How to Ship Commissioned Original Art

When it comes to best practices for shipping Commissioned Original Art (BETA), we knew exactly who to contact for advice: Rich Baiardi. As Minted’s Vice President of Manufacturing Supply Chain, he’s an expert in shipping all of Minted’s assortment products in the safest way possible.

Before we dive into the Q&A with Rich, please keep in mind that during the beta period, we are limiting Commissioned Original Art to U.S. customers, so our tips are based on domestic shipping methods. Also remember that you must insure Commissioned Original Art and require the customer’s signature upon delivery. We highly recommend that you confirm the customer’s shipping address and message the tracking number to the customer once you’ve shipped the order.

How can I protect small unframed art, design, and photography?

Rich Baiardi: For a initial layer of protection, I recommend placing art in a plastic bag, which you can order at clearbags.com.

Then sandwich with cardboard chip mailers (.03 thickness) — one piece on each side.

If the art is small (anything up to 11’ x 14’), the best thing to do is ship in a flat mailer, which you can purchase from ULINE. The cardboard makes the packaging stiffer and helps to prevent damage if it’s bent during the shipping process.

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8 Tips for Getting Started in the Design World

If you’re a recent college graduate on the hunt for design work, good news. Not only is there demand for traditional full-time jobs, but opportunities are on the rise for becoming your own boss. “There are so many resources for independent designers, platforms to sell your work, and opportunities to create passive income streams,” says Hailey Myziuk, who works full time for her company Snow and Ivy. The 31-year-old Detroit artist joined the Minted community in 2010 and says now is “such an exciting and fun time to be a designer.”

To help you curate your career, Hailey and Genna Cowsert — a fellow Detroit area designer and Minted artist — share these right tips for getting your digital foot in the door and developing your career.

The Sky Is the Limit” by Genna Cowsert

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5 Tips for Building Your Creative Brand Online

With loads of Internet tools and resources just waiting for your personal touch, developing a creative brand can seem at once exciting, full of possibilities… and overwhelming. Which is why we tapped industry experts to share their insights at the Minted headquarters for San Francisco’s Design Week 2016.

Photo by Tiffany Tran

On June 7, we hosted a lively panel discussion featuring Minted Creative Director (and one of our first Minted artists) Annie Clark, Chronicle Books Design Director Kristen Hewitt, and artist and jewelry designer Lisa Anderson Shaffer. Here are the top five takeaways; view the panel recording here.

1. Cohesiveness Is Key

Do you want to build a website and create social accounts for your creative business? If so, focus on creating a cohesive body of work to share online.

“A lot of new artists and designers are all over the map, and it’s hard to understand where their focus is or what style they want to bring to the table,” said Kristen Hewitt, Design Director at Chronicle Books. She advises that designers and artists present a sense of who they want to be and what they want to make. Showcase a clear, cohesive body of work to attract clients and help them understand your vision.

Minted Creative Director Annie Clark said it’s equally important to keep your portfolio fresh and up to date. “It’s not important to share everything you’ve ever done in your career online,” Annie said. For example, you can keep those works from when you dabbled in oil paint during art school offline if it’s not something that will be central to who you are now as an artist and what you will be selling.

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15 Questions to Inspire Quality Art Critiques

By Nathan Bond & Amy Schroeder

Many Minted artists say peer critique is one of the most valuable aspects of our community and challenge process. After submitting your work to a challenge, Minted artists are encouraged to share feedback on other artists’ work and invite fellow community members to critique their own work.

We’ve found that when artists ask specific questions about their work, they are more likely to generate quality feedback. Armed with this constructive feedback, many Minted artists iterate their submissions or put the feedback in their back pocket for future projects.

We asked Nathan Bond, an art instructor at Parsons School of Design, to create the following list of prompts to inspire quality critiques. We recommend that you copy and paste the questions that resonate with you into the “Ask for Feedback” pop-up field after submitting your work.

Fossilized Rock” by Frooted Design

With more than 20 years of experience, Nathan said he created this list for a wide range of artwork, including paintings, drawings, and photography. “These questions focus on the fundamental elements of all works of art, regardless of genre or style,” he said. “I organized them in an order that develops similarly to how you would develop a formal critique, starting with the basic foundations of the image and developing toward the more interpretive aspects.”

15 Art Critique Prompt Questions

1. Does the composition effectively move the viewer’s eye around the image?

2. My intent with this composition is to take the viewer to ____________ location. Did your eye go there?

3. Are there any classic compositional errors? For example, is the subject matter too centered or too far off to one side? Are things cropped in an effective way? Is anything “kissing” the edge?

