Meet a Mintie: Sandra Pons

Happy April Fool’s Day! I’m not joking when I say that you’re going to really love getting to know Mintie Sandra Pons. She has been a long-time contributor to our community (since September of 2008) and is just so sweet. Enjoy!

Let’s start with names! Do you prefer to go by Sandy or Sandra? I feel like you like to switch it up!
I sign my checks as Sandra but I think of myself as Sandy.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
I was a crafty kid. I loved drawing, painting, knitting, crocheting and embroidery. Loved hanging out at the playground in the summer where there was a big wooden box filled with craft supplies and I would make lanyards, potholders and tiled ashtrays (doubt that kids are making these anymore).

My parents did not have the opportunity to go to college and it was important for them that I go. One day when swimming in a neighbor’s pool, I overheard another guest say that she was an art major in college. I didn’t even know that was possible but I knew that’s what I would do too. Even to this day I think, what would I do otherwise?

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Meet a Mintie: Alethea and Ruth

Today we are lucky enough to have Rachel Simonsen, the creative genius behind Alethea and Ruth with us today. I know you’ll love learning about her close relationship with her sister, how she’s breathed fresh life into florals, how the Minted community helped her claim first prize in our most recent wedding invitation challenge, how she’s inspired by outfits, and what she does during the day. That’s a long-winded way of saying Rachel is truly incredible so enjoy your time with her!

Let’s start with names, How did you come up with the name Alethea and Ruth?
My sister and I started a blog under the same name, and while I’ve done all of the designing for minted thus far – she’s a huge part of where I find inspiration and is my sounding board for mid-project questions. Alethea and Ruth are our middle names.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
I think since I was little and couldn’t stop drawing – even when I shouldn’t have been. I always answered the question of what do you want to be when you grow up I with something art related. Specifics ranged from interior designer to computer animator (toy story was very powerful to my small self) – I loved computers, so graphic designer was just sort of the natural progression of my passion for art.

Do you have any formal design training?
Yep – I have a BFA in graphic design

How would you describe your style?
Funky, whimsical, full of lots of color and pattern

What is your normal workflow or process like?
I’ll brain storm – talk with my sister – who is also an artist, look through sketchbooks, maybe doodle a few ideas and then start working on the computer.  I start with a single illustrator document and work on a bunch of ideas at once – it gets crazy messy, but it’s all in one place and I can everything better that way. Then I edit by pulling the best parts out on separate documents and fine tune them.

How many iterations does it take for a design to become final?
I think it’s different every time – some designs just work right away. But on a whole for every design I finish, I have three other ideas, sometimes related – sometimes not –that don’t make it off that first ‘idea’ document.  Either they weren’t strong enough, or too similar to other better designs, or I just ran out of time to work it out.

What tools, techniques, and mindsets do you find absolutely essential?
Hand drawing things first, a scanner and my wacom tablet – I love my wacom pen.

What are the easiest and the most difficult aspects of the design process?
Easiest is brainstorming – Hardest is editing.

Your flowers are awesome! Banners and Branches and Celebrate Florals are amazing. How do you go about creating them??
Thanks! I’m a compulsive doodler – constantly drawing on one of my many sketchbooks / moleskins / paper stacks. And I love florals – they’re what I draw when I’m not even thinking about what I’m drawing, so I always seem to have a bunch of ideas to start with when it comes to flowers. I have a few illustrator documents of wacom tablet drawn flowers that started in my sketchbook.  I’ll pull those up when I’m working on an invite that needs flowers.

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Meet a Mintie: Laura Hankins

I hope you are as excited about this Q&A as I am! I’m sure you remember that Laura Hankins was recently chosen as the collection winner in our Happily Ever After Wedding Challenge–a huge honor! She is also a military wife posted with her husband James in Kapolei, Hawaii and we’re lucky to get to know this rising star a little better today!

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Meet a Mintie: Ann Gardner

What a treat–literally, it has a very sweet ending–to have Mintie Ann Gardner with us today! Ann has such a wide range of styles and aesthetics in her design portfolio that you might not be able to pick out one of her pieces instantly, but you’ll certainly notice the excellent typography and her awesome use of color. Enjoy learning about living in Texas, her stint as a pastry chef, and the adorable theme Ann chose for her wedding.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
I think I knew from an early age that I wanted to do something where I could create all day and get paid for it. I LOVED colorforms, playdough, crayons, spirograph…

Do you have any formal design training?
I have a BFA in Communication Arts from Simmons College in Boston. I had taken a few community college courses while I was in high school and the credits transferred over. By my senior year, pretty much all I was taking was independent study classes in photography, silkscreen printing, and a few other art related classes. I was also a teacher’s assistant in photography, so I had access to the photography lab. Best school year ever!

