Get to Know: Minted Artist Kerry Doyle of Paper Dahlia

It’s our birthday! Minted turns seven this week and, to celebrate, we’re featuring a series of blog posts dedicated to the ins and outs of our company, customers, and artists.

Kerry Doyle of Paper Dahlia, who lives in San Francisco, has been a part of our Minted artist community since the very beginning (she joined in June 2008, right after the company launched). Since then, she’s participated in countless challenges and won a ton of awards (111, to be exact!). We chatted with Kerry about the evolution of her career as a designer and artist, the things she’s inspired by, and what Minted means to her.

Minted Artist: Kerry Doyle of Paper Dahlia

You’ve been a part of Minted since the very beginning! How did you first hear about us?
I remember stumbling across a blog post about a Minted design challenge—it sounded so fun. I just wish I could remember who the blogger was so I can thank them! At the time I was a full-time stationery designer working with brides, mainly, on wedding invitations. I had just starting teaching myself Adobe Illustrator but was still designing in Quark, so Minted’s Illustrator/Photoshop file requirement was just the motivation I needed. I ended up submitting a handful of designs for the “Fabulous Thank-You Card Challenge.” Right away, I loved getting feedback on my designs and giving feedback as well. I received two editor’s picks awards from that challenge and was hooked!
[Ed note: See those editor’s picks wins below  [ 1 ]  from our archives!]

Tell us about your favorite Minted piece.
Right now my favorite piece is my art print “Dance” [ 2; pictured below ]. I was inspired by light shimmering and dancing on top of water. Abstract is my personal art aesthetic and I’ve been working with blue a lot lately (for example, “Currents” [ 5; pictured below] ), so I made a conscious decision not to use blue here, even though it would have been the logical choice. I really love the shimmery feeling of the piece, I feel like it all came together quite nicely.

Meet a Minted Artist: Kerry Doyle of Paper Dahlia

How has Minted influenced your journey as an artist?
It’s funny because I have a BFA in painting, but over the years I gravitated more towards design. I was feeling pretty comfortable in my design life when Minted announced “Untitled: The First-Ever Art Print Challenge.” Not really knowing what Minted was looking for, I entered a few designs (I don’t feel comfortable even calling them art now!) but didn’t receive any wins or picks. That stung a bit. But it was also a wake-up call to get real and dig a little deeper if I wanted to be successful. I’m still striving to do that and I am so thankful to the Minted artist community for their invaluable support. But what I truly value most are the friendships I’ve made along the way. I have an amazing group of Mintie friends that I can count on for support, advice, and laughs when we need them.

Tell us about your most recent collection. How has your artistic point of view changed over time?
When I was in art school, and for years after, I did representational art such as portraits. My artwork now is mostly non-representational and I believe participating in Minted’s challenges has been a great opportunity to experiment. That’s true of the stationery challenges, as well—I love trying new things in both areas, and the feedback I get from challenges is so helpful in letting me know if I’m on the right track or not. Lately, I’m all about simple, hand-drawn patterns and I love mixing repetitive patterns with organic elements. I love the haphazard quality of hand-drawn patterns, so perfectly imperfect.

How has being a Minted artist changed or enabled your business?
It’s hard to fully express everything in words. So many positive things have happened since I entered my first challenge. My earnings with Minted have continually increased—I’m no longer working with custom-design clients and now earn as much as I did when I had a full-time job, yet I’m able to spend more time with my family. That is a wonderful thing!

Minted Artist Kerry Doyle, Paper Dahlia


Wedding Invitation Challenge: Guest Judge’s Pick

The entries from our latest wedding invitation challenge simply blew us away—we received a staggering 1,922 submissions from designers from all around the world. To help us sort through all of the incredible entries, we asked wedding expert Emily Newman, founder and editor of the most gorgeous wedding blog Once Wed, to select her favorite invitation. Without further adieu…

 “Grand Affair” by Three Kisses Studio

“Grand Affair” by Three Kisses Studio immediately stood out to me as a favorite for its timeless type choice and understated elegance. I love how the lines delicately frame the type.”
—Emily Newman, Founder and editor, Once Wed

We can imagine designer Amy Fontes’ invitation perfectly complementing a glam, Art Deco-themed celebration, but the design is so versatile and could easily work for a more classic and traditional wedding held in a stately mansion or historic ballroom, too. Congratulations, Amy!

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Wedding Invitation Challenge: Special Prize Winners

We’re excited to announce the special prize winners of our To Have and To Hold Wedding Invitation Challenge! In this challenge we asked you to show us your freshest take on the classic wedding invitation, with original designs that engaged couples can’t find anywhere else. We were beyond wowed with everyone’s take on fresh modern designs! The designs below are the best in show for our special prize categories. Congratulations, winners!