4. Is there good positive-negative space, and is it balanced and harmonious?

“Skyward Angles” limited edition print by Gabrial Reising

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Minted Artists Critique Holiday Designs at Atlanta Meetup

Story and photos by Kristen Smith

In late April, I had the pleasure of organizing an incredible live holiday stationery design critique session with six fellow Atlanta area Minted artists. The meetup was especially exciting because it was the very first in a series of gatherings we’ve planned this year as part of the pilot Minted Ambassador program.

In addition to Kristen Smith, the six artists who attended the Atlanta meetup were Stacey Meacham, Ashley Ottinger, Kelli Hall, Camilla Acosta, Zanne Bedore, and Susie Stern.

We all gathered at the lovely home of Kelli Hall, who was so very gracious to host us, and we each brought print-outs of designs we were currently working on. Because the “Making Spirits Bright” Holiday Photo Card Challenge is one of Minted’s biggest and most competitive challenges of the year, sharing live critiques was absolutely invaluable. Being able to take a break from our computer monitors and interact with the printed, tangible work was a much needed, fresh perspective. We scheduled our critiquing meetup about a week before the day final submissions were due, so it was the perfect little boost to motivate us and carry us weary and cross-eyed through the finish line.

As there are quite a few Minted artists in the Atlanta area, we were fortunate to have veteran community members like Stacey Meacham (pictured above) as well as a few first-timers and recent first-challenge participants. Our hope is to see many new faces at future meetups as our talented community of independent artists and designers continues to grow.

Stacey said she enjoyed the holiday critique because it gave her the confidence to move forward with submissions that she was questioning. “I often have designs that linger on my artboards that I know have something but am unsure if they are finished or good enough,” she said. “Having in-person feedback from respected designers, friends, and artists is invaluable. Even if there are not changes that need to be made, just getting the confirmation that ‘yes, this is good—you should definitely submit’ is so helpful.”
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First Minted Artist Paris Meetup Full of ‘Pinch-Me’ Moments

In mid-May, London-based Minted Artist Annie Montgomery organized the very first Minted artist meetup in Paris, bringing together one Parisian, as well as a German, French, American, and Italian. “It was absolutely lovely! An evening filled with inspiration and new friends…all set on a rooftop overlooking the rooftops of Paris,” Annie said.

Cheers! (From left) Annie Montgomery (London), Cécile Kotsch of Bonjour Paper (Germany), Liz Conley (U.S.), Gwen Bedat (Paris), and Gerrie Magnani of chocomocacino (Italy).

The five artists met at 43 Up on the Roof, dined at Fish La Boissonnerie, and finished the evening at Grom for gelato—”trying to make the night linger for as long as possible,” Annie said. “There were lots of bubbles and cheers involved because we had so much to celebrate, including the end of the big Minted holiday design challenge.”

Despite being from various parts of the world, Annie said the artists had so many things in common, from travels and expatriatism to designer role models and friends and families humming Christmas music in March. “We laughed and nodded and bonded over so many similarities,” she said.

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Minted Artists Connect at National Stationery Show 2016

Just as Minted has come a long way since the company’s humble beginnings in 2007, NSS has evolved to become more than merely the country’s largest paper-goods trade show. It’s also an annual meeting place for the Minted community to connect, share ideas, and get inspired for the year ahead. Here’s a photo recap of the whirlwind that is NSS—from the vendor floor at Javits Center to the community cocktail party, CMYK Artist brunch, and the conversations in between.

Lower left: Mary-Kevin Stuart, Minted’s Senior Merchandise Manager, Baby + Kids, talks with NSS attendees about Minted Wholesale.
All Photos by Sara Wight

We showcased a sampling of Minted Home products for the first time at the 70th NSS.

Alicia Schultz of Vine and Thistle designed the lettering of this year’s brand statement for the Minted NSS booth.

NSS attendees were excited to take home this postcard map of New York’s High Line, designed by Minted Artist Jordan Sondler.

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Community Connections

community connections

connections

we love our community.

Being a part of the Minted community is not all about the competition and money. It’s about helping you grow and thrive. It’s about paying it forward and helping others succeed. It’s about building meaningful relationships with other talented artists. It’s about friendships nearby and connections around the world.

get involved.

There are many ways you can get plugged into our community. Here are five easy ways to get connected:

1. Join our Facebook group.
Our community Facebook group is open to all Minted artists (artists who have submitted to at least one Minted challenge). This is a place where our artists can connect with one another online, share resources, ask questions, etc. Learn how to join here.