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Meet a Mintie: B Wise

Today we have mintie Alston Wise of B. Wise Papers with us to tell us all about her love of design and what people and places inspire her. You will absolutely recognize her recent The Perfect Match Save the Date entry; it won first prize in our recent Save the Date Challenge. And oh my goodness, you just have to see these pictures of her absolutely adorable family.

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Meet a Mintie: Jana Volfova

Today we’re lucky enough to have Alberta-based Jana Volfova with us to talk to us about growing up in Prauge, hanging out her own shingle, who has helped her along the way, and what inspires her.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got your start as a designer.
I grew up in a small village near Prague, Czech Republic. After I graduated (hotel management) I was lucky to get the opportunity to go to Montreal, Canada as an exchange student for six months. This happened a few years after the “Velvet Revolution” (a non-violent revolution in Czechoslovakia that saw the overthrow of the communist government). Because I had spent most of my life not being able to travel anywhere, this was a dream come true.

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Meet a Mintie: Chica Design

Today we’re lucky enough to get to know a hip Southern gal and devoted mother: Angela Forero, the creative force behind chica design. She’s been a community member since August of 2009 and we’re looking forward to seeing more of her creations in challenges to come!

At age nine, you wanted to be?
Oh for sure a dancer.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
When I worked at Cartoon Network as a marketing manager. I loved all the creative ads + packaging and I found out that you can actually get paid to draw pretty pictures.

Do you have any formal design training?
Yes, I went to Creative Circus in Atlanta–at first as an art director, but I fell in love with design.

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Meet a Mintie: Waui Design

This Christmas eve I bring you the gift of a wonderful interview with the very talented Robert True. Not only is Robert a prodigious member of the Minted team, but he is also an active member of our design community. You likely know his work by the name Waui Design and its signature character illustrations and clean type-face. I know you will enjoying getting to know Robert as much as I did.

Robert is a family man at heart and says that his work is inspired by his three-year-old son Jayce and his loving girlfriend Animae.

At age nine, you wanted to be?
I wanted to be an illustrator for Mad Magazine’s Spy vs. Spy. I think that was around the time when I really started to be more structured creatively with anything I drew. I didn’t read much as a kid or have an attention span for anything but for some reason that magazine hit the nail on the head for me. That and Gumby. I drew a lot of Gumby’s back in the day too.

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Meet a Mintie: Stacey Day

Stacey Day is an Alabama-based designer who creates designs that are layered, bold, tactile and deeply rooted in contemporary fashion. Since joining the community in December 2008, Stacey has always surprised us with unexpected pairings of textures and elements, plus a knack for color. Her talent has become a force unto itself. Besides racking up multiple top-25 wins in the recent Holiday Spectacular, Stacey was also one of just four designers hand-picked from the Breakout Wedding Challenge to launch an exclusive wedding line on Minted this winter. After working with Stacey on this feature, I have one comment –this designer is the real deal.

Amy Ehmann, Stacey Day and Emily Potts at National Stationery Show 2010

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got your start as a designer.

As I child, I always loved art projects and color. I did weird things like

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Meet a Mintie: Moglea

Meg Gleason of Moglea is as you would expect after looking at her designs — warm, charming, down-to-earth and infinitely creative.  She combines a whimsical, craft-and-nature-inspired illustrative style with an instinctive sensibility for typography and color selection. She first caught our eye about a year ago, in the Be Mine Valentine Challenge. Her design, “Message from the Birds,” announced that a new designer with a decidely unique point of view had entered the scene. Since then, it’s been a pleasure to watch her designs unfold and evolve. Let’s get to know Meg a bit better in today’s Meet a Mintie.

Meg of Moglea

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got your start as a designer.

My whole childhood I felt destined and determined to become an orthodontist—I really liked my orthodontist and I wanted to improve people’s lives in someway—so I started out in Biology in school. The funny thing is,

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