Meet a Minted Artist: Naomi Ernest

A self-described “artist, photographer, and clandestine writer,” Naomi Ernest has carved out a unique niche for herself on Minted. Her paintings, drawings, and photographs are at once minimalist, personal, and whimsically mysterious. “I am very process-oriented, letting the various effects of tools, mediums, and techniques be integral to each piece,” she says. “I like my work to be uncomplicated at first glance, but the more you look at it, the more complexities you discover. Overall simplicity with interesting details.”

Here, the Ann Arbor, Michigan artist shares details behind the scenes of her life–from her five children to the ongoing project of rehabbing her farmhouse.

When did you know you were an artist?
Growing up, my parents were both artists-on-the-side; as a very young child, I wanted to be an artist and a writer. I remember thinking these things specifically at maybe 3 or 4 years old—well before I could write more than a word or two, when my paintings were unsteady brush marks in blue and red and yellow. Somewhere along the uncertainty of growing up, I lost these early convictions, and it took me decades of searching to rediscover and to implement them.

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The Pros and Cons of Working From Home

Don’t you love it when a planned, routine project turns a corner, changes form, and, ultimately, becomes more interesting? That’s the case with this story. What started as the January edition of our #ArtistAdvice series (featuring Minted artists sharing their advice about work and creativity), evolved into this: an e-conversation between Jessica Williams and Rebecca Turner. Both are longtime artists in the Minted community. Both work from home. Both said, “Hey, wait a minute, I have more to say about this than just my advice.” And both want to hear your thoughts, so we’ll get to that at the end.

So, here we go. This is the start of what we hope becomes an ongoing discussion with the Minted artist community about what it means to work from home—the pros and cons and all the insights in-between.

Rebecca Turner burns midnight oil in South Bend, Indiana.

Amy Schroeder: How long have you worked from home, and why?
Jessica:
I’ve worked from home for almost three years. I previously worked full time in visual merchandising for Johnston & Murphy, and my freelance work built up to a point where I wasn’t able to do both. It was a scary leap to make, but completely worth it.

Rebecca: I’ve been working exclusively from home since 2010 and the birth of my first child. Before then, I worked full time at various “designy” jobs and freelanced on the side.

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Day in the Life of Meg Gleason of Moglea

By Meg Gleason

Meg Gleason is not your average Minted artist, but then again, there’s no such thing as “an average Minted artist.” The self-described designer, illustrator, and farm wife leads her fully staffed print shop, Moglea, in Audubon, Iowa, and somehow manages to raise two children and help run a family farm, raising cattle, hogs, corn, and soybeans. “The farm has been in the family for four generations,” she says.

Fiesta Turtleneck” limited edition print by Moglea

Meg joined the Minted community in 2009 and has 70 wins to her name. Designing for Minted challenges was how she got her career start and helped her gain confidence to launch her own letterpress stationery line. “The community provided me with invaluable feedback and encouragement at a pivotal moment in my career and they continue to do so,” she says. “Minted continually helps support and promote Moglea and I’m forever grateful for the opportunities I’ve had from Minted.”

Here she shares her day in the life. —Amy Schroeder

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Meet a Minted Artist: Kaitlin Rebesco

A series where we highlight a member of our Minted artist community. Featured this month: photographer Kaitlin Rebesco, who is currently based in Austin, Texas.

Fine art photographer (and newly certified yoga teacher!) Kaitlin Rebesco shares her current inspirations, how she overcomes artist’s block, and a glimpse into her daily life as a working artist.

Meet a Minted Artist: Kaitlin Rebesco

Quick! Tell us…
Digital or Film? Digital. But one of my goals for 2016 is to start shooting film!
Modern or Vintage? Both. Contrast is key.
Portraits or Nature? Nature
Landscapes or Still Life? Landscapes
Summer or Winter? Summer
City or Country? Both. I need to split my time between both types of environments in order to feel balanced.

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
After college I spent a year working and traveling in Australia. I took photos obsessively during this time, wanting to document every new sight and experience. Upon returning to the States, I decided to pursue photography as more than a hobby. I took classes, built a portfolio, and applied to a professional photography program at a school in Paris. I studied photojournalism but, in the time since graduation, I’ve gravitated towards fine art photography. I enjoy that it allows for more creativity and abstract representation.

