We’re excited to announce the special prize winners for our Three Cheers! Minted x West Elm Challenge! We love collaborating with West Elm—they share our passion for discovering and celebrating work by talented independent artists. For this challenge, we asked our Minted Community to create art and photography pieces that would delight customers and bring a fresh style to the collection. A huge congratulations to all the winners!
Curator’s Choice Award for the art print that most captures
the attention of Minted’s Curatorial Team
“Snowscape 1” by Megan Kelley
Curator’s Choice Photography Award for the photograph that most captures
the attention of Minted’s Curatorial Team
“Lakeside” by Lisa Cersovsky
Black and White Art Award for the most interesting
black and white art print
“Kansas” by Stephanie Nowotarski
Click through to see more special prize winners from our invitation challenge…
Blueberries are a summer staple at our house—my kids love to shove fistfuls of fresh ones into their mouths in July and August, when they’re the sweetest, and I love freezing them so we can use them September through June in smoothies, pies, muffins, and more. These blueberry cheesecake bars are a great way to showcase fresh blueberries, but you can also use frozen berries and get a burst of bright, summery blueberry flavor even in the depths of winter. And these bars are so easy to make, which is always a bonus when it comes to sweets. Sometimes I see “cheesecake” and think that means tons of work, but this recipe is ridiculously simple.
I was inspired to create a blueberry recipe after spotting these beautiful “Watercolor
Wreath” wedding invites by Yao Cheng, one of my favorite Minted artists (left).
Crumb-Topped Blueberry Cheesecake Bars (right; recipe below)
Keep reading for this easy and delicious cookie recipe…
A monthly series where we highlight a member of our talented Minted artist community. Featured this month: surface pattern and product designer Christine Joy Llewellyn, who lives in Brooklyn.
After getting her MBA, Christine Llewellyn worked as a marketing manager while taking creative classes on the side—everything from ceramics and printmaking to architectural drafting. She decided to pursue a creative career full-time and got her masters in industrial design, and launched her design studio Christine Joy Design in 2014.
Please tell us more about yourself! I’m originally from Flushing, NY, and attended college in Connecticut at Wesleyan University. After a few years of financial consulting, I went on to get my MBA from the University of Michigan. After business school, I worked as a marketing manager at a large financial services company; while I loved marketing, I found myself constantly searching for creative outlets. I spent hours after work taking continuing education courses—in ceramics, architectural drafting, space planning, printmaking. Basically, if a creative class was being offered nearby, I was signed up! Soon after, I decided to get a Masters of Industrial Design from Pratt Institute and, in 2014, established Christine Joy Design.
Did you study art formally in school?
I took a few studio arts classes in college but felt pressure to major in something that might pave the way to a traditional career path. After college, I took advantage of being close to some wonderful New York City art schools and made it a point to enroll in as many creative continuing education classes as possible. When I decided to pursue my creative career full-time, I enrolled in the masters program at Pratt.
When did you begin painting and drawing?
I have very early memories of passing the time indoors with just a pencil and paper. I remember feeling complete happiness with crayons and paper, and being left alone to create things that came to my mind. I’ve always felt happiest and most at ease when I am creating.
What medium(s) do you most enjoy working with?
I use many different ones, including pens, pencils, markers, and stamps. I’ve recently fallen in love with watercolor. It requires you to relinquish control—you have to go with the flow and let the pigment do what it wants on the paper. There’s something very liberating about that.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at Christine Llewellyn at work
in her studio in this West Elm x Minted video.
What do you love about living in Brooklyn?
I currently live on the border of two vibrant Brooklyn neighborhoods: Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. They’re both relatively small and have a wonderful community feel to them. The neighborhoods are home to renowned educational and cultural institutions such as Pratt Institute and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which gives it a wonderful, artistic vibe and energy. Though there were many more artists residing in these neighborhoods in the past, there is still a good number of artists and other people in creative fields. And being a mother of two young kids, there are tons of parks and playgrounds, which makes it an awesome place to raise children.
Please tell us more about your family. I have two sweet, curious, and rambunctious toddlers: 3 years old and 19 months old. I also have an amazingly supportive husband who has always encouraged me to find and pursue my passion and is a huge reason behind my establishing Christine Joy Design.
How do you encourage creativity in your own children?
I’d say they encourage creativity in me! I’m amazed by the level of creativity my kids display on a daily basis. It’s so refreshing to see the wonderful things that happen when you aren’t bogged down by expectations, societal pressures, and other creativity-stifling constructs and do what you truly are drawn to do. By watching them construct, deconstruct, make messes, and just have loads of fun is a huge inspiration for me.
Christine Llewellyn of Christine Joy Design in her studio.
