Jessica Hische’s 7 Truths for Creative Success

If there was ever a person who embodies the philosophy of learning (and succeeding) by doing, it’s probably Jessica Hische. The renowned graphic designer is a doer to the max. The self-employed artist got an early start working for Louise Fili Ltd., designs for clients ranging from Tiffany & Co. to Target, and recently published her first book, the aptly titled In Progress.

On January 28, Minted CEO Mariam Naficy hosted a fireside chat at Minted’s San Francisco office, asking a number of questions provided by Minted’s global community of artists. Here, we highlight some of Jessica’s insights for creative success. Watch the video of the fireside chat with Jessica here.

Minted CEO Mariam Naficy (left) hosted a fireside chat with Jessica Hische on January 28, 2016.

1. Present Life as Truth

Now that Jessica has an established career, she’s able to negotiate her terms with clients—moreso than as a rookie designer. “But it has to do more with your confidence,” she said.

Jessica explained that some creatives are compelled to enter into negotiations apologetically, instead of just putting reality on the table. “Parents need to present their lives as a truth,” she said. “Don’t think of your life as an inconvenience for your client. They have to understand the realities. Everybody has their thing, and I think we whitewash our humanness. We should be honest and say, for instance, If I get less than eight hours of sleep, I’m a wreck.”

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Meet a Minted Artist: Lindsay Megahed

For a Chicago-area artist, Lindsay Megahed’s paintings emit quite the California vibe. From the beach scenes of “Weekending” and “Sea Wall” to the bright, dreamy colors in many of her other limited-edition prints, she’s got a lot of West Coast going on. But the Cali energy isn’t all that Lindsay has to offer. She’s a multi-talented artist-designer who’s won 109 awards across Minted categories: holiday cards, Valentine’s Day stationery, fabric, and, of course, art. Here, Lindsay talks about raising two boys, developing her career, and her insightful advice for up-and-coming artists.

What’s it like to be a work-from-home artist?
Very messy! Inspiration can strike at any time, so usually my studio is covered with works in progress—paper scraps, canvases, paint tubes, and palettes (I can’t throw anything away.) My studio is right off my main living space, so I don’t really have consistent start-and-stop working hours, and there are a lot of distractions. But being able to be so flexible with my time makes the haphazard work environment worth it. I can volunteer at my boys’ elementary school and attend all their events and activities, which is my main entertainment these days. Being home a lot, I do miss talking to grown-ups, so it’s always nice to hop online to see what’s happening in the Minted community.

Your work is so colorful. Do you have a favorite color combination?
I always start out trying to freshen up my palette a bit, but blue/green and orange/pink always seem to take over in the end.

Big Sur” by Lindsay Megahed

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Behind the Design: “Adventure Awaits” Save the Date

Bangkok-based Minted designer Elly Liyana gives us the scoop on how her popular “Adventure Awaits” save-the-date came to be (so perfect for nature-loving couples!).

Woodland Save the Date Design Minted

What was the inspiration behind this design?
I was brainstorming ideas for a project I was working on and wanted to incorporate drawings of natural landscapes with some portrait illustrations. Then, since many couples are gravitating toward an outdoor or rustic wedding theme these days, I thought I might be able to also feature these landscapes in an upcoming wedding challenge.

Please describe your creative process, from initial idea to end result.
I visit wedding blogs to have a look at the kind of wedding styles that are trending at the moment. I immerse myself in the whole wedding vibe as if I am a bride-to-be! I look for what I would like and I write all my ideas on paper and then start playing around with watercolor.

What are some challenges you faced as you were designing?
I think the biggest challenge was trying to create something fresh yet still consistent with current trends. Also, I’m new to watercolor—I usually paint with oils so it took a lot of trial and error before I was truly happy with it. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and try something new for the challenge.

What wedding trends do you love right now?
Nature never gets old. I’m also loving the modern abstract painting trend. I’m not an abstract painter but I appreciate the style because I know just how difficult it is to paint abstract art.

Woodland Save the Date Design Minted

Tell us about your workspace.
My workspace is small and messy most of the time. My desk is next to a balcony—I prefer to paint during the day when there’s a good amount of sunlight. I’ve got a clear view of the city and the skyline from that spot, it’s relaxing.

