Minted Holiday Playbook Awards

Announcing the winners of our Minted Holiday Playbook Awards! Throughout November 2015, we looked to reward artists who had taken great initiative with their Minted Artist Stores. We had 7 categories from “Star Attraction” to “Social Butterfly” where artists could be nominated. A huge congrats to the winners! All winners will be receiving $250 Minted credit.

 Star Attraction Award
For the Artist Store with a Featured Products Bar that best integrates title, description,
and the selected products to grab a shopper’s attention.
Katie Craig

Runners up: Kamala Nahas | Alethea and Ruth


 Ready for my Close Up Award
For the Artist Store that does an excellent job of using photos
to tell their story in the ‘About Me’ carousel
Stephanie Nowotarski

Runners up: Oscar and Emma | Jocelyn Edin


 Tis The Season Self-Launch Award
To the artist who self-launches the best seasonal art,
holiday cards, gift wrap, or gift tags
Annie Brady

Snowy Trees Wrapping Paper

Silent Night, Holy Night Cards

Runners up: Lisa Revelli | Lauren Rogoff


 Social Butterfly Award
For the Minted Artist who does a stellar job creating engaging social posts
about their Minted products or Artist Store
Angela Marzuki

Runners up:  Carly Reed | Carrie O’Neal


Autobahn Award
Biggest traffic driver from October 1st through December 1st
Katie Craig

Runners up:  Julia Contacessi | Geek Ink


Student Driver Award
Newbie with most traffic to their Artist Store
Maja Cunningham

Runners up: Lyna TiBlair Stakey


100-Meter Dash Award
Most traffic to an Artist Store on Cyber Monday
Julia Contacessi

Runners up: Geek Ink | Shirley Lin Schneider

Published December 16, 2015 • Learn how to become a Minted artist here.

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Q&A: What’s Your Advice for Collaborating With Someone?

Ever thought about working in collaboration with another artist or designer? For some artists, working solo-style is best for them, while others choose to collaborate for short sprints or long-term projects. Many Minted artists also say they benefit from the collaborative nature of critiquing each other’s work during the Design Challenge process. For this edition of #ArtistAdvice, we asked full-time design duos Baumbirdy and Rose Lindo and her husband to share their best advice for creative collaboration.

Sarah Baumgardner and Carolyn Doogan
Baumbirdy

Chicago

Our best advice for working in a collaboration with someone is to have good communication from the very beginning. Honest communication is best. Sounds simple, but it can be really hard in the beginning not to take things personally, especially when dealing with something so personal as art.

It’s easy to say, “I like this color palette,” “That looks nice,” or “What do you want for lunch?,” but the true progress comes from “real” critiques. Being able to openly give and take advice and criticism is essential in creating trust and open-mindedness between one another. Being able to recognize and talk about one’s strengths and weaknesses are essential to creating an efficient design process.

Floral Peace” holiday card by Baumbirdy

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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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The EveryGirl leads Makers Night with Chicago artists

What do you get when you combine artists, bloggers, and a DIY project? Minted Makers Night, a celebration of Minted’s independent artist community, talented writers, and crafty cheer.

On December 2, Minted and The EveryGirl co-hosted the third Makers Night at Interior Define, a modern custom sofa company, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. While noshing on hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, everyone worked on the featured project: a wood serving tray covered with fabric designed by Chicago area Minted artists. Bloggers from The Golden Girl Blog, The Sweet Season, Michaela Noelle, and more participated as well.

Artist Angela Marzuki said the best part of the evening was catching up with other members of the Minted community. “There is so much time spent online critiquing each other’s work, cheering one another on, discussing common goals, and sharing both the successes and failures,” she said. “It really does feel like you already know one another, like getting together with a bunch of really great friends.”

Chicago Minted artist duo Baumbirdy designed the event invitation, “Floral Peace.”

Minted artists and Chicago bloggers connected over their shared interest in beautiful design.

This Minted table runner, “Simple Sprig,” was designed by Chicago artist Erin Deegan.

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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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10 Art Prints to Get You into the Holiday Spirit

Written by Christina Loff

This week we’ve rounded up original self-launched art prints from Minted’s talented community of artists.

Eric Beckett of Geekink Designs is inspired by vintage art and typography, and this holiday-themed art print showcases his inspiration and talent. We love how the intricate lines, holly leaves, and snowflakes playfully dance around the cheerful phrase. “Eat, Drink, and be Merry Colorful” is also available in foil.

Lyna Ti’s delicate hand-lettered “Hope Wreath” looks just right on a mantle this season. Pull this beautiful piece out for the holiday and leave it up all year long. She can stand alone or be paired with with her matching “Faith Wreath.”

We love this rock n’ roll take on Christmas by Jessie Steury. What a great print to hang in a child’s room to get into the holiday spirit (and maybe remind him or her to be more nice than naughty!) Check out all of Jessie’s holiday designs right here.

Another beautiful holiday-inspired hand-lettered piece to add to your collection. This one is from Heather Buchma and is a lovely way to celebrate Christmas. Get it for yourself or gift it to friends, family, or teachers.

This print sums up pretty much all we ever want for the holidays. Katie Craig’s “Good Words” print is a great reminder to focus on the positive when things get stressful this season. Another piece to hang over the mantle and leave up all year long.
Kamala Nahas describes “Insomnia” as depicting the feeling of being farther away from things than you actually are. We think it also captures that wistful feeling of winter, which is often a time of deep reflection before the new year begins. Kamala has recently self-launched a dozen journals featuring her evocative photos, check them all out right here—they make perfect stocking stuffers.
Leslie Le Coq’s piece Open Window perfectly showcases the mood of winter. This photo manages to be warm and inviting despite the blizzard it’s capturing. Be sure to check out all of Leslie’s stunning photographs in her Artist Store.

