2016 Holiday and Christmas Photo Card: Special Prizes

Announcing the Special Prize winners of our Oh Come, All Ye Faithful Religious Christmas Photo Card Quickfire Challenge (non-foil and foil) and Making Spirits Bright Holiday Photo Card Challenge (non-foil and foil)! We counted down the top-voted winners and Editors’ Picks for these Challenges back in September, and we’re thrilled to share the Special Prizes winners with you now.

Oh Come, All Ye Faithful Religious Christmas Photo Card Quickfire Challenge

Completely Classic Award

For the most unique, traditional design inspired by a religious sentiment or hymn
Starry” by Jessica Williams


Religious Scripture Award

For the best design inspired by religious scripture
Glory Bookplate” by Lorent and Leif


Multi Photo Award

For the best religious design that showcases multiple photos
His Blessings” by Erica Krystek


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Minted Holiday Playbook 2016

For the 2016 Holiday season, we recommend that Minted Artists aim to drive traffic to product description pages (PDPs; see an example of a PDP here). We also welcome you to join Minted’s Affiliate program, which gives Minted Artists the opportunity to earn supplemental revenue while promoting their Minted products. Minted Affiliates use trackable URLs to promote Minted products to their own social networks and followings. As a Minted Affiliate, you are eligible to earn a 10% commission on sales resulting from traffic that you drive to Minted. As a Minted Artist, the 10% affiliate commission is in addition to your artist sales commission of 6%.

Here’s a roundup of articles to help you with your holiday marketing.

SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING, & BRAND ADVICE

Minted’s 7 Tips for Creating a Unique Artist Brand

Minted Affiliate Marketing 101

What are the Best Social Media Platforms For You?

6 Tips for Creating Engaging Social Media Content

9 Ways to Build a Social Media Following

How to Build Your Creative Brand on Instagram

MINTED ARTIST STORE ADVICE

10 Tips for Taking Great Photos for Your Artist Store

The Essential Checklist for Minted Artist Stores

Top 10 Tips for Curating Your Minted Artist Store

How to Merchandise Your Minted Artist Store for the Holidays


Published October 18, 2016

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Minted Affiliate Marketing 101

Minted’s Affiliate program gives Minted Artists the opportunity to earn supplemental revenue while promoting any Minted products. Minted Affiliates use trackable URLs to promote Minted products to their own social networks and followings. As a Minted Affiliate, you are eligible to earn up to 20% referral commission each time you refer a customer who makes a purchase. The affiliate fee is paid in addition to any artist commissions that you receive for sales of your own Minted products. Affiliate fees are an advertising expense and are only paid when an affiliate refers a paying customer. Artist commissions are paid on every purchase, regardless of where the customer comes from.

The holiday season can be a particularly fruitful time to experiment with affiliate marketing; like many retailers, November and December are very important sales months at Minted. Regarding how much time the program involves, keep in mind that the bulk of the work will likely involve content generation (which we’ll touch on in a minute). Once you’ve signed up for an affiliate account, it’s just a matter of creating specialized links.

Here are the basics for getting started with Minted Affiliate Marketing, along with tips for success.

1. Set Up Your Minted Affiliate Account

Visit minted.com/affiliate. You’ll have two choices of affiliate networks: ShareASale and CJ. We recommend using ShareASale, because it’s the network that we’ve integrated into Minted Artist Stores.

Once you register, you should be approved within one business day, but keep in mind that during the busy holiday season, the process may take slightly longer. If you have questions, email the Affiliate Support Team at affiliates@minted.com; please tell the team that you’re a Minted Artist.

2. Create Affiliate Links 

Go here to create affiliate links. You can link to any page on Minted, and we recommend linking to specific product description pages (PDPs), as opposed to focusing all your energy on your Minted Artist Store landing page.

When a customer clicks on one of your affiliate links, a tracking cookie is placed on their browser. All sales referred by you through affiliate links will yield a 10% commission (based on sale price) and tracked via our affiliate network, ShareASale.

Minted offers a generous 120-day tracking window from first click to sale. All sales made on that “cookied” device/browser would net you a commission for the length of that 120-day window.

Please note these commissions are processed separately from artist commissions paid out directly from Minted. They are tracked and distributed by our affiliate network (ShareASale or Commission Junction).
3. Use your Artist Store Vanity URL
If you have a Minted Artist Store and you’re on our ShareASale affiliate program, you can also direct visitors to your vanity URL (yourname.minted.com), and it will automatically redirect through your affiliate URL. It’s your choice whether to direct your followers to a product details page or your Artist Store. Both options can get you credit as an affiliate.

4. Pick Your Promotional Platforms

As you’re developing a content strategy, focus on the promotional channels that work best for you. Whether it’s a particular social media platform, email newsletter, a blog, or your website, there are a number of ways that you can drive traffic to the Minted URLs of your choice.