2. Participate in Minted calls and events.
The Minted team hosts weekly office hours, quarterly calls, and other events for our community. View and subscribe to our events calendar here.

3. Attend or host a meetup.
Meetups are in-person gatherings with Minted artists in the same region. The Minted team hosts meetups in various locations based on a variety of factors such as concentration of artists, our founder and CEO Mariam Naficy’s travel, other Minted events, etc. Be sure to update your address in your designer profile to receive invites for our meetups!

We can’t get to every location, so we encourage our artists to host their own meetups! If you’d like to host a meetup for Minted artists in your area, please fill out this form.

We are currently planning our 2017 calendar of upcoming Meetups . Please reach out with suggested locations!

4. Attend or host a meetup.

Here are some examples of our 2016 Meetups:

  • Chicago Meetup (Hosted by Minted Artist Pooja Pittie) – Read about the meetup here
  • Atlanta Meetup (Hosted by Minted Ambassador Kristen Smith) – Read about the meetup here!
  • Detroit Meetup (Hosted by Minted Artist Lisa Assenmacher) – Read about the meetup here!
  • Paris Meetup (Hosted by Minted Artist Annie Montgomery) – Read about the meetup here
  • New York City Cocktail Party (during the National Stationery Show) – Read about the event here
  • San Francisco Minted Local Opening Party – Read about the event here
  • San Francisco Meetup (during the Holiday Winner’s Trip) – Read about the even here
  • Austin Meetup (Hosted by Minted) – Read about the event here
  • London Meetup (Hosted by Minted CEO and Founder Mariam Naficy) – Read about the event here
  • Seattle Meetup (Hosted by Minted CEO and Founder Mariam Naficy) – Read about the event here!

5. Become a Minted Ambassador.
Minted Ambassador is a pilot program we created to help artists connect with each other in their local regions of the world. Our first Minted Ambassador is Kristen Smith. As the Minted Artist Ambassador, Kristen volunteers to organize a number of events for existing community members and prospectives in and around her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. Sign up for Atlanta events here.

We’re hoping to expand this program to other regions. More details to come.

check out the fun.

Take a look at our past community events on social media. Make sure to use our hashtags #mintedmeetup, #mintedartists or #mintedartist when you post a picture at a Minted event!

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Q&A: What advice would you give to your younger self?

Living fully in the moment helps spawn creativity, but a little reflection every now and again also prepares us for a bright future. Which is why we asked Minted artists Amy Lighthall and Kim Dietrich Elam to answer the question, “What advice would you give to your younger self?” These two artists have come a long way since their beginnings as artists — Kim actually started her working life as an engineer.

Amy Lighthall
Seattle
Amy’s Minted Artist Store

Trust that things will work out the way they should and at the right time. And, have patience in my art business.

This is a really tricky question for me to answer because I think all my experiences, both good and bad, have influenced me and my art business along the way. I have learned so much from creating, selling, and marketing my art over the years, and I’m still learning new things daily.

Magic Stones” limited edition print by Amy Lighthall

When I started my business, I remember getting discouraged by how much time and effort I put into my work compared to the sales I was getting. There were so many artists and art online. I would question how I could make a living from my art. In the second year of my business, in 2013, I decided to make my word for the year be “trust.” This single word had such a big impact on my outlook and was a constant reminder for me to trust that where I was in my art and business was where I was supposed to be.

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Chicago Artists Create Collages at Self-Organized Meetup

“I have glitter glue on the front of my jacket, so I’ll carry a little bit of the meetup forever with me,” joked Melissa Egan, a Chicago artist who goes by Pistols on Minted. On a rainy Sunday afternoon on April 10, she and four fellow Chicago area Minted artists got together to create collages at One Strange Bird in Wicker Park.

Pooja Pittie, a new community member and recent first-time winner of the Minted x West Elm Round 4 Art Challenge, organized the event. “For a Minted newbie like me, it was incredible to meet other artists,” she said. “Our interaction in the community is usually online, so it was really nice to meet in person and get a glimpse of everyone’s artistic process as we worked through the collage board.”

Here’s a recap of the event. If you’re interested in organizing a Minted Artist Meetup in your area, please fill out this form.

Let the collaging begin! Clockwise from top: Pooja Pittie, Lindsay Megahed, Johanna Phillips Huuva, and Melissa Egan of Pistols.

Before we dove into creating our own collages, the teacher at One Strange Bird shared these samples of collages made by other artists.

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