How did you first hear about Minted? After deciding to launch Christine Joy Design in 2014, I decided to exhibit at Surtex, an art licensing trade show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. I had sort of a “go big or go home” mindset and the fact that it took place right here in New York City made exhibiting there a no-brainer for me. A few people from Minted approached my booth and encouraged me to submit to an upcoming art challenge. Thankfully I did and won an Editor’s Pick.
What do you enjoy most about being part of the Minted community?
I am amazed daily by the spirit of generosity present in this community. There are so many talented artists at various levels in their career who share their unique perspective and knowledge. We all value each other’s opinions and make it a point to support each other in any way we can. It’s amazing that Minted has created such a wonderful platform for so many artists from around the globe to connect and form both professional and personal bonds.
What does Minted mean to you as a working artist?
As an independent artist, it’s really hard to get your name out there and get exposure. Minted has given me the platform to reach a much wider audience than I would have ever thought of reaching on my own. I never dreamt that I would have prints for sale at West Elm just a year after launching my business, but Minted made it possible. I definitely would’ve told you you were crazy if you told me this was going to happen so quickly.
What are you inspired by?
I’m inspired by my kids and their unabashed sense of wonder and excitement at things most adults either ignore or take for granted. I am inspired by my time living abroad in The Republic of Congo, Denmark, and Greece. I love beautifully and thoughtfully designed objects. I am constantly on the look out for interesting textiles, colors, and patterns that might inform my next work.
How would your describe your artistic style?
My style is bold, elegant, playful, and globally inspired. There are rhythmic elements in my work and there is a fair amount of pattern repetition and various repeated geometric shapes.
What do you do when you encounter artist’s block?
Going for a walk usually helps. In New York City there’s just so much to be inspired by that it’s hard to go out and not find inspiration. I also find my level of creativity is directly related to how much I am connecting with the music I am listening to. If I find I’m having a block, I try to find “new” music that might motivate to create and come up with something different and interesting.
Christine’s Favorite Things We asked Christine to share her current favorite art, style, and home décor inspirations.
Inspiration Who inspires you: My mom. Being a working mother of four, she is a superhero to me. I have my hands full and only have two!
Favorite place in the world: Antigua, West Indies [ 1 ] Favorite charity: Make-a-Wish Foundation Favorite colors: Pink and teal
Favorite city: Copenhagen [ 6 ] Last stamp on your passport: Antigua, West Indies
Daily website read: I love reading about architecture and real estate and make it a point to check out Curbed and Brownstoner daily.
Song in your head: “Afro Blue” by Robert Glasper Favorite Instagrammer: @satsukishibuya
Home Favorite pieces of art in your home: My daughter’s crayon drawings in our living room. I love that she is SO proud of her work and aptly calls that portion of the room her “exhibition area.”
Coffee-table book: Remix by Jeanine Hayes and Bryan Mason of AphroChic[ 2 ] Pets: Bobby! He’s our 5 year old chihuahua, spaniel, Pekingese mix.
Favorite drink: A glass of red wine after a long day of toddler chasing[ 3 ] Favorite snack: Chocolate-covered pretzels [ 4 ] Favorite flowers: Orchids [ 7 ] Stationery: Moglea[ 8 ] Favorite gadgets: My Wacom Cintiq tablet Favorite neighborhood restaurant: Madiba in Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Favorite dessert: Malva pudding
Decorating your locker is one of the most fun parts about kicking off a new school year. This year, turn your favorite patterned fabrics into cute magnets to display photos, notes from friends, or your school schedule.
1. Use the stencil that comes with your button-making kit to choose what you want on the front of your magnet. Trace the outside of the stencil and cut out the circle.
2. Place the button mold on your work surface (the clear plastic piece included in the kit), open end up; center the fabric over the mold with the printed side face down. Take the button shell (the rounded metal piece included in the kit) and center it on the circle-shaped piece of fabric; it should be directly above the mold. Using your fingers, gently push the button back down into the mold; the fabric should gather up around the button shell like a little pouch.
3. Tuck the fabric into the button shell and cover it with the flat-sided button back (also included in the kit). Place the pusher (the blue piece in the kit) on top of the button back; firmly push the button back into place (the entire unit needs to be pushed down into the mold). Listen for a small snap when the button back is firmly in place.
4. Remove the button by pressing up on the bottom of the mold; glue a magnet to the back. Let it dry completely and you’re ready to decorate!
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The launch of Minted Home got us thinking about how our surroundings inspire creativity, so for this edition of #WhatInspiresMe, we asked three Californians to talk about how their workspace and play space affects their creative process.
