom
To make a small bedroom feel more spacious, choose an oversize print to help draw the eye upward, making the space seem more spacious. And opt for a bright pop of color along with matching accessories to tie everything together.

Photo: 6th Street Design School
Shop: “Hello Cocky!” by Catherine Culvenor


Work of Art Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Over the past year, Minted’s art business has grown by leaps and bounds. We’ve added hundreds of works to our collection in a broad range of styles and formats from artists around the globe. We asked the Minted community to submit innovative works of art to continue to grow our assortment – we were so amazed by the breath and depth of submissions. Congratulations to all winners!

Curator’s Choice Award for the artwork that most captures the attention of the
Minted curatorial team
Orange Lake” by Stephanie Goss Johnson

Newbie Award for the best work of art by a first-time entrant
Dark and Stormy” by Blair Culwell Staky

Photography Award for the best photographic art print
Corner Bar in the Neighborhood, New Orleans” by Mary Ann Glynn-Tusa

Seasonal Award for the best piece of artwork inspired by the fall or winter months
Watercolor Abstract Flora Series: Fall 1” by V E R Y M A R T A

Click through to see more special prize winners from the Work of Art Challenge

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