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.
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.
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!