Together Again: Minted + West Elm Art Challenge

Together again! We are very happy to say that we’re continuing our Minted + West Elm Collaboration with a second art print challenge. We have loved working with West Elm not only because they are at the forefront of modern, eclectic home design and decor, but especially because they share our fundamental passion for supporting independent artists.

Our first challenge was such a success that we jumped at the change to work with West Elm again. Learn more and submit to our second Minted + West Elm Art Challenge here by Monday, February 3 at 10am PT. Keep reading for more details!

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Minted + West Elm Art Challenge Special Prizes

By Kirsten Wolfe, Minted Art Team

We are delighted by the work that was submitted for the Minted + West Elm Art Challenge—and we are delighted by our partnership as well—look for Minted in West Elm stores and www.westelm.com starting in September.

One of my favorite elements about this challenge was the influx of new artists and the variety of new styles from our existing artists. It’s exciting to see work from well-established graphic artists like Rose Lindo delve into new territory for our collection (see her lovely piece, The Rapids). It’s equally exciting to meet new Minted artists, such as Holly Royval and Samantha French, and have the privilege to welcome them, and the other new artists, into our community.

I keep returning again and again to view these pieces and can’t wait for them to be available for sale—I’m holding spots for a few of these prints in my own home.

Unexpected Organic Award

Sun Drop” by Holly Royval

A mosaic of natural shapes hints at a variety of influences—sunflowers, a spiral of seashells, fossils embedded in the terrain. The syncopation of shapes, both long and short, are presented in a myriad of cascading colors on top of a white background. While the choice of materials suggests a reference to the design interest of the 1970’s in the natural world, the selection of colors in this piece is entirely modern.

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dining style.

By Victoria Smith of sfgirlbybay.

Isn’t it great how some of our favorite memories and get togethers end up being simple dinners with friends and family in our own homes? With family vacations and visits in full swing this summer, I thought we should touch on one of the best conversation starters for any event — dining room art. A dining room should be both inviting yet chic, and as with any space, it’s always nice to have something lovely to look at whether the art be bright, floral or sentimental family photos. Minted has loads of art print options, and I thought I’d share some inspiration to get your curator wheels turning.

Darcy Miller’s home in architectural digest.

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Minted + west elm art challenge: Vote now

In a very exciting new partnership, unlike any we’ve done before, Minted has partnered with West Elm! We received 1,438 entries to our Minted + West Elm Art Challenge. The winning pieces of art will be featured and sold in West Elm stores around the country, starting later this year.

Apertures - West Elm by Genna Cowsert, see more art prints

Apertures – West Elm board by Genna Cowsert. See more art prints

We couldn’t be more thrilled about this collaboration. Whenever we come across an empty nook or cranny in our homes, West Elm is our go-to stop for something both chic and useful. Also, we love that West Elm shares Minted’s commitment to supporting and promoting individual artists and artisans.

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Splish Splash, Art in The Bath.

Sometimes I feel like our poor bathrooms are hopelessly neglected. They’re the last thing to get some attention and shamefully ignored when it comes to decorating. There’s nothing easier than hanging a bit of artwork, or giving them a soothing coat of paint. Blue is especially lovely when you’re soaking in the tub and need one of those ‘Calgon, take me away moments’. I thought I’d round up a few different looks from the Minted art prints collection to give you some inspiration. From vintage-modern and bold, to bright. colorful and child-friendly, to a more adult-like quiet space for reflecting after a long day – here’s a few themes for you to consider.

The Vintage Modernist: Love, by Max and Bunny; and Neighborly Narwhal, by Monica Tuazon. Bathroom photography by Seth Smoot.

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DIY: Five-Minute Art Print Frame

By Rachael Smith, Penelope & Pip

diy frame

Minted has such a gorgeous selection of arts prints, especially for Valentine’s Day, so I thought it would be fun to make an easy DIY frame to get your art print hanging in no time – no expensive framing required!

The structure of this frame also has a neat little trick that will let you swap out your art prints whenever you want to change around the theme of your home decor, and the best part is it takes only five minutes to make.

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How To: Style a Custom Print

By Victoria Smith of SF Girl by Bay

Minted Custom Print

I’m a big fan of Minted’s new line of art prints. There’s a few already hanging in my home, but for a while now I’ve been wanting to enlarge a custom print — one of my favorite images of my father who passed away last year. This particular photo is of him arriving in California for the first time after moving to Los Angeles from Toronto, Canada. It’s so stereotypical — him reaching up to grab a fresh orange from a tree, that it could almost be on a postcard. It reminds me of how excited and hopeful for a new future in a warm, sunny climate he must have been.

