There’s this concept in startups about giving customers a “moment of delight” – like, remember the first time you called a car to pick you up after a fun night out and got home safely? Or the first night you had a delicious meal from your favorite restaurant delivered and you got to enjoy it in your PJs? It’s the thing that happens when you’re like, “wow, this is AWESOME. I’m so glad this thing exists and that I tried it out.”
That’s how I felt when I, in a design paralysis-induced panic amplified by a looming shoot deadline, reached out to Minted’s art styling service for help in designing my hallway’s gallery wall late last year. This is a free service they offer to ANYONE – you just text them a photo of your home along with a few details (dimensions and what kind of pieces you’re looking for, mainly) and their in-house experts will dig through their massive collection to help you pick work from independent artists that you’ll love. In case you missed it, this is where we landed on my wall…
Gallery Wall Left to Right: Sandstone Dunes 1 by Liz Taylor | Malena by Alex Roda | Tangerine by Emily Kariniemi | Roller Skates by Cristiane | you are seen by Alicia Schultz | Face Study I By Chelsea Petaja | Arches by Alaric Yanos | Falconer by Andrew McClintock | Squares by Alisa Galitsyna
MAN, DID I FEEL SEEN. (They usually render their selected pieces on your actual photo, but my stylists set mine up in this way – just against the paint color I had shared with them – because the hallway photos I sent in my rushed panic were #verybad.) And while the process couldn’t have been dreamier – they picked the sizes, frames, matting, orientation, and they added everything to my cart for a quick and simple checkout – I was most moved by their dedication to building the BEST home for independent art discovery on the internet.
Like, guys, I’ve worked in startups. (Maybe you have, too! If so, I think you’ll relate to the following.) It’s a constant juggling act of figuring out what to prioritize and where to grow your business – it speaks volumes to me that Minted was like, “hey, let’s staff up on folks who will make sure our customers have a delightful, easy, fun experience and so we can make sure that every piece of art on our site has a chance of being discovered and loved.” (Cause, like, they could have instead chosen to invest in lots of pizza parties, or weird branded swag, or in a team that pivots into hand-building barely-functional hardware products – those were my last startup’s personal kryptonites, at least.)
So that’s what I told the team from Minted on a recent Zoom call – I just really wanted them to know that I had a great experience and that they’d built such an incredible resource to discover affordable, beautiful art. I love that they’ve created a home where artists can make a living without the stress of trying to build a brand or a huge social following AND that Minted has invested in the tools to help us regular folks sort through their huge, fabulously-curated selection. Plus, more than 90% (!!!) of the artists on the site identify as female and a majority of artists are parents, too. Does it get better than this?
At this point, I’m sure the Minted team was like, “uh, who is pitching who here??? Did we switch jobs and companies??? What is happening???” but they were also VERY nice about it, and they tolerated my rambling for a SOLID five to eight minutes. When I finally stopped to take a breath, they hit me with the most exciting news yet: they had declared April 3rd as the first annual Independent Artist Day – a holiday that shockingly did not exist until RIGHT NOW – and they asked if we could leverage our platform to shine a light on a few of the incredible and talented artists on their website.
I don’t think I’ve ever said “yes” so quickly to a partnership offer in my life – I don’t think I even asked if they had a budget, I just wanted to help drive traffic to these creators!!! – so today, I’m SO excited for EHD to highlight a few of the pieces from Minted’s new Fearless Optimism Challenge. It’s a curated collection of artwork, home goods, and stationary all inspired by – you guessed it – a sense of fearless optimism. We picked 8 favorites that run the gamut for all types of decor styles, but there’s still a whooooole bunch of other joy-inducing pieces available right here. But enough of my yammering (said you, reading through this post; said my internal monologue any time I open my mouth; and probably said the Minted team after our Zoom when I physically could not stop shouting unsolicited compliments at them) – CAN I SHOW YOU THE ART??? (If anything below strikes your fancy, you can grab 15% off – to celebrate Minted’s 15th anniversary – with code FIFTEEN.)
The Art: Azalea en Noir
The Artist: Catalina Somolinos of Frankfurt, Germany (@calilustre)
Get to Know Them: Catalina is a Spanish artist, currently living in Germany. She studied Architecture in Barcelona and works part-time as a piano teacher.
Where We’d Love To See It: Um, where WOULDN’T we like to see this? It’s the perfect balance of quiet and graphic – it’d be a great finishing touch in a neutral space or an awesome choice for toning down a bolder, busier room.
The Art: West Coast Backyard
The Artist: Evan Clark of Oakland, CA (@ineverdraw)
Get to Know Them: Evan is an illustrator from Michigan who loves eating pancakes.