Did you study art formally in school?
I studied photojournalism at Spéos Photographic Institute in Paris. I have also taken many continuing education courses at the International Center of Photography and the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Where do you currently reside?
I am currently in Austin, TX. The warm weather was a huge draw for me; I couldn’t do another winter in New York! I also like that there are many state parks not too far outside of the city. It’s the best of both worlds. I often gather inspiration from my environment though, so, above all, I value change and I enjoy moving around. I will be leaving Austin at the end of January to spend two months in Costa Rica.

Meet a Minted Artist: Kaitlin Rebesco

Can you share the schedule of a typical day in the life?
This is something that I struggle with! I thrive within new environments and experiences, but keeping up with work and responsibilities can necessitate a schedule or routine. I try to mix up my routine as much as possible, but one constant that remains is a daily yoga practice. This has been life changing in many ways. But, as it relates to my creative work, I think it keeps me open and receptive to new ideas and inspiration. It’s funny, but photography and yoga are actually closely tied. While studying photojournalism, I realized that in order to be successful you have to be able to reach a sort of meditative state. As with yoga, the goal is to remain alert, aware, and present in the moment. If you let your mind wander, you can miss something.

What objects have been most significant to you lately?
Moving around so much has sort of made me an unintentional minimalist!

What are you serious about?
Finding meaningful work, feeling good about how I am spending my time, being grateful for what I have, not taking anyone or anything for granted, living thoughtfully/mindfully.

What things will you never take seriously?
That being said, I really don’t take anything too seriously.

Meet a Minted Artist: Kaitlin Rebesco

What medium(s) do you most enjoy working with?
Photography, mixed media/collage

When did you begin taking photos?
In my early 20s.

How do you approach your art?
I guess at the most basic level it is an outlet, a release of energy. I find a lot of satisfaction in being able to create something that represents the way I see things.

How would your describe your artistic style?
Clean, contemporary, minimalist

What is your creative process like?
Often I start by going out and just shooting. I photograph whatever catches my eye and resonates with how I am feeling. Later I will go back over my images and look for patterns, connections. This might spark an idea for a series or a concept to explore.

How has your work changed over time?
My work has become much cleaner, more in line with my vision. When I first started shooting there was this gap between the types of photos I was taking and the types of photos I would like to hang on my wall. As time goes on, that gap gets smaller. Although it has not yet closed!

What do you do when you encounter artist’s block?
I go in search of inspiration. Ideally this would involve travel or exploring a new place (even just a new neighborhood within my current city). Otherwise visiting a museum, gallery, or discovering new art and artists on the internet. I could spend hours looking at images on Pinterest, Instagram, and Flickr.

Meet a Minted Artist: Kaitlin Rebesco

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Minted community?
I really appreciate the open line of communication between Minted and the artists. It feels more personal and ongoing, and it’s clear that the company’s intent is to build a community.

What does Minted mean to you as a working artist?
It’s about partnership, and it also signifies how the internet is creating new possibilities for working artists in terms of exposure and reach.

What are some of your favorite Minted pieces?
There are so many great pieces to choose from! As you can probably tell from my selections I am attracted to abstract figures and forms, clean compositions, splashes of color…
“Form” by Lauren Packard
“Morning River” by Lauren Adams
“Drawing 264 – Gesturing Man” by Derek Overfield
“As You Are” by Karen Kaul
“Composed” by Amelie Conger
“Embrace” by R Studio
“Going for a Swim” by Whitney Deal

Meet a Minted Artist: Kaitlin Rebesco

Katlin’s Favorite Things
We asked Kaitlin’s to share her current favorite art and home inspirations.

Last stamp on your passport: Costa Rica
Favorite pieces of art in your home: A vintage photograph of the construction of the Sydney Opera House
Favorite gadget: iPad
Favorite neighborhood restaurant: Juiceland
Favorite drink: Water/juice/tea
Favorite artist: I have hundreds of favorite artists! Really, there are too many to count. Ranging from iconic artists to contemporary artists whose work I’ve mainly discovered via the internet. Nils Udo, Picasso, Matisse, Ellsworth Kelly, Saul Leiter, Marco Tirelli, Wyatt Kahn, Esther Ruiz, Gerhard Richter, John Baldessari, Andy Denzler, Henri Cartier-Bresson…
Favorite works of art: Again, too many too count.
Favorite camera gadget: Remote shutter release


More from Kaitlin Rebesco:
• Kaitlin’s Minted Store
• Kaitlin’s website
• Kaitlin’s Instagram

More from Minted:
• Art Prints
• Photography Prints
Maps & Landmarks Art Prints

Photos: Courtesy of Kaitlin Rebesco

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Meet a Minted Artist: Julie Green of Up Up Creative

Julie Green of Up Up Creative doesn’t do New Year’s resolutions, but she does usually choose a word to sort-of nudge her in a direction of growth for the year. Her word for 2016 is practice. “I’ve been self-employed since 2008, and I guess I feel like I’ve reached a certain level of proficiency as a designer, and as a human being,” the Rochester, New York, artist says. “If I want to continue to grow, I need to remind myself to practice new skills and keep challenging the status quo.”