I’ve always had a deep love for reading, and to this day I often feel like a big kid at heart. I collect vintage children’s books, my favorites being from the 1950s and 1960s. I love the bright colors, the simple shapes, and the sense of wonder they still bring me when I read them again and again. My workspace is filled with mini collections that bring me joy—out-of-print magazines, photos with my husband, train tickets from a recent trip, simple color studies, and my two little dachshund buddies, Indy and Fritz, who never leave my side when I’m home working.
My creativity is fueled by memories, travel experiences, and everyday life. To preserve these moments, I collect objects, pieces of paper, and photos that inspire me and remind me of the remarkable places I’ve visited or things I’ve seen that have left a strong impression. I like to gather these objects in a clean, organized space and sketch out anything that comes to mind.
Eventually that clean space becomes a bit disorganized—actually, a mess—but the confusion of memories sparks my imagination, and my ideas take on a more cohesive form. I use my sketch book, pencils, and markers to explore my ideas and test concepts, but when I finally hit on something that resonates, my Wacom tablet is essential in helping me shape it into a final product. It’s important for me to have all my tools easily accessible and in one place. I also find it fundamental to create a soothing ambiance through muted lighting and my essential playlists.
I keep an inspiration board above my desk to help spark my imagination. I like to put anything related to what I’m working on up on the broad, such as watercolor doodles, postcards, and photos for ideas.
Part of my creative space is the outdoors. To me, traveling, hiking, and immersing myself in nature is a great way to get away from the computer and find inspiration. I usually take photos of the scenery and plants for reference for my work. I also like to burn incense in my studio—I find the smell relaxing and calming while refreshing the energy of the room. There are usually piles of sketches and watercolor doodles on my desk. Sometimes, when I get stuck, I paint a bunch of random sketches that I might revisit later. Once I have something that I think is worth developing, I paint more sketches to refine the idea.
With school back in session, we’re starting to think about ways to showcase our kiddos’ latest artwork. These DIY ruler clip frames are an easy way to show off their mini masterpieces—they’d look great on your desk at work or on your mantel, don’t you think? This project is super-simple to make; all you need are wooden rulers and binder clips and you’re all set.
Click through for the project instructions…
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A Southern belle and her Marine Corps fiancé met through mutual friends in the fall of 2012 but it wasn’t until a year later—after their pals convinced them to reconnect via Skype—that their relationship took off. After getting engaged in 2014, the couple exchanged vows in the chapel at the Naval Academy, followed by dinner and dancing at their waterside reception venue.
Are you a Minted bride? If you’d like to submit your wedding for consideration, please email a brief description of your celebration and a link to your wedding photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How did you and David meet? We love the look on people’s faces when they ask us where we’re from and we answer separately, “New York City” and “A really small town in South Carolina.” Meeting each other and falling in love must have been destiny because so many things had to fall into place just right for it to happen. Luckily, my best friend (and maid of honor!) knew what she was doing when she introduced us. Her (then-) boyfriend attended the Naval Academy and David accompanied him to South Carolina for the USC vs. Navy football game in September 2012. They stayed at our apartment for the weekend and David and I spent hours talking in the kitchen. A year later, our friends convinced us to catch up via Sykpe and the next thing I knew, I was buying a plane ticket to visit him in Annapolis.
Click through to read more of Emily and David’s wedding story…
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Pressed flowers are a wonderful way to savor the beauty of summer and this simple DIY project is the perfect way to display your favorite blooms. And if you’re tying the knot this summer, save a few favorite flowers from your bouquet to incorporate into this project.
Supplies: • Dried/pressed flowers and greenery
• Dishes (select ones with enough depth; I used candle dishes from IKEA’s IDEAL collection)
• Clear epoxy • Craft glue
• Small paintbrush
1. Wipe the dishes clean; next, position your pressed flowers and greenery on the various dishes.
2. Once you’re happy with your composition, using a tiny dab of glue on a small paintbrush, adhere the flowers and greenery to the dish. Allow glue to dry before continuing. I found it helpful to place something flat and heavy like a book on top to weigh the pieces down.
3. Mix the epoxy according to the instructions. Carefully pour the epoxy evenly into the dish, submerging the florals. You may see some little bubbles floating around; get rid of them by lightly blowing on them. Larger bubbles can be popped using a toothpick or a pin.
4. Let the epoxy dry according to the instructions. Once it’s completely dry, enjoy your pressed flower display!
Moving to a new home is one of the most exciting events in someone’s life, whether it’s a newly married couple settling into their first apartment together, or a growing family moving into a bigger house. Minted customers love fresh, original moving announcements to notify family and friends about their new address. One in six Americans moves every year, and mailing a change-of-address card is a popular tradition. Moving announcements are a large and growing business for Minted, and we were “wowed!” with all of the creative and out-of-the-box designs! Congratulations to all the winners and runner-ups!
For the most out-of-the-box moving announcement
“Have Moved” by Qing Ji