The Trifecta Award based on the strength of submissions to this challenge: Phrosné Ras
We selected one designer to receive guaranteed placement in email, catalog,
and a homepage banner to help build his or her brand on Minted.

Featuring: Amazing Watercolor” | “Gold Portrait” | “Dainty Deco” | “The Wedding Bouquet” | “Enchanting Plum

Phrosné continues to perfectly execute bold and striking designs. She is a pro at delicate layering, and soft symmetric water-colors. Phrosné’s masterpieces pop against subtle backgrounds. Her compositions are often classic and elegant, but she’s not afraid to add a splash of dramatic boldness. Phrosné says, “making things beautiful – it truly feeds my soul.” We see this throughout her entire collection. We’re so grateful to have Phrosné in our community!

Collection Award for the designer who is guaranteed at least five total picks across the challenge and other wedding challenges: Lori Wemple

 Featuring: Organic” | “Jardin” | “Floral Crown” | “Swoon” | “Monogram Floral

Lori’s submissions blew us away: she consistently crafts designs with intricate detail, striking typefaces, and well-chosen copy. Lori sprinkles subtle visual details throughout her pieces that add to the overall look without feeling crowded. She evokes a sense of fluidity throughout her work. We’re absolutely thrilled to have your work on Minted!

Enduring Elegance Award for the design that best sets the state for a sophisticated
elegant event while still being fresh and modern
Garden Flourish” by Kelly Schmidt

Garden flourish brings a clean yet rustic feel to an elegant wedding invitation. The curvilinear design and airy typeface of this piece remind us of a warm breeze on a beautiful summer day. The text below contrasts the swirls with formal block lettering and a clear, functional space for type. This design truly flourishes!

Runners Up: Gilt” by Lauren Chism | “Sabrina” by Olivia Kanaley | Elegant Marble” by Wind-Up Key Press | A Golden Date” by Susan Brown 

Click through to see more special prize winners from our invitation challenge


Valentine’s Day Challenge: Special Prize Winners

We’re excited to announce the winners of our “Just My Type” Valentine’s Day Card Challenge! We asked the Minted Community to create fresh, out-of-the-box valentines that would make hearts go pitter-patter this Valentine’s Day. Here are the special prize winners!

Out of the (Candy) Box Award: For the most creative and innovative take on Valentine’s card
You’re A-MAZE-ING” by Adori Designs
Jennifer’s “A-MAZE-ING” pun complemented her equally amazing design capabilities. The rigid inner-lines in the maze perfectly contrast both the smooth, flowing outer edges as well as the inner heart. Jennifer’s fantastic use of contrasting textures and font-sizes make this card visually appealing, yet easy to read. It took me eight seconds to solve the maze—can you do better?

Runners Up: “So Fancy” by Bethany Anderson | “Be My Bestie Doodles” by Loree Mayer | Super Cool by Shirley Lin Schneider | “Tic-Tac-Toe XOXO” by Stacy Kron

Click through to check out the rest of our Valentine’s Day Challenge special-prize winners


Save-the-Date Challenge: Special Prize Winners

A wedding date is truly a date worth remembering and so a save the date should act as a beautiful bookmark for one of the most important dates in our lives. When we asked the Minted community to send us their freshest, most stylish ways to tell guests to mark their calendars, what we saw in response were save the dates as memorable as the date itself! From subtly splendid to out-of-the-box brilliant, these save the dates put love front and center and will surely be a hit with the couples who say yes to them. The winners from our “One True Love” Save-the-Date Challenge (below) each stood out in one of our special prize categories. Congratulations!

Out of the Box Award: For the most creative and innovative take on a Save the Date.
Winner: “In The Flowers” by Lori Wemple
Lori’s colorful and festive design will have guests smiling from the moment they pull it out of the envelope. Her richly ornate florals light up the page against the bright blue background. Her sweetly drawn couple holding the date banner boldly stamp this date into our imagination. 

Click through to check out the rest of our Save-the-Date Challenge special-prize winners


Kids Stationery Challenge: Special Prize Winners

It’s time we plucked kids from the world of video games, television, and computers and instilled in them a love of the lost art of letter writing. Whether it’s a note from summer camp, a “thank you” to grandma, or formal response to a denied request for a larger allowance, it turns out kids have many uses for their own stationery. We asked the Minted community to give us their freshest ideas for notecards worthy of being passed during 7th period biology and what we saw made us wish we were kids again! This challenge was one big pile of fun and the winners below each stood out in one of our special prize categories. Congrats, everyone!