Here, the longtime Minted artist shares interesting corners of her life, from her love of Baptiste Yoga, “being the worst multitasker,” and her healthy obsession with fonts.

GET TO KNOW JULIE GREEN
You have 11.5K Pinterest followers, with 117 boards. How’d you build such a strong following?
I know it’s called social media, and I definitely use Facebook and Instagram to engage with people in a more social way, but Pinterest is something I use just for me. It’s where I gather ideas and inspiration; it’s where I imagine my own life and the lives of my clients and customers; it’s where I go to observe trends in my own interests, tastes, and styles. As for how I built that following, I sure wish I knew! But maybe it’s partly that I didn’t try to.

Cool and All” save the date card by Julie Green of Up Up Creative

You’ve gotten great press. What’s your favorite feature and why?
My favorite was Martha Stewart Living (December 2012 holiday gift guide), because it was the first magazine I was in that people in my life actually read on a regular basis. When you’re a freelance graphic designer with children—whether you work while the kids are napping or you work full time from a studio, or you do something in between—most people in your life don’t really get what you do and don’t even always think it’s a real job or a serious thing. When you turn up in one of their favorite holiday gift guides, suddenly you’re having conversations with them about your work. That’s pretty cool.

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How To: Make New Year’s Resolutions and Goals That Stick

When it comes to kicking off a new year of creative ambition, do you believe in New Year’s resolutions or goal-setting? That’s the question we asked Stacey Meacham and Raven Erebus, Minted artists who, as it turns out, advocate for setting attainable goals. Read their strategies here.

Stacey Meacham
Atlanta, Georgia
Stacey’s Minted Artist Store

I’m a list maker, so I am all about setting goals. I tend to set goals throughout the year, though, and am not a fan of one-time New Year’s resolutions. I feel like big, grand gestures can fall flat, so I like to set quarterly goals, which range in size. I like to set small, attainable goals and big-picture goals, and I try not to freak out if I don’t hit all of them. I just kind of add them to the top of a new list and start to chip away at that. Setting goals and thinking of new ways to generate business helps me focus. Making lists helps me prioritize which goals are most important at any given time. For example, I’ve had one goal on my list for some time now and haven’t even scratched the surface of making it a reality, but I’m fine with that. That day will come. For now I am happy to have other goals that were on my radar for some time ticked off. It’s such a feeling of accomplishment to cross off a list item. It shows that you are making progress—and I am all for progress.

I think it’s important to be realistic with your goals early on. That’s not to say don’t dream big, but if you need to take a workshop or class to hone your skills, be real with that expectation and make that one of your goals. I realize things take time. Overnight success is not the norm, so setting goals is a good way to work toward something bigger without setting yourself up for failure. Especially if you have mini-milestones along the way. Pat yourself on the back and recognize your little successes as well as your big ones.

Looking Sharp” save the date card by Stacey Meacham

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Meet a Minted Artist: Laura Condouris

When we asked Laura Condouris to name her favorite Minted designs, she prioritized those that were created by artists other than herself. That’s the kind of selfless artist she is. Based in Baltimore, Laura works full time from home as an independent calligrapher, illustrator, and type designer. In this interview, she talks about her passion for animals, her most memorable experience of the year, and all the Minted designs she loves.

Do you think of yourself as an artist or a designer or both?
What a good question! I think everyone is a little of both. Design is just applied art.

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
I started doing freelance calligraphy and design work while working full-time office jobs. After the hours of my freelance work began to tip the scales of my regular work hours, I had to make a tough decision. The first few years of freelance-only were very, very hard, but in the end, I’m glad I made the switch.

Skyline-New York” wedding invitation by Laura Condouris

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Minted artist finds inspiration despite health challenges

Kailyn Glassmacher, who is deaf, is one of 10 people in the world who has a rare muscular dystrophy-like syndrome. She recently won her first Minted design challenge, and we were blown away with her response to our question: What was most inspiring about 2015? Read her story here.

