When you need a quick creative pick-me-up, what do you do?

Creative funks happen to the best of us, but overcoming them oftentimes inspires a whole new direction. Here, Minted artists Joni Tyrrell, Andi Pahl, and Jennifer Postorino share their most reliable creative pick-me-ups.

Joni Tyrrell with her son, Kingston

Joni Tyrrell
North Liberty, Iowa

Take a break! It’s so easy as a creative business owner to get caught up in working all the time and forgetting to find balance between work and family life. I’m just starting to figure out a balance, and I find that when I turn to the two most important people in my life—my husband and son—that downtime can really trigger a creative thought or idea and I can come back to “work” feeling refreshed and excited about new things.

Joni with her dog, Maverick (“A female with a boy name,” she says.)

Pining for Pineapple by Joni Tyrrell


Andi Pahl
Columbus, Ohio

Music—from show tunes to ’80s pop to Jenny Lewis and everything in between—is a great creative pick-me-up. I also enjoy taking ballet classes, so whether it’s an hour-long class or a short plié relevé combination in my living room to get the blood pumping, working out can be very helpful.

One of my favorite creative pick-me-ups is coffee and collaborating with a creative friend, like Alaina from Cheer Up Press. Since inspiration seems to hit me at the most random times, I keep several journals. When I’m at a total loss for ideas, I consult one of my journals for creative inspiration. There’s always a surprising idea that I wrote down at some earlier point and forgot about later. When all else fails, I just start painting or sketching without any prior plan or expectations.

I’m Frond Of You No. 2” by Andi Pahl

Reflections Watercolor by Andi Pahl


Jenny Postorino and her daughter, Quinn. Photo by Ashley Mauro Photography

Jennifer Postorino
Dayton, Ohio

It’s pretty simple for me. I just walk away from whatever I am doing and see what’s going on in the world around me. I’ll run to grab an iced coffee from Starbucks or a sweet treat from our local bakery—I’m a total sucker for iced sugar cookies and cupcakes! Lately I’ve been hitting the gym for a butt-kicking crossfit session every day (which is my newest obsession, or necessity, based on my love of cookies).

But, honestly, most of the time I find myself just hanging out with my two kiddos, being a typical mom. The things that come out of their little mouths crack me up, and I find inspiration in them every day. It could be anything from hearing my 3-year-old sing Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” in the car at the top of her lungs to playing outside and listening to my son ramble on about how he thinks he has a huge head while shooting hoops. Oddly enough, it’s in those little moments when creativity strikes, and I feel recharged again and ready to work.

Glimmer” by Jennifer Postorino

Bundle of Joy” by Jennifer Postorino


What do you do when you need a quick creative pick-me-up? Share your answer in Comments below and on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with the hashtag #WhatInspiresMe.

How does education—formal and informal—shape your creative work? Read about Minted artists’ experiences here.

Learn how to become a Minted artist here.

Published September 14, 2015

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 1st Place Winner

By Mariam Naficy

At Minted, we celebrate independent creatives. They are the heart and soul of what we do as a company. We know that creativity comes from unexpected places, and we cherish the serendipity and surprise that result from this. We strive to create a marketplace for independent creatives—a marketplace that rewards them for the quality of their work and provides customers with a direct connection to find art and design that expresses their unique style.

Minted’s annual Holiday Photo Card Challenge is the biggest stationery design event of the year. This year artists submitted a total of 4,661 designs. We have a very diverse group of winners who truly embody independence of thought.

I’m thrilled to announce that the first-place winner of the 2015 Holiday Photo Card Challenge is Karly Depew of Oscar & Emma for her design “Embellished.” The Columbus, Ohio, artist has won $9,000 and a forthcoming VIP trip to San Francisco along with second-place winner Phrosné Ras of Cape Town, South Africa, and third-place winner Kristie Kern of Akron, Ohio. All winners also earn commission on the sales of their winning designs. See Karly’s winning design and a video of me surprising her below.

Having known Karly as a dedicated Minted community member since the very first year Minted launched (in 2008), I’m thrilled for Karly and her holiday win. A self-taught designer, Karly has embodied the Minted community spirit from the beginning, repeatedly giving advice and help to new designers along the way.

