14 innovative Western designers

These visionary designers and craftsmen are bringing an indie spirit to mainstream design

The curator
Photo by David Fenton; written by Rachel Levin

The curator

Crowd-sourced-stationery start-up Minted—the site that launched a thousand designers who otherwise wouldn’t have a commercial platform—has now expanded to wall art. Founder and CEO Mariam Naficy explains why and what it means for artists across the West. minted.com

How did you get the idea to add wall art? Minted began five years ago as a site for stationery, but we started looking at the quality of work being submitted—illustration, watercolors, graphic art—and realized: This stuff belongs on walls.

Who are these “Minties,” as you call them? Psychology professors and stay-at-home moms, corporate designers, people with all sorts of day jobs who are unfulfilled creatively at work—and suddenly find themselves moonlighting as working artists, actually making money from their art.

Where are they from? Our most successful artists actually live in places like rural Colorado or Utah, disconnected from the greater design community. Minted helps give them visibility. We didn’t intend to be a social network, but that’s what’s happening.

Three of Minted’s favorite Western graphic designers, on the Minted experience:

Kayla King, Arroyo Grande, CA: "The sense of community at Minted is unlike any other. Everyone supports one another, gives constructive feedback, and truly wants to see each other succeed."

Melissa Egan (Pistols), Portland: "It’s a great feeling knowing that something I’ve created is hanging on living-room walls. And because of Minted, I was contacted to illustrate a children’s book, which I’ve always wanted to do."

Amy Ehmann (Design Lotus), Highlands Ranch, CO: "I knew zip about typography before Minted. I had no idea the spacing of letters, words, and lines can make or break a design. It rocked my world as a designer."



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