This was both a difficult and inspirational year for me.

I was born profoundly deaf with a rare form of muscular dystrophy-like syndrome. I am in a wheelchair full time and communicate using American Sign Language. My syndrome was only recently identified, and I am only one of 10 people in the world who has this disease—I am the oldest and only girl to have it.

Although it has been difficult, I haven’t let it stop me. I graduated from Gallaudet University with bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Graphic Design. I now work as a freelance graphic designer and continue to search for a full-time job that matches my artistic style.

In 2015, I was hospitalized twice for significant periods of time. I joined the Minted community between hospital stays to share my work and improve my art skills. Joining Minted kept me focused on my art and allowed me to forget about my illness. It helped me to develop a passion for stationery design that I didn’t know I had. I began working on the designs for my older sister’s wedding, which came out looking great! I am so proud of them. The wedding was wonderful, and I was well enough to fulfill my duties as maid of honor.

Although this was a tough year with my health, it was also a surprisingly wonderful and inspiring time in my career as an artist.

American Sign Language Love” Valentine’s Day Greeting Card by Kailyn Glassmacher

We’re honored that Kailyn has joined Minted’s global community of independent artists and designers, and we hope to see more of her designs in our assortment of holiday cardslimited-edition art, and home decor.


What was most inspiring about 2015 for you? Share your answer in Comments below and on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter with the hashtag #WhatInspiresMe.

READ MORE #WHATINSPIRESME
Does routine inspire or stifle your creativity?
Has anything ever scared you so much it’s inspired you?
How does food inspire your creativity?
Who’s your biggest creative influence?

Published December 10, 2015 • Learn how to become a Minted artist here.

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Meet a Minted Artist: Lori Wemple

Lori Wemple has had quite a year. When we asked her to name the highlight of 2015, she said, “I can’t name just one!” Among just a few of her high points, the work-from-home illustrator listed spending time with her kids in the summer, a cruise with her husband, and lettering the Minted booth at the National Stationery Show in New York. Here, the North Carolina artist-designer talks about balancing her career with family, everyday inspirations, and how Minted changed her life.

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
I’ve worked a variety of design jobs, including prepress for a printer, newspaper art director, grocery chain designer, and museum designer, and each one taught me different aspects of design. I feel like all of those things have come together to help me work independently.

What’s a typical day for you?
Each day is a little different. My daughter is home with me most days, and I like to really enjoy our time together. We go to the park, play with friends, or visit the library and then pick up my son from school. Then the three of us do something together before dinner (including swimming and art classes), then homework and reading stories. I often have to catch up on work at night after they are in bed.

How did you first hear about Minted?
I saw an ad for Minted while flipping through a magazine during my maternity leave with my daughter, Elle, in 2011. I loved my full-time job, but I really wanted to find a way to work and be home with my kids with a more flexible schedule. I am ever-grateful for that fortunate moment because it literally changed my life.

What do you enjoy most about the Minted community?
I’ve made so many friends through the community and found people who share the same joy for design, and struggle with the same challenges of balancing work and raising a family. The community is so enthusiastic and supportive, and I am so happy to be a part of it and give back the support that I have received.

What have you learned from being part of the Minted community?
Design is a process, a struggle, a challenge that you put your whole self into, and it feels personal and emotional. It feels this way for all those who create, and accepting those challenges and staying positive are so important. Realizing that we all feel this way, and being there to support each other and cheer each other on makes us better designers and better individuals.

In the Flowers” by Lori Wemple

Your Minted work spans a variety of categories, from Stationery to Home Decor. Which category do you enjoy most?
I truly love them all. I enjoy trying different mediums and being able to experiment and step outside of my comfort zone. Each category has its own challenges and advantages. I’m recently exploring soft toys; it’s so fun to see a two-dimensional piece of art come to life.

Lori Wemple’s son Connor and daughter Elle. All portraits by Candy Howard Photography

What’s your family like?
I have a wonderful husband, Brian, who is devoted to family and passionate about his work. I have such admiration and respect for his passion. I have a 6-year-old son named Connor, who’s so smart and creative. He has an engineering mind but loves to paint as well, and I must admit that I often borrow from his palette choices. My daughter Elle is 4 and the happiest, most enthusiastic soul I’ve ever known. She loves to dance and sing and just lights up any room she’s in.