Melinda Denison took this photo on a perfect, snowy afternoon in Bavaria. We love how she captured so much in one shot, from the snow laden village to the snow-capped alps. “Snowy Village in Bavaria” is a lovely way to celebrate the beauty of winter.

Bring the outdoors inside with Catherine Hubert’s intricate Snowflake Series. Pictured here is “Snowflake No. 3.” Catherine is interested in the intersection where art and design meet and particularly fascinated by radial symmetry. She designed this series to be displayed individually or in multiples as a grid.

If you’re looking for something brighter, Kanika Mathur’s “December Fruits” is a cheerful addition to any home. This art print is part of a series of seasonal fruits created using pastels and crayons. It’s a perfect addition to any kitchen or dining room. It also makes a great host or hostess gift for the holidays. Check out the entire series of seasonal fruits in her Store.

Christina Loff is an Artist Relations Manager at Minted, focusing on outreach and onboarding. She relishes every opportunity to collaborate with creative people and bring communities together around original products and ideas. She’s been lucky enough to work with the talented and innovative teams at ReadyMade magazine (RIP), Creativebug, Hello!Lucky, and Chronicle Books, where she worked as a publicist and marketer for six years, developing and promoting their lifestyle and craft category. Christina has also written for various websites and magazines including CraftStylish and SFist. Follow Christina on Instagram and Twitter @tweetsweet.


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How to Merchandise Your Minted Artist Store for the Holidays

Published November 24, 2015 • Learn how to become a Minted artist here.

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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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5, 4, 3, 2, 1…Happy New Year’s Challenge: Special Prize Winners

5, 4, 3, 2, 1…let’s get ready to toast to 2016! Each year we see New Year’s cards become a bigger trend among customers who are too busy having fun over the holidays. We asked you, our talented Minted community, to really wow the world with original designs that ring in 2016 with a bang! We’re raising our glasses to all the winners and runners-up – congratulations everyone!

For the most unconventional, unique design 
that you wouldn’t find on any other site

Diamond New Year” by Chica Design


For the best way of displaying the numbers “2016 
2016” by Cass Loh

Runners-Up: Bubbly” by Leah Bisch | “Glass of Bubbly” by GeekInk Design
Mid Century New Year” by Pistols


For the best clever, witty or funny card 
Bubbly Birth” by Lori Wemple

Runner-Up: So Last Year” by Carolyn MacLaren


For the card that uses clever wording to 
reinvent the typical new year’s greeting 
Countdown to 2016!” by Lily Metcalf


 For the most elegant, timeless new year’s design  
New Year Wishes” by Erica Krystek

Runners-Up: Deco” by Fine and Dandy Paperie | “Classic Type” by Kelly Schmidt


For the best design that celebrates what’s
 new and exciting in someone’s life  
New Year, New View” by Bethany Anderson

Runners-Up: From the Crib, No.9” by Frooted Design | “New Story” by GeekInk Design
Ringing” by Lauren Chism


For the best design that showcases multiple photos  
Intertwined” by Ann Gardner

Runners-Up: Engraved Numerals” by Jennifer Wick | “Thatched” by Fig and Cotton Paperie


For the best full-bleed photo card 
Confetti Toss” by Lehan Veenker

Runner-Up: Festive Flourish” by Kristie Kern


For the best design with elements
that would truly shine in foil
  
Gold Etched” by Erica Krystek

Runners-Up: Gilded Pointillism” by Aspacia Kusulas | Jewel Frame” by Ana Sharpe
a-MAZE-ing” by Kissyfish


For the best design that puts personalizable details on a curvilinear path 
2016 New Year Swash” by fatfatin

Runners-Up: Golden Cheers 2016” by Helen H Wu | Party Hats” by Hanna McShan


For the best design from a first-time entrant  
MMXVI” by Tina Kuczaj


Images created by Leah Conroy

Celebrate Innovation Award – will be announced at a later date

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Q&A: What advice was hard to stomach but you now appreciate?

Why is it that you don’t recognize a “blessing in disguise” until you’ve had some distance from it?

We’ve been thinking about taking a step back to reflect on challenging situations that, while bittersweet in the moment, we’re thankful for in the long run. And that’s the impetus for the second edition of #ArtistAdvice. Here, Minted artists Kelly Ventura and Olivia Raufman answer the question What advice was hard to stomach at first but now you’re thankful for?

Kelly Ventura
Milford, Michigan
Kelly’s Minted Artist Store • kellyventura.com • Instagram @KellyVenturaDesign

Learn to accept hearing no and saying no.

When I was laid off from my full-time job in 2011, it was a blessing in disguise, though it stung to the core. I was seven-plus months pregnant with my second child and wondering what would come next. Once the baby was born, I split my time enjoying those first few months in newborn bliss and slowly building my freelance business.

I submitted my portfolio to several dream companies in hopes of a collaboration and repeatedly heard the word, “No.” Rather than wallow in the rejection, I pushed forward and worked hard to develop my style. I knew that’s what was missing in my submission—my voice, style, a certain unique perspective that those retailers were craving. A year later, after painting and patterning my heart out, I showed at Surtex, landed several of those dream clients that rejected me previously, and now feel more confident about my place in this big sea of artists.

I have also found it immensely helpful to make sure that projects and collaborations line up with my vision as an artist-designer. At one time, I was saying yes to everything that came my way, and I noticed a decline in my happiness and quality of work. Now that I have a more defined style and brand identity, it’s easier for me to say no to the projects that don’t strengthen my brand and say yes to the right ones.

Hushed” limited-edition print by Kelly Ventura

Soma” limited-edition print by Kelly Ventura

Click through to read Minted artist Olivia Raufman’s response to the question

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