Great Expectations & Sweet Celebrations Challenges: Guest Judges’ Picks

Announcing the Guest Judge prizes from our Great Expectations Baby Shower Invitation Challenge and Sweet Celebrations Quickfire Kids’ Birthday Party Invitation Challenge!

Great Expectations Baby Shower Invitation Challenge

We were thrilled to partner with the talented ladies from 100 Layer Cakelet, a creative collaboration between friends and fellow designers Jillian Clark, Amanda Dawbarn, and Kristina Meltzer. Their wedding blog, 100 LayerCake, launched in 2009. 100 Layer Cakelet, their family blog and newest addition to the brand, is the natural next step, for readers who want a space that can inspire their lives after the last bits of wedding confetti have been combed from their hair.

They selected “Bright Confetti Pop” by Ashley Little of Little Print Design. They “loved the simplicity and the fun modern design and that it’s totally appropriate for a boy or girl (or surprise!) shower.” 100 Layer Cakelet announced their selection via Instagram to share this great design with their followers in addition!

Congratulations, Ashley!

Bright Confetti Pop” by Little Print Design


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Second Live Art Night Draws Full House at Minted Local

On September 22, we hosted the second Live Art Night at Minted Local, drawing more than 130 people for an evening of Bay Area artists painting, drawing, and talking with guests. The popular monthly event featured Minted Artists Madeline Trait, Sylvie Lee, and Jenny Partrite, in addition to local artist Michael McConnell.

Pictured above, top row, from left: Bay Area artist Michael McConnell and Minted Artist Madeline Trait; bottom row, from left: Minted Artists Sylvie Lee and Jenny Partrite.

Live Art Night sign and art by Minted Jenny Partrite

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My Heart in San Francisco: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prizes for our My Heart in San Francisco Quickfire Design Challenge! In support of our first-ever Minted retail store located in Union Square in San Francisco, CA, we looked to our talented Minted community, for unique art and designs that bring a piece of California, and especially the San Francisco Bay area, to life. The best designs showcased local spirit that both tourists and residents alike can take home and treasure. We were blown away with what you dreamed up for this challenge. Congratulations to all the winners!

For the best Art Print design
Pacific Coast Highway by Denise Wong


For the best Customizable Photo Art Print
that features a San Francisco theme

Golden Grizzly by 2birdstone


For the best fabric design that features a San Francisco theme
San Francisco Toile by Surface Love


For the most innovative and original designthat best captures
the spirit of San Francisco, the Bay area or California in general

Flower Power by Baumbirdy


For the design that best features a well known San Francisco or
California icon in a different and innovative manner

Hop On! by Paul Berthelot


Click through for more special prize winners

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How to Overcome a Total Creative Void

Written by Amy Fontes

In my dreams, I am a designer with never-ending creativity and one who has the artistic chops to whip out amazing designs one after another. In reality, I am a mom to two active elementary-age kids, a wife to a busy surgeon who works long hours and weekends, and a daughter to a terminally ill mother.

And while I mark down “graphic designer” as my occupation, in any given day I could be handling the management of my husband’s practice, running soccer practice for my son, discussing medical options with my mom, or just plain doing the things to keep our lives going. Nothing that is really unique or different from others, but things that have me wearing many hats with limited time for design.

So as much as I love design, truth be told, the creative process is often a struggle, and inspiration doesn’t always come easily for me. Sure, ideas would pop into my head here and there and was enough to keep me designing, but for all of 2015, I found myself in a complete and total creative void. The stress of life became so great that, in short, all creativity and inspiration just stopped.

While I was happy to focus on my helping my family, I was quietly growing more and more frustrated during this creative void because, in a way, design had been my therapy. This was the one thing that was mine and mine alone. I needed it. It was my place where I could escape for a while, forget about everything, and hopefully create something that brought me (and others) happiness. It was my balance. But the more I forced creativity, the larger the void seemed. I had to figure this out.

How To Move Forward

TURN OFF THE NOISE
The first thing I did was walk away from design. It might seem counterintuitive, but I was putting so much pressure on myself to “be creative and produce” that it only made things worse. I turned off my computer, stopped participating in challenges, tucked away my pens and sketch pads. I stopped “pinning,” swiping, scrolling, and following blogs and just left design behind. I needed to wipe my mind clean from what I thought I should be designing or what I thought would be the next big design trend.