How did you start designing for Minted?
My sister told me about Minted in 2009 and encouraged me to participate in the challenges; my first submission was for a wedding invitation challenge. It’s great to see how Minted has come such a long way, and how many of the wonderful designers have grown in their work. They truly inspire me to design more.

How does it feel knowing that couples from around the world are incorporating your save-the-date into their wedding?
It’s incredible! I’ve gotten some really sweet emails from brides-to-be saying that they have been looking for something like it for a long time and were so happy to have found it for their wedding. I’ve always wanted my art to reach a variety of people and it’s such a great feeling that my work is part of such a special occasion.


More from Elly Liyana:
• Elly’s Minted Store
Elly’s Website
Elly’s Instagram

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

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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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Mariam Naficy Keynotes Alt Summit, Reveals Curator Stores

“Will knock your socks off” was a spot-on description for today’s opening keynote at Alt Summit Winter 2016. Minted Founder and CEO Mariam Naficy was in good creative company with her fellow keynote speakers in Salt Lake City, Utah—all of whom are Internet powerhouses: Sarah Michelle Gellar of Food Stirs, Jihan Zencirli of Geronimo Balloons, and Luvvie Ajayi of Awesomely Luvvi.

Mariam Naficy gives her keynote speech at Alt Summit on January 21, 2016.
Photo by Troy Williams of @SimplyTroy

Alt Summit is the most influential conference for lifestyle and design bloggers, small business owners, and social media personalities. The four-day summit features panels and workshops about creative problem-solving and empowerment, where up-and-comers can rub elbows with stars like Justina Blakeney of The Jungalow and artist Elle Luna.

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6 Tips for Success in Minted Challenges

You’ve set up your artist profile and you’re ready to enter your first Minted Design Challenge. This is an exciting and scary time. Where do you start? How do you stand out? What are you supposed to do after you submit your design? We have answers.

1. Read the Challenge Kit Closely

Every challenge has a submission kit with prize information, details about the type of work we’re looking for, creative notes, templates, submission and file guidelines. “Read the challenge notes—all of them—and then use those to help guide your design decisions,” says Julie Green, who joined the Minted community in 2010 and has 116 wins under her belt.

Within challenge notes, Minted’s merchandising team provides clues about what they’re looking for, and the files team includes info about the things you can and can’t do from a technical standpoint. “The more attention you pay to the challenge notes, the better your chances are of getting an editor’s pick,” Julie says.

Minted artist Kamala Nahas agrees. “I know it’s not always exciting, but there’s lots of useful information in the challenge kit. It tells you everything from how to set up files for submission to the special prizes Minted will be awarding.”

Julie Green of Up Up Creative’s Paper Crane wedding invitation

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How to Create Repeating Patterns in Illustrator

By Liz Conley

5 Fabric Design Tips

1. Place design elements on the sides to create a natural rhythm to your repeating pattern.

2. When filling the fabric art board with a pattern, make sure there’s no stroke on the rectangle. Strokes will cause an error on the finished file.

3. Make sure the size of your pattern is divisible by 36 inches. All Minted fabrics repeat exactly at the 36-inch mark.

4. For designs with a white background, easily add a pop of color to your alternate colorways by layering your pattern over a colored background. Customers love having options—especially for home decor.

5. Think outside the Illustrator window. Some of Minted’s most popular fabrics started as painting or drawings that were scanned in to tweak inside Illustrator.


Liz Conley, a former Production Designer, now works as a Public Relations Designer for Minted. Originally trained as a fine art printer and bookbinder, she now helps the Production Team translate Minted artists’ visions into real products. She’s also a Minted community member with a passion for watercolors and learning to push Illustrator to its limits in new ways. Visit Liz’s Minted Artist Store, and follow Liz on Instagram @lizconley.

Published January 15, 2016 • Learn how to become a Minted artist here.

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5 Tips for Refreshing Your Minted Artist Store in Q1

Ready to give your Minted Artist Store a seasonal refresh? To help you think through your merchandising strategy and the products to spotlight in your Store, we’ve compiled these five tips with the insights of Minted’s marketing and merchandising leaders.

Alexandra Dzhiganskaya updated her Store shortly after New Year’s, prioritizing her winning Valentine’s Day designs and spring floral art.

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