For the Guys Award: For the best design specifically for a boy aged 8-12. Winner: #handcramp” by Stacey Hill Stacey’s impossibly funny take on modern teens and preteens really hits the nail on the head. Her hashtag with alternating color text is perfect for the avid texter who may not be as verbose in correspondence. The aqua hues and distinct shades of green will no doubt appeal to the boys.

Click through to check out the rest of our special-prize–winning designs…

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: Special Prize Winners (Part 6)

Each year Minted hosts our highly anticipated holiday photo-card competition in search of the best holiday card designs. The results blew us away! Independent designers from all over the world stepped up to the challenge—we received an incredible 4,103 submissions from 481 artists. Thank you to everyone for participating!

Today, we’re happy to officially celebrate our last Special Prize winner—we had to keep this one under wraps as we waited for our magazine advertisements to come out for the holiday season!

Merry and Bright Award: For the card that would look best in a magazine advertisement—bold and highly visible, but extremely unusual and innovative while still conveying the holiday spirit.

Peaceful Watercolor” by Lindsay Megahed

Lindsay blew us away with her “Peaceful Watercolor” design. It strikes the perfect balance of being bold and eye-catching, but also calm and serene. We love the holiday spirit it conveys, despite an untraditional and non-holiday color palette and the modern, askew placement of the photo. We featured this design in our magazine ads this year as a foil card (foil version here). And check it out below in a lovely ad featured in Martha Stewart Weddings. Congratulations, Lindsay, beautiful work!

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The 10 Best Holiday Movies (Watch One Tonight!)

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

Every year during the holidays, I enjoy spending time with my family watching our favorite holiday movies. We like to slow down the hectic pace of the season by snuggling on the sofa with a mug of hot cocoa (with whipped cream, of course!) and just laugh, giggle, and maybe even shed a tear. Here are ten of my favorite holiday movies in no particular order… I hope you enjoy!  —Kerry

10 Best Holiday Movies to Watch

Name: Kerry Doyle of Paper Dahlia
Where you’re based: San Francisco, CA
How long you’ve been with Minted: 6 years
Favorite thing about the holidays: Spending time with my family!
On my wish list this year: A Cintiq for illustration… a girl can dream, right?
This never fails to get me in the holiday spirit: Decorating the Christmas tree is the official start of the holidays for me. I like to put on some fun holiday tunes and make it a party.
Fave holiday tradition: I love getting all the beautiful holiday cards in the mail! And of course Minties’ cards are always the best!

More Holiday Ideas:
• Printable Cyanotype Gift Tags
• Gold Holiday Laurel Leaf
• Easy Holiday Luminarias
• Family-Trivia Game (play this after Christmas dinner!)
• Glowing Star Garland with LED Lights
• Modern Paper-Tree Garland


DIY: Printable Watercolor Tartan Gift Tags

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

Printable Watercolor Holiday Gift Tags

Name: Laura Condouris
Where you’re based: Baltimore, MD
How long you’ve been with Minted: Five years!
Favorite thing about the holidays: Everyone is extra generous and kind this time of year.
On my wish list this year: “Adopting” an African elephant from the Baltimore Zoo.
This never fails to get me in the holiday spirit: Putting on the “John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together” record! It’s the BEST.
Fave holiday tradition: Bursting into tears at the end of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” every single time.

Chances are you’re probably in major gift-wrapping mode right now and we’re here to help! Dress up your packages with these wonderfully wintry tartan gift tags, handpainted by Laura Condouris.

Click through to download our ready-to-print gift-tag designs

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Recipe: All-Natural Red Velvet Cake (Made With Beets!)

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

All-Natural Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Name: Elizabeth Hatchett of Betty Hatchett Design
Where you’re based: Cincinnati, Ohio
How long you’ve been with Minted: Three years
Favorite thing about the holidays: I love the challenge of finding/making the right gift for folks…one that helps them feel known and loved.
On my wish list this year: After sniffing a friend’s collection of essential oils this fall, I’d love to have some cedar and eucalyptus oils.
This never fails to get me in the holiday spirit: Bing Crosby and David Bowie’s “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” duet (along with Will Ferrell’s spoof, or course).
Favorite holiday tradition: In the days leading up to New Year’s, my husband Sam and I go through the year’s pictures and make a book. It’s such a fun way to remember moments in the past year together.

My mom has been making red velvet cake for as long as I can remember for the holidays. It’s our fancy dessert that sits atop her 1950s crystal cake platter, and we savor its light-as-a-cloud fluffy goodness after our main meal. To me, it wouldn’t be Christmas without red velvet cake. This year, though, I’ve been wondering if there’s a way to achieve the brilliant-red color without all of the artificial food coloring. Keep reading to find out if I was able to pull it off…  —Elizabeth

Click through to read more about Elizabeth’s red-velvet adventures

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