Embellished” is a refreshing new take on a full-bleed design. I love the delicate, elegant, circular lockup, which still lets a customer’s photo shine. What I’ve always admired about Karly is that she studies her work so carefully and that her typography is so carefully considered. Karly revealed to us that she edited “Embellished” nearly 20 times to achieve perfection. The use of holly and the color red convey holiday festivity without compromising the card’s elegance and simplicity.

The Depew Family from left: Karly’s husband Judd, Ollie, Maeve, Parker, and Karly.
Photo by Christa Kimble

Karly’s design was a favorite among both consumers and our community of independent artists—a very difficult feat. Congratulations on this well-deserved accomplishment, Karly. We couldn’t be happier for you!

Each year we surprise the first-place winner, and each time we aim to get a little sneakier. I traveled this year to Columbus to surprise Karly, and even enlisted the help of a special accomplice and fellow Minted artist, Carrie O’Neal, who created a cover story and drove all the way from Cincinnati to help get Karly to the right cafe at the right time. I emerged from a broom closet at the cafe, trying to cover my face with giant red balloons. Watch the video to see how it all went down.

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 2nd Place Winner

Each year Minted hosts our highly anticipated holiday photo card competition in search of the best and freshest holiday card designs. This year Minted’s community of independent designers produced breathtaking and exceptionally creative designs — we received an incredible 4,661 submissions. The votes have been tallied and the Top 50 winners have been chosen, see them all right here.

Elegant gold branches adorned with delicate dots and leaves come together to perfectly frame the photo in Phrosne’s stunning design. Her artistry is on full display in this card. The thin clean stroke of her line brings a lightness while the use of gold adds just enough luxe to make this holiday card truly shine.


More Winning Designs from our 2015 Holiday Photo Card Challenge:
3rd Place Winner
• 4th Place Winner
• 5th & 6th Place Winners
• 7th & 8th Place Winners
• 9th & 10th Place Winners
• Top 11–15 Winners
• Top 16-20 Winners
• Top 21–30 Winners
• Top 31–40 Winners
• Top 41-50 Winners 

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 3rd Place Winner

Each year Minted hosts our highly anticipated holiday photo card competition in search of the best and freshest holiday card designs. This year Minted’s community of independent designers produced breathtaking and exceptionally creative designs — we received an incredible 4,661 submissions. The votes have been tallied and the Top 50 winners have been chosen, see them all right here.

Kristie takes two of the hottest aesthetic trends – foil texture and ambre watercolor – and brings them together to create a card that literally radiates joy. The ever-softening shades of red pull you into their soft glow. The tiny smattering of gold and vertical dashes burst onto the page like laughter or an uncontrollable smile. This card captures how the best of the holidays feel. Well done Kristie!

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 4th Place Winner

Each year Minted hosts our highly anticipated holiday photo card competition in search of the best and freshest holiday card designs. This year Minted’s community of independent designers produced breathtaking and exceptionally creative designs — we received an incredible 4,661 submissions. The votes have been tallied and the Top 50 winners have been chosen, see them all right here.

There is so much to love about Eric’s card: the unexpected color, the illustrative complexity and control, the single moment when the pine needles pierce the border or the tiny bird you discover almost by surprise. What makes this design truly unique is how it is simultaneously modern and vintage, traditional and new – a card that everyone can love. Perfection!

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 5th & 6th Place Winners

Each year Minted hosts our highly anticipated holiday photo card competition in search of the best and freshest holiday card designs. This year Minted’s community of independent designers produced breathtaking and exceptionally creative designs — we received an incredible 4,661 submissions. The votes have been tallied and the Top 50 winners have been chosen, see them all right here.

In this elegant design, Jen artfully crafts a silhouetted botanical that adds just enough dimensionality while the pops of red bring a festive touch. The striking use of white space adds a sense of wintry calm while the design as a whole still imbues the warm feeling of the holidays. Fabulous job!

The hand-lettering in this design is a stunning display of Lynn’s talent and skill. We love all the movement, the mix of type styles and the delicate use of flourishes that help bring everything together. The gold texture against the rich black background adds an elegant quality to this stunning design.