Where We’d Love To See It: MY HOUSE. This may be my favorite piece from the collection – it’s verrrrry classic LA backyard and it just feels so familiar, you know? (And as we all know, I have a huge bias towards pinks/oranges/yellows.) It would also be great in a kid’s room, too.
The Art: Bliss
The Artist: Sadye Sagov of Boston, MA
Get to Know Them: Sadye is an elementary school teacher and photographer living in Boston, MA. Looking through the lens has helped him learn to look closely appreciate the small details.
Where We’d Love To See It: Asked about this piece, he said, “What is more healing and blissful than floating weightless in a cool body of water on a hot summer day?” AND LIKE, YES. Agreed. Would loooove to see this scaled up and hanging in an entry or over a credenza in a cheery, modern dining room.
The Art: Beige Flower
The Artist: Alisa Galitsyna from Barcelona, Spain (@aliska_gal)
Get to Know Them: Alisa is a self-taught Ukrainian artist living in Spain. She finds inspiration in nature, architecture, the day-to-day, traveling, textiles, and interior spaces. Using and combining different techniques and themes, textures and color combinations, she creates abstracts, collages & patterns.
Where We’d Love To See It: Well, I’m a little biased because I already have one of Alisa’s pieces in my own home – this one! – but I can pretty confidently say that her work would shine anywhere. If you’re looking for abstract, organic, neutral-with-a-twist pieces…this is your gal.
The Art: In The Pink
The Artist: Erin McCluskey Wheeler of Richmond, CA (@erinmwheeler)
Get to Know Them: I am a collage artist and printmaker and use an assortment of painted and found papers to make my colorful abstract pieces. I am inspired by forms found in nature and often think of my abstract pieces as plant forms or landscapes.
Where We’d Love To See It: ANY MID-CENTURY DREAM HOUSE. Someone, please, let this piece bring a little color and texture to your organized, streamlined home. It’s so beautiful, right? That said, we loooove a collage at EHD (case in point: here and here) – they’re such a special and unexpected finishing touch.
The Art: After The Storm
The Artist: Ramnik Velji of Camarillo, CA
Get to Know Them: Ramnik grew up in Africa when nature was in its most pristine state. The memories of his youth are filled with spirited animals and a wildness that has been overcome by the modernity of today’s world. He hopes to share that lost grandeur through his artistic expression.
Where We’d Love To See It: If you’re looking to bring a little vintage-inspired soul to a space (or if you’re just jealous of all the seascapes that Em’s been posting on stories lately), Ramnik’s work is right up your alley. How charming and regal would this be in an office or study or library?
The Art: Peeking
The Artist: Paula Pecevich of Braintree, MA (@paula.pecevich)
Get to Know Them: Paula is a designer/illustrator with a degree in Graphic Design. If she’s not on my computer designing, she has paintbrushes or pencils in hand. Paula has an appreciation for great art, a love for typography, paper & color and feels blessed to create every day.
Where We’d Love To See It: This would be so, so, SO good in a gallery wall. I’d love to see it scaled up as an anchor piece, but it’d also be so fun as a little surprise in the uber-tiny 5″x7″ size – can you imagine your guests like, leaning in and being surprised by this little guy? LOVE.
The Art: Joy Comes In The Morning
The Artist: Sharise Williams of Bowie, MD (@31_artandapparel)
Get to Know Them: Sharise is a graphic designer and illustrator. Her work intertwines bold color, textures and patterns with uplifting and thoughtful messaging. She loves creating things that uplift and help women see themselves in a positive and powerful light.
Where We’d Love To See It: How good would this be in a room that’s covered in dark and moody paint or wood cladding? When creating this piece, Sharise said she “wanted to depict optimism in the form of coming from the darkness into the light. Letting the warmth of the light put a smile on her face.” It’d be so sweet to let it shine against an even bigger backdrop, you know?
In case that’s not enough art for ya today, here are a few more standout pieces we fell in love with while browsing the Fearless Optimism Collection. There’s something for everyone, right?
This is where I’ll leave you. I think I’ve made my case for Minted – thoughts? (Can you tell I’m a huge fan? Did that come across here?) Again, you can grab 15% off site-wide – and 25% off Save the Dates! – through Monday, April 4th with code FIFTEEN. If you’re on the hunt for art, home goods, or stationary, there’s no better time to shop (and no better way to get funds straight into the hands of creatives). And if you need a little help navigating their awesome selection (you know, like I did), shoot a text to (415) 993-WALL for some fast and free expert guidance. Let’s celebrate some independent artists, spruce up our spaces, and make our houses feel more like home. CHEERS, FRIENDS. See ya down there. xx
Opening Photo Credits: Design by Jess Bunge | Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Makeover Takeover: Jess’ Long Awaited (Small Space) Living Room Reveal