How did you meet your husband?
We went to separate all-girl and all-guy high schools in Tampa. These two schools had extracurricular events together, and we met our senior year in Masque Club—he was the whiz technical guy, and I was an actor. We were fast friends but didn’t start dating until our freshman year, when we decided to take a spontaneous trip and meet in New York, because we attended different colleges at the time. New York City is a special place for us now, because we had our first kiss in front of Radio City Music Hall, and my husband proposed to me a few years later in the same spot.

Lori and her husband Brian

Click through to read more from Minted artist Lori Wemple

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Q&A: How does food inspire your creativity?

At Minted, we believe inspiration is everywhere—you just have to look for it. With Thanksgiving a few days away, we’ve been thinking not only about challenging situations we’re thankful for but also, well, food.

For this edition of #WhatInspiresMe, artists Rebecca Bowen, Ariel Rutland, and Ann Gardner share stories of how the simple act of enjoying food inspires them.

Rebecca Bowen
Dallas, Texas

I have a strong affinity for food. I mean, I really love food.

Food has shaped all of my favorite vacations, childhood memories, holidays, family meals, and every party I’ve ever hosted or attended. The Food Channel is always on in my house, and my children and I are glued to it.

I’m never without a snack and a tasty beverage at arm’s reach. I cannot say that I am great at cooking, but I do love dreaming up my own creations. My mother just so happens to be the best cook on earth, meshing together her Italian heritage and my father’s Arabic side—we never had a bad meal.

My favorite pastime, aside from designing, is seeking out new restaurants. The whole experience of eating is exciting to me. It’s about eclectic atmospheres and well designed menus, colorful cocktails, and a wonderful aroma in the air. I especially love places that put a lot of creativity into their menu. Pairing unusual food groups in unique ways. I love spicy cocktails, and bacon hidden in my desserts.

Glamour” notebook by Rebecca Bowen

I tend to approach food as I do designs—there must always be something different or unusual thrown in. It must be true to itself yet somehow be set apart from the rest and it does not need to be clouded up with unnecessary ingredients. And like design, the food must be visually interesting. It must be beautiful enough to take a photo of and share it with the world.

Wine-Thirty” Cocktail Party Online Invitation by Rebecca Bowen

All About That Joy” holiday photo card by Rebecca Bowen


Ariel Rutland
Princeton, New Jersey

During the holiday season, I love to make lemon yogurt cake. It’s an old standby that gets me into the wintry spiritespecially when it’s time to dust the top with snowy powdered sugar, which is the perfect opportunity to turn out a festive sugary design.

For this powdered-sugar design, I took the wreath illustration I created for “Winter Joy Wreath” in Illustrator and printed it large on a standard printer paper. Then I painstakingly cut it out with an Exacto knife, and voila! It became a stencil. I laid the stencil over the cake and dusted the sugar on top then lifted off the stencil to reveal the design.

Winter Joy Wreath” self-launch A2 card by Ariel Rutland

Clockwise from top: “Merrily Christmas mini card” gift tag; “Winter Merry Bright” self-launch A2 card; “Geo New Year” self-launch A2 card; “Hanukkah paper cutout card


Ann Gardner
Irving, Texas

When I was young, the aroma of fresh-baked bread filled the house around the holidays. It was a signal that it was officially the holiday season. The time I spent with my mom in the kitchen brought out a love of creating from scratch. From homemade bread and cinnamon rolls to decorating holiday cookies, making things with my hands inspired me to create—and of course, enjoy the fruits of my labor.

A must-have baked good with my family during the holidays is fruitcake. I know what you’re thinking…fruitcake? But my mom’s is so good, chock-full of fruit and just enough batter to hold everything together. And so fresh and moist. Not your typical store-bought fruitcake. As I was working on holiday designs this year, her fruitcake popped into my head, and I saw that great photo of two kids making faces. It seemed like a perfect combination for a fun holiday design.

Holiday Fruitcakes” Christmas photo card by Ann Gardner

The Night Before” holiday photo cards by Ann Gardner


How does food, drink, or a particular meal inspire your creativity? Share your answer in Comments below and on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter with the hashtag #WhatInspiresMe. We feature some of our favorite social shares in our Minted Fine Arts newsletter.

READ MORE #WHATINSPIRESME
Does routine inspire or stifle your creativity?
Has anything ever scared you so much it’s inspired you?
Who’s your biggest creative influence?

Published November 23, 2015 • Learn how to become a Minted artist here.

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