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 7th & 8th Place Winners

Each year Minted hosts our highly anticipated holiday photo card competition in search of the best and freshest holiday card designs. This year Minted’s community of independent designers produced breathtaking and exceptionally creative designs — we received an incredible 4,661 submissions. The votes have been tallied and the Top 50 winners have been chosen, see them all right here.

What makes Rachel’s hand-lettered greeting so spectacular is the incredible attention to detail. Each letter is unique and the intentional moments of imperfection are what we love most. The horizontal ombre effect feels like a fresh take on the ombre trend (which is hard to accomplish!), and elevates a simple card into a work of art. Bravo!

Stunningly hand-lettered, “A Beautiful and Wonderful Life” looks as though it were freshly penned by the artist herself. The letters have a fanciful flourish and effortless flow that is as uplifting as the phrase itself. We love how the olive green holly complements the red letters and the white berries provide a tiny pop. All in all a card that is as artistic as it is chic – well done!

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 9th & 10th Place Winners

Each year Minted hosts our highly anticipated holiday photo card competition in search of the best and freshest holiday card designs. This year Minted’s community of independent designers produced breathtaking and exceptionally creative designs — we received an incredible 4,661 submissions. The votes have been tallied and the Top 50 winners have been chosen, see them all right here.

Laura continues to perfectly execute bold and stunning designs. The striking gold typeface and glyph swirls evokes a sense of fluidity. The intricate detail and dark blue hue is reminiscent of a starry holiday night.  Well done, Laura!

Paper Dhalia has a knack for modern and uncluttered design. Gilded Flurries has a striking balance of boldness and whimsy. We particularly love the offset upward and downward spin of her beautiful polka dot composition. This is the kind of minimalist risk taking we adore.  Fantastic job, Kerry!

 

 

 

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: Top 11-15 Winners

Today we are pleased to announce the 11th-15th ranked designs from our ‘The Most Wonderful Time’ Holiday Card Challenge. Congratulations to all the winners!

11. Lehan combines a multitude of traditional elements to create a decidedly modern composition. The texture and pastel color make her snowflakes float and the mix of fonts add visual interest without compromising the card’s elegance. Hats off!

12. The juxtaposition of classic botanicals, tangled through a thin inline font is unexpected and breathtaking. Kelli ups the elegant factor by adding foil. I love how she leads the eye to dangle from the last berry before gently landing on the name.

13. Lori channeled the painter within for this bold beauty. We love how this card hints at so many creative techniques we adore: sun prints, watercolor, and just the right amount of gold.


14. Bethan’s discreet composition does an incredible job of being nurturing while still maintaining a fresh, modern edge.  The delicate lines and organic asymmetry of the branches draw you in and create a sweet sense of intimacy. Spellbinding.

15. The flourishes and twirls of Mandy’s hand-lettered greeting are reminiscent of curled ribbons on a carefully wrapped package. She adds just enough variety in type to be whimsical, but not overdone and the white is a classic choice. A fabulous card for any new couple!

 

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: Top 16-20 Winners

We continue to bring on the cheer with the announcement of the 16th-20th ranked designs from our ‘The Most Wonderful Time’ Holiday Card Challenge. Congratulations to all the winners!

16. This delightful design by Rachel of Alethea and Ruth is full of festive details. From the sprigs of holly to the soft hues and classic font this card will turn even the biggest Scrooge jolly!

17. Jennifer’s expert use of bold font and bright color makes this design pop with joy. We love her daring use of this block font that just emanates cheer.


18. We are completely delighted by FatFatin’s retro tree design made modern with touches of pastel and gold foil. The unique photo placements will provide endless opportunities for families to show off their silly side.

19. Jennifer brings a fresh take on a traditional chevron with this award winning design. The perfect angles and design clusters are reminiscent of snowflakes with just a hint of art deco. We’re swooning over this modern beauty.

20. Kristy’s opulent design captures the beauty of the season. Her perfect font selection and delicate wreath details combine seamlessly to create a sweet handmade feel to this timeless card.

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