Some Minted Artists include affiliate links in the navigation bars of their personal websites, social media accounts, and email signatures to monetize the traffic they receive to their personal blogs.

Minted Artist Kristy Kapturowski of Hooray Creative uses Minted Affiliate links on Pinterest. “A few of my Minted designs have enjoyed a lot of action on Pinterest, so it’s a great way to drive traffic to a Minted Artist Store and spread your personal brand,” Kristy says. “It’s also a fantastic opportunity to incorporate an affiliate link to boost your commission.”

Did you know that Pinterest now allows use of affiliate links? Learn more here.

Suggested Reading: “What Are the Best Social Media Platforms for You?

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Meet a Minted Artist: Denise Wong

After working in a variety of art-based professions—art-exhibition planning and design as well as practicing art law—New York City-based painter Denise Wong decided to quit in order to pursue her own art practice full time. Here, Denise shares her artistic journey, where she finds inspiration, and what Minted means to her as a working artist.

Meet a Minted Artist Denise Wong Denise Wong was photographed at the Minted Local store in San Francisco alongside her limited edition art prints “California” and “Highway One.”

Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always wanted to be an artist, ever since I was a child. I have very early memories of drawing, it was my favorite activity to do. When I was younger, I treasured my art supplies and I’m happy now to have finally integrated my childhood visions into my adult life and to have made art a full-time career. I think the things we truly enjoy should be the stuff of our everyday lives.

Tell us about your art.
My specialty is painting, particularly acrylic painting, but I also work with mixed-media works on paper. Painting is a wonderful, expressive form—it’s a very visceral form and I really love getting my hands into the paint. I started out drawing, like many artists do, and eventually transitioned into painting, starting with figurative painting. Later, I transitioned from figurative painting to more abstract works.

What did you do before pursuing art full time?
I’ve dabbled in many things over the course of my life—I’ve worked at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Columbia University Department of Art History in their Modern Art and Curatorial Studies department—but my own art practice is the thing that keeps pulling me back. Whenever I would veer off course, I would continue making art. I went to law school to study art law; prior to that, I was in graduate school for social science, focused on anthropology. I studied museum-exhibition design to make art more accessible to the public in an approachable way. While doing that I became interested in issues on cultural property and repatriation of stolen art; so I went to law school and studied art law, worked for an art-law journal, and became a lawyer. The legal work was very detail-oriented and I found that the more detail-oriented my work became, the art I was making—which initially was figurative in nature—started to come more abstract. Painting was a great outlet for me because I could balance the details of my work with the free-flowing nature of abstract painting.

How did you transition into a full-time art career?
It was slow and gradual. I took a number of art classes on the side as I pursued a variety of career opportunities. I was always making art but I just needed the right opportunity to begin selling art. While I was a student, I was interested in making art accessible to a wide variety of audiences and was always interested in innovative models of art exhibition and art sales. Companies like Minted are very forward-thinking and when I saw that Minted had expanded to the art world, it was a perfect match.

Meet a Minted Artist: Denise Wong

How did you discover Minted?
I was extremely busy with my day job and my art practice was getting pushed to the side. I was trying to think of ways to get back into making art and spending more time with my art practice. One day, I discovered through a blog post an ad for Minted and I checked out the website. Once work calmed down a bit, one day I opened up a magazine to a full-page ad for Minted. I went back to the website again and saw they were launching an art competition in a couple of weeks—I applied and the rest is history.

What makes Minted’s artist community unique?
What I love about the Minted community is that it’s extremely friendly, it’s almost like being in art school with family. It’s a very personal community and is a great way to get feedback in an honest and friendly way—I love it.

What’s inspiring you these days?
Inspiration is everywhere. I live in New York City and it’s very diverse and vibrant. I find inspiration around every corner—I love where I live and it’s a great place to get inspiration daily for the variety of pieces I’m working on.

How would your friends and family describe you?
They’d probably describe me as creative, with many interests, and very dedicated to pursuing them all.

What does your future look like?
When I think about the future, I’m very excited about the many opportunities I have in mind. One of those is Minted’s recently launched commissioned art program. It enables me to connect with art enthusiasts from all over the United States. I love working on commissioned pieces because it’s a way to connect with a customer in a personal way to create a piece that suits them.

Click through for more from Minted artist Denise Wong…

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Chip + Joanna Gaines, Sweet Paul, and Girls With Glasses’ Holiday Card Picks

Back in April we announced the guest judges of our “Making Spirits Bright” Holiday Photo Card Challenge: Joanna and Chip Gaines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, and Paul “Sweet Paul” Lowe, Editor-in-Chief of Sweet Paul Magazine. Shortly before that, we announced that blog and YouTube personalities The Girls With Glasses would be the guest judges of our “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful” Religious Christmas Card Challenge. To say that a number of Minted artists were excited is an understatement.