Minted Custom Print 2

So I asked the Minted folks if I might try out their custom print service and enlarge this print to hang in my dining room to remind me always of my dad. The photos was old – taken in the 50’s and like lots of family heirlooms and ephemera it wasn’t in the best of shape. But Minted enlarged it and framed it, making it look amazing. I couldn’t be more happy with it. Giving a gift like this at the holidays is so much more thoughtful than rushing out to the mall to buy yet another ‘thing’ someone probably doesn’t need. I love the idea of giving custom prints to friends and family. And you still have time to order your custom print, the last date for personalized art is December 17th. Here’s to happy holiday memories everyone. Enjoy the season.
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SFGirlByBay’s Minted Art Collection.

We can’t say we’re surprised that our new art collection looks absolutely stunning in the uber-chic home of Victoria Smith, the tour-de-force behind SFGirlByBay.

Don’t those cheerful pillows and that textured blanket look amazing with Special Day Pattern by Pink Hippo Prints? Victoria was one of the guest curator’s of our launch party and to thank her for all of her help, we let her take a few framed pieces home.

All in the Details by Courtney Wilburn really pops on Victoria’s sideboard. We love how she just rested it and didn’t even need to go to the trouble of hanging it. And aren’t those terrariums awesome?

Here is the original wall that Victoria curated at our CEO & founder Mariam Naficy’s home. You can see her inspiration board on our site here.

It’s really fun to see how the pieces look on their own throughout Victoria’s home.

Some Things Take Time by Momo is a great focal point in Victoria’s living room. Ooh, and we love her collection of mini-white vases and frames.

In a Row by Annie Clark looks perfectly lovely above Victoria’s couch. Doesn’t art just look so much better a little bigger?

A big thank you to Victoria for not only helping get our art launch off the ground, but also for showing us just how awesome minted art can look in a real home!

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Minted’s Booth at the National Stationery Show.

We were so excited to have a booth at the National Stationery Show this year.

Alison (left) and Jennifer (right) were the masterminds behind the booth design. Didn’t they do a great job?

The booth was a lovely gathering spot for all of our favorite people in the world, namely, our designers! And lots of photos of designers, some at the show, some not, were showcased in a pretty heart on the back wall.

From left to right: Lauren Chism of Palm Papers, Jen, Lesa Abney of Paper Nest by Lesa, Laura Hankins, Kimberly FitzSimons, Alison, myself. Our booth featured some holiday card winners from 2011 and a mantle handmade by Jen’s boyfriend.

It was very exciting to see our brand new art prints framed and hung! Don’t they look fab?

Here’s a close-up of our holiday cards, along with some cute little succulents.

It turns out our holiday cards look pretty great as mantle art!

I think Meg Gleason of Moglea agrees!

The other great thing about the booth was having somewhere to sit!

Walking the show is tiring work! Kimberly FitzSimons.

And requires flats and ample caffeine.

Tanya Lee of Frooted Design.

Megan Davis from Toast & Laurel.

Sandy Pons & Lena Barakat.

Annie Clark (center) enjoys a nice chat with press and designers.

Darcy Miller (Martha Stewart Weddings) with our founder and CEO Mariam Naficy.

Here I am (right) showing Vane (Brooklyn Bride) some of our latest samples.

From left to right: Alston Wise of B. Wise Papers, Amy Ehmann of Design Lotus, Kelli Hall. Not only are our designers the most talented, but they’re also quite chic, don’t you think?

Jen and Linda Birtel of Bella Expressions.

We also gave a little shout-out to our Chronicle winners from the stationery challenge last year. So great to see everyone!! Thanks for stopping by.

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Minted Launches Art Prints.

We’ve finally done it after dreaming about it for three years: Minted has launched a unique, carefully curated selection of art prints from our talented global community of designers and artists.  It may come as a surprise to lots of folks that inside the company, we have never thought of ourselves as a stationery retailer, but instead as a design community.  With the launch of our art business, we’re thrilled to provide further access to exposure, income, and community to creative geniuses everywhere.  We know consumers are interested in the work of independent artists; with Minted’s art collection, they can access the work of independent artists but also enjoy the trusted printing, paper, and customer service quality that Minted has come to represent over the past four years.

Christy Turlington Burns and Mariam Naficy at Minted's art launch party.

We are also thrilled to announce that we are partnering with Every Mother Counts, an organization dedicated to reducing the deaths of women and girls worldwide due to complications from pregnancy and childbirth.  Every Mother Counts was founded by Christy Turlington Burns, the model, yogini, and director of the documentary film “No Woman, No Cry”.  Christy founded the organization after experiencing a life-threatening complication during the birth of her daughter. Minted will be donating 50% of the sales of our children’s and nursery art collection to Every Mother Counts in the months of May, June, and December 2012, and 6% the remaining months of the year, all the way through May 2013.

To celebrate the launch of our art business and our partnership, Christy and I co-hosted a party at my home in San Francisco last week.  Minted community designers ERAY (Eric Comstock) and Hello Hailey (Hailey Myziuk) were flown to San Francisco at Minted’s expense to attend the party, based on their performance in a recent art competition.  I thought you might enjoy pictures from our very fun day:

2:30pm: Christy stopped by Minted headquarters in San Francisco to speak to our employees about maternal mortality and what they could do to help.