Above the Las Vegas desert on one of my hikes

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New York Minted Artists Meet at Hit Factory Penthouse

Written by Laura Ricciardi

On September 13, New York area Minted Artists met at an exclusive NYC penthouse for an evening of bubbly cocktails, lively conversation, and a twinkling view. Eunice Kindred, who organized the meetup, invited Minted Artists to redesign the labels of their BYOB wine bottles. Stephanie Goos Johnson created a soothing landscape to complement the bottle of rosé she brought. Jackie Sherman of JaxRobyn designed a playful pink pineapple with hearts. Katalin Klecz illustrated a geometric, dream-like garden of flowers on a Pinot Grigio background. Belia Simm covered an entire bottle of champagne in a gorgeous cobalt and white brushstroke swirl — it was too beautiful to open!

Top row from left: Lauren Packard, Eunice Kindred, Petra Santaharju, and Laura Ricciardi.
Bottom row from left: Meggy Masters, Belia Simm, Jackie Sherman, Katalin Klecz, Stephanie Goos Johnson, and Dawn Jasper.

The conversation moved from art to travel to career choices to parenting to the quintessential NYC question of how to live in tiny spaces. Perhaps that last topic was sparked by the venue: a gorgeous two-story penthouse that The Prince Team of Town Residential generously provided. We spent most of the night milling around the apartment, but at one point, we realized that we had been so caught up talking that we hadn’t even gone out on the terrace. The sun was going down as the city lights were going up, and it was so beautiful.

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2016 Holiday Photo Card Challenge: Non-Foil 1st Place Winner

Today is one of my favorite days of the year — when I have the privilege of announcing the winner of Minted’s annual Holiday Photo Card Challenge, the most competitive stationery design event in the entire industry. In the ninth year of this challenge, we received 5,078 entries from artists and 2,021,056 votes from voters. Everyone who entered deserves applause for their accomplishments, their risk-taking, and their support of their fellow artists.

I’m thrilled to announce that the first-place winner, as determined by voters, of the 2016 “Making Spirits Bright” Holiday Photo Card Challenge is Susan Moyal, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for her design “Christmas Sprigs.” Susan is the first artist from outside the U.S. in Minted history to take first place in our Holiday Photo Card Challenge!

Susan won $10,000 and a VIP trip to San Francisco along with second-place winner Ann Gardner for “Winter Window” and third-place winner Angela Marzuki for “Freshly Framed.” All voted-in winners and Editors Picks receive an up-front cash prize and earn ongoing commission on every sale of their winning designs. Scroll down to see a video of the surprise and my interview with Susan.

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2016 Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 2nd Place Non-Foil

By Easter, Christina, Kaitlyn, Elena, and Amy (Minted Artist Relations Team)

Without further ado, we’re thrilled to announce the second-place winner, as determined by voters, of our “Making Spirits Bright” Holiday Photo Card Challenge. Make sure to read on, below, about this artist who has given so much back to the Minted Artist community over the years.

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2016 Holiday Photo Card Winner: 3rd Place Non-Foil

By Ashley Ganz, Director, Merchandising, Holiday & Gifts

I feel incredibly inspired and impressed by our holiday assortment this year. The tremendous, innovative talent within the Minted Artist community never ceases to amaze me! It’s my honor to reveal our third-place winner for the non-foil category of the “Making Spirits Bright” Holiday Photo Card Challenge.

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2016 Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 4-10 Non-Foil; 1-2 Foil

By Amy Schroeder, Senior Manager, Artist Content & Education

Today we get into the very top ranks in our “Making Spirits Bright” Holiday Photo Card Challenge, including (drumroll…) announcing the top two entries, as determined by voters, in the foil category of the Challenge. We couldn’t be happier to congratulate the winners of this Challenge. We delight in your success!

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2016 Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 11-20 Non-foil; 3-6 Foil

By Christiane Pendarvis, VP Crowdsourcing Design & Operations 

The winners countdown continues for the “Making Spirits Bright” Holiday Photo Card Challenge. This is my first holiday season at Minted and I’ve been blown away by the quality of design produced by the community. Congratulations to all the winners!

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