Without further ado, here are our guest judges’ picks from each challenge, along with their thoughts about the designs.

Guest Judges Picks: 2016 Holiday Card Photo Card Challenge

Joanna and Chip Gaines (pictured above) are one of the most popular couples on TV — they’re in the business of flipping left-for-dead homes for their clients: Chip handles construction and Joanna focuses on design.

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Behind the Design: “Boho Ikat” Wedding Invitation

Minted designer Nicole Armstrong of Penelope Poppy, who’s based in Pittsburg, Penn., shares the vision and creative process behind her brightly patterned wedding invitation “Boho Ikat.”

Boho Ikat wedding invitation from Minted

What was the inspiration behind this design?
I was very inspired by the brightly colored bohemian weddings that I had been seeing and wanted to create a design that embodied that look and feel. The super bright colors are a bit of a departure for me but it was fun to explore different palettes and capture vibrancy. A good friend of mine was getting married the same time as I was creating this invitation and she was a big inspiration, too—she even helped name the design!

Describe your creative process – from initial idea to end result.
Sometimes I get inspired by an idea and sit down and start hashing it out. Other times I am sitting at the computer, knowing that I need to create something. I just start messing around with different ideas and there is a lot of morphing and transforming that happens as it begins to shape. When it comes to designing, I am a “feeler,” everything that I create is based on instinct, no so much the rules of design. To complete a project, I need to get it to a place where it just feels right to me.

What are some challenges you faced as you were designing?
One of the biggest challenges with “Boho Ikat” was the color palette, I was concerned about getting it just right. I really wanted that vibrancy to come through and to have playful colors that complemented each other nicely without coming off like a rainbow tie-dyed shirt. That’s why I chose a palette of hot pink, teal, mustard/gold. I wanted to convey the fun spirit of a boho wedding and these colors worked perfectly.

Describe the type of bride or wedding you imagined this design would complement?
Let me paint the picture for you: The wedding takes place in the desert, with mountains in the distance, lots of bright florals, succulents, cactuses, brass accents. The bride is wearing a floral crown and a lacey, bohemian-style dress and her groom is casual, maybe wearing a fun tie. Think: feathers, dream catchers, terrarium centerpieces, and macramé.

Boho Ikat wedding invitation from Minted

What wedding trends do you love right now?
I am a huge fan of brides who can pull off a completely cohesive event without being too matchy-matchy. Different patterns and colors. I love bridesmaids in mismatched bridesmaid dresses. It just looks so much more personal and interesting and less “cookie cutter.”

How did you come to design for Minted?
I loved designing wedding stationery and was so excited to find a community with such beautiful and inspiring work and couldn’t wait to become a part of it. I submitted pieces for my first wedding invitation challenge back in 2010. Six years ago! I love the company and appreciate the community and level of detail that goes into every aspect. Minted does everything with excellence and with a genuine and sincere work ethic—something I strive for in my own work.


More from Nicole Armstrong:
• “Boho Ikat” wedding invitation
• Nicole’s Minted Store (Penelope Poppy)
Nicole’s Website
• Nicole’s Instagram

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

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Meet a Minted Artist: Mya Bessette

Meet a Minted Artist Mya Bessette

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
I worked for over a decade in the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, where I met my husband, Cody. When we found out we were having a baby, I left that career (because babies and oil fields don’t mix). I found myself finally able to decide what I really wanted to be when I grew up. So I revisited my life-long love of painting. Initially, I was painting for my daughter, Nevi—I wanted her world to be full of color and uplifting art. As I began honing my skills and my personal style, my little sister encouraged me to begin selling on Etsy, which I then did for about seven years. Eventually, my paintings began to filter out into galleries and I launched my website and began selling directly from my site.

Did you study art formally in school?
Nope. I’m self-taught.

Where do you currently reside?
Bigfork, Montana. My home overlooks Flathead Lake. The towering Mission Mountains are to the east, Glacier Park is a 30-minute drive away, and the village of Bigfork is an artistic little hamlet tucked beside the Swan River and behind a marina that spills out into the lake. I can’t figure out why everyone on the planet isn’t living here. It’s a dreamy place with a slow and peaceful pace.