Art prints at Minted

Art prints at Minted

Christy Turlington Burns speaking at Minted

Christy Turlington Burns speaking at Minted

Christy Turlington Burns with the Minted.com team

(L to R): Janae Leininger, Mariam Naficy, Christy Turlington Burns, Niniane Wang at the Minted office

4:30pm: we traveled to my house in San Francisco.  Minted asked interesting people from the technology and design communities to curate art from our collection, and we displayed their picks throughout my house.  Jeremy Stoppelman, the founder/CEO of Yelp, Marissa Mayer,  VP at Google, Tabitha Soren, the former MTV VJ and now amazing fine art photographer, Victoria Smith (the blogger behind SFGirlbyBay), and Alison Pincus, the co-founder of online decor site One Kings Lane, all picked beautiful curated sets which were displayed on the walls of my house (I’ll do another post about framing and creating those collages later!).  When we walked in, this was Christy’s reaction to the art (you can see the wall she curated in the photo at right – her choices fit perfectly with the style of my home!)

Christy arriving at Mariam Naficy's house

Christy and Erin arriving at Mariam's home

Christy Turlington Burn's art choices from Minted

Christy's curated art picks from Minted's collection

Christy changed into a very gorgeous dress, then we sat down to discuss details of our partnership.  Here are Erin Thornton, the executive director of Every Mother Counts, Christy, and I sitting in my living room.  Erin and Christy are incredibly bright, caring, dynamic women.  The Minted team learned so much from them about global maternal mortality – more than one thousand women die every day from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and more than 90% of these deaths are preventable.  Christy and Erin recently launched a No Mother’s Day campaign to remember moms who are lost every day, leaving families behind.  We brainstormed ideas including fielding San Francisco and New York Marathon teams to raise awareness and funding.

5:15pm – Minted community designers Annie Clark, Hailey Myziuk (Hello Hailey) and Eric Comstock (ERAY) arrived at my house – they were pretty excited to see their art up on my walls!  It was really meaningful to the entire Minted team to be able to celebrate the launch with them.

Hailey Myziuk (Hello Hailey) and Eric Comstock (ERAY) with Christy Turlington Burns and Mariam Naficy

Hailey Myziuk with her piece "Elegampersand"

Hailey Myziuk with her piece "Elegampersand"

Eric Comstock with his piece "Fun Games that Make You Laugh", which we hung twice in a row for effect.

Annie Clark with her piece "In a Row", which was chosen by Yelp's CEO as part of his curated picks.

Here I am standing in front of selections from Minted’s children’s art assortment, one of my favorite things we have launched.  I think people have been looking for a personal connection to art for a long time.  Our customizable art is still indie chic, but allows the customer to make it her own by choosing colors and text personal to her and her particular space.  Our customizable art includes family trees, maps, wedding celebration art, and more. The children’s selection is fresh and modern, and includes a variety of customizable and non-customizable prints for children’s rooms and nurseries.

Mariam Naficy and Minted's children's art collection

Mariam Naficy and Minted's children's art collection

6pm – The party was in full swing, with an interesting mix of design, technology, and retail people turning out to see Minted’s art collection and to hear more about Every Mother Counts.  All of our guest curators came to explain why they chose what they chose.  Hiroki Asai, the head of graphic design at Apple, was there and a hit with the designers.  Bloggers Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day and Victoria Smith of SFGirlbyBay were among those to make it to the party.

Alison Pincus and Gary Friedman

Ali Pincus, founder of One Kings Lane, and Gary Friedman, CEO of Restoration Hardware, in front of Ali's curated picks.

Alison Pincus, Tina Sharkey, and Dick Costolo

Alison Pincus, Tina Sharkey, and Dick Costolo

Victoria Smith, the blogger behind SFGirlbyBay, chatting with Mariam

Hiroki Asai, head of graphic design at Apple, and his wife April.

Hiroki Asai, head of graphic design at Apple, and his wife April.

Lara Deam, founder of Dwell Magazine, in front of art selection curated by Marissa Mayer

Lara Deam, founder of Dwell Magazine, in front of art selection curated by Marissa Mayer

And finally… here is a shot of the extremely hardworking, fabulous, intelligent Minted team at the party.

Minted team with Christy Turlington Burns

Minted team with Christy Turlington Burns

I would love to hear ideas as to how Minted can continually improve its art business and also how we can all help Christy and Every Mother Counts.  Please feel free to leave your comments here!

PS – Minted prints art on museum-quality, cotton rag archival paper.  The initial offering will range in size from 5”x7” to 44”x60”.  Crowd-sourced from an ever-growing community of thousands of artists and designers, the Minted art collection will be continually refreshed.  All artwork is available in several colorways, in order to allow customers to match art prints to their home décor.

PPS – Except for the photos of the Minted team and Lara Deam, which were taken by Drew Altizer, all other photos were taken by Elisabeth Fall.

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