Meet a Minted Artist: Mya Bessette

Can you share the schedule of a typical day in the life?
Wake up before the kids, sip Mainline coffee while I reply to customer emails, and formulate my “to-do” list (so I’ll have something to laugh at later in the day). Wake the kids for school, make a bagel with cream cheese for one, slightly “burny” toast with thin pats of cold butter for the other, tend to all special requests for lunches, pack ‘em, dress ‘em, hug ‘em, and put them on the bus. Breathe. Spend every possible moment creating without interruption. I go into a bit of a trance when I paint—texts are ignored, usually phone calls are as well, and time passes so quickly; I’m almost always surprised by the roar of the bus coming up the hill. Then, I get to hear all about kindergarten and first grade from the two sweetest little kiddos and start the evening routine. After I put the kids to bed, I try to reflect on the day and take time to catch up on all of the correspondence I missed while creating.

What are some of your own “rules” for living + working?
I try not to put too many restrictions on how I work. It seems that the more flexible I am with my process, the more genuine my paintings are. However, since my studio is in my living room, I do try to paint when I have that space to myself. I’m not very good at starting and stopping; when I’m in my creative zone, I like to stay there!

Meet a Minted Artist Mya Bessette

What objects have been most significant to you lately?
I never would have thought that I’d ever say this: flowers and botanicals. I’ve always meandered between abstract works and landscapes. Creating my latest abstract florals has been such a unique and organic journey. I’m also pretty obsessed with geometric shapes right now.

Please describe your last month in a word.
Rejuvenating

Can you share an as-of-yet unrealized project with us?
Yes! In the spring, I plan to team up with children’s clothing company, Couture Flower, to release a line of children’s swing dresses created with fabric from my original art.

What are you serious about?
Teaching my kids to be kind and honest. Being punctual. Following through with commitments.

What things will you never take seriously?
Anti-aging serums, Web MD, shabby chic, people who tell me their kids love broccoli, salmon, and kale.

What are some keys to balancing work and life?
It’s all such a big jumble of chaotic fabulousness that’s it’s difficult to even separate the two. An artist’s eye rarely rests so when I’m out and about enjoying the day with family, I’m the one stopping to investigate the leaves on a fern or photographing a cluster of clouds. When I’m in the studio, I love to involve my family and it’s not unheard of for all of us, my very creative husband included, to sit down for an art session together. When your job is to be creative and innovative, I think life and work naturally blend into one another.

Click through for more from Minted artist Mya Bessette

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Great Expectations & Sweet Celebrations Challenges: Guest Judges’ Picks

Announcing the Guest Judge prizes from our Great Expectations Baby Shower Invitation Challenge and Sweet Celebrations Quickfire Kids’ Birthday Party Invitation Challenge!

Great Expectations Baby Shower Invitation Challenge

We were thrilled to partner with the talented ladies from 100 Layer Cakelet, a creative collaboration between friends and fellow designers Jillian Clark, Amanda Dawbarn, and Kristina Meltzer. Their wedding blog, 100 LayerCake, launched in 2009. 100 Layer Cakelet, their family blog and newest addition to the brand, is the natural next step, for readers who want a space that can inspire their lives after the last bits of wedding confetti have been combed from their hair.

They selected “Bright Confetti Pop” by Ashley Little of Little Print Design. They “loved the simplicity and the fun modern design and that it’s totally appropriate for a boy or girl (or surprise!) shower.” 100 Layer Cakelet announced their selection via Instagram to share this great design with their followers in addition!

Congratulations, Ashley!

Bright Confetti Pop” by Little Print Design


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Second Live Art Night Draws Full House at Minted Local

On September 22, we hosted the second Live Art Night at Minted Local, drawing more than 130 people for an evening of Bay Area artists painting, drawing, and talking with guests. The popular monthly event featured Minted Artists Madeline Trait, Sylvie Lee, and Jenny Partrite, in addition to local artist Michael McConnell.

Pictured above, top row, from left: Bay Area artist Michael McConnell and Minted Artist Madeline Trait; bottom row, from left: Minted Artists Sylvie Lee and Jenny Partrite.

Live Art Night sign and art by Minted Jenny Partrite

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My Heart in San Francisco: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prizes for our My Heart in San Francisco Quickfire Design Challenge! In support of our first-ever Minted retail store located in Union Square in San Francisco, CA, we looked to our talented Minted community, for unique art and designs that bring a piece of California, and especially the San Francisco Bay area, to life. The best designs showcased local spirit that both tourists and residents alike can take home and treasure. We were blown away with what you dreamed up for this challenge. Congratulations to all the winners!

For the best Art Print design
Pacific Coast Highway by Denise Wong


For the best Customizable Photo Art Print
that features a San Francisco theme

Golden Grizzly by 2birdstone


For the best fabric design that features a San Francisco theme
San Francisco Toile by Surface Love


For the most innovative and original designthat best captures
the spirit of San Francisco, the Bay area or California in general

Flower Power by Baumbirdy


For the design that best features a well known San Francisco or
California icon in a different and innovative manner

Hop On! by Paul Berthelot


Click through for more special prize winners

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