Bestinau got that-
There’s a concept in startups to give customers a “moment of delight” — like, do you remember the first time you called a car to pick you up after a fun night out and came home safe? Or the first night that you had a delicious meal delivered from your favorite restaurant and can enjoy it in your pajamas? It’s what happens when you think, “Wow, this is AMAZING. I’m so glad this thing exists and that I tried it out.”
That’s how I felt when, in a design paralysis panic, exacerbated by an impending shooting deadline, I reached out to Minted’s art styling service late last year for help designing the gallery wall in my hallway. This is a free service they offer EVERYONE – you just send them a photo of your home along with a few details (mainly dimensions and what kind of pieces you’re looking for) and their in-house experts will go through their vast collection to help you choose work by independent artists that you will love. In case you missed it, this is where we ended up on my wall…
Gallery wall from left to right: Sandstone dunes 1 by Liz Taylor | Malena by Alex Roda | Mandarine by Emily Kariniemi | Roller skating by Cristiane | you are seen by Alicia Schultz | Facial study I By Chelsea Petaja | arches by Alaric Yanos | Falconer by Andrew McClintock | squares by Alisa Galitsyna
MAN, WAS I SEEN. (They usually depict their selected pieces in your real photo, but my stylists set mine up this way—only against the paint color I shared with them—because the hallway photos I sent in my rushed panic were #very bad. ) And while the process couldn’t have been more dreamy – they chose the sizes, frames, mats, orientation, and they added everything to my cart for a quick and easy checkout – I was most touched by their dedication to building the BEST home for independent art discovery on the web.
Like, guys, I’ve worked in startups. (Maybe you have too! If so, I think you recognize the following.) It’s a constant juggling of figuring out what to prioritize and where to grow your business – it speaks volumes to me that minted laundry, “Hey, let’s hire people who will make sure our customers have a wonderful, easy and fun experience and so we can make sure every piece of art on our site has a chance to be discovered and loved.” (Because, for example, they could have chosen to invest in lots of pizza parties, or weird brand swag, or in a team that revolves around building barely functional hardware products by hand—at least those were the personal kryptonites from my last startup.)
So that’s what I told the team at Minted on a recent Zoom call – I just Real wanted them to know I was having an amazing experience and that they had built such an incredible resource to discover affordable, beautiful art. I love that they’ve created a home where artists can earn 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 ordinary people achieve their huge, fantastic composite selection. In addition, more than 90% (!!!) of the artists on the site identify as women and a majority of the artists are also parents. Does it get better than this?
At this point, I’m sure the Minted team was thinking, “uh, who’s throwing who here??? Have we switched jobs and companies??? What is happening???” but they were also REALLY nice about it, and they tolerated my rumbling for a SOLID five to eight minutes. When I finally stopped to catch my breath, they came up with the most exciting news yet: They’d declared April 3 the first annual Independent Artist Day – a holiday that shocking didn’t exist until RIGHT NOW – and they asked if we could use our platform to shed light on some of the incredible and talented artists on their website.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so quick to say “yes” to a collaboration 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 to have EHD feature some of the pieces from Minted’s new Fearless Optimism Challenge. It’s a curated collection of artwork, housewares, and stationery, all inspired by — you guessed it — a sense of undaunted optimism. We’ve picked 8 favorites that suit all kinds of decor styles, but there are still a ton of other joy-inducing pieces available here. But enough of my whining (said you as I read this post; said my internal monologue every time I open my mouth; and said probably the Minted team after our Zoom when I physically couldn’t stop yelling unsolicited compliments at them ) – CAN I SHOW YOU THE ART??? (If something below appeals to you, you can get 15% off – to celebrate Minted’s 15th anniversary – with code FIFTEEN†
The art: Azalea in Black
The artist: Catalina Somolinos from 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 would like to see it: Um, where would we NOT want to see this? It’s the perfect balance of calm and graphic – it would make a great finishing touch in a neutral space or a great choice to tone down a bolder, busier room.
The art: West Coast Backyard
The artist: Evan Clark from Oakland, CA (@ineverdraw)
get to know them: Evan is a Michigan illustrator who loves to eat pancakes.
Where we would like to see it: MY HOUSE. This might be my favorite piece from the collection – it’s a verrrrry classic LA backyard and it just feels so familiar, you know? (And as we all know, I have a huge preference for pink/orange/yellow.) It would also be great in a nursery.
The art: Luck
The artist: Sadye Sagov from Boston, MA
get to know them: Sadye is an elementary school teacher and photographer living in Boston, MA. Looking through the lens has taught him to look closely at the small details.
Where we would like to see it: When asked about this piece, he said, “What could be more healing and blissful than floating weightlessly in a cool water on a hot summer’s day?” AND IF YES. Agreed. I would love to see this hung up scaled in a hallway or above a sideboard in a cheerful, 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, everyday life, travel, textiles and indoor spaces. By using and combining different techniques and themes, textures and color combinations, she creates abstracts, collages & patterns.
Where we would like 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 say quite confidently that her work would shine anywhere. If you’re looking for abstract, organic, neutral-with-a-twist pieces… this is your girlfriend.
The art: In pink
The artist: Erin McCluskey Wheeler of Richmond, CA (@erinmwheeler)
get to know them: I am a collage artist and graphic artist and use an assortment of painted and found papers to create my colorful abstract pieces. I am inspired by shapes that occur in nature and often see my abstract pieces as plant shapes or landscapes.
Where we would like to see it: EVERY MID CENTURY DREAM HOUSE. Please have someone bring some color and texture to your organized, streamlined home. It’s so beautiful, isn’t it? That said, we love collages at EHD (example: 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 still in its most pristine state. The memories of his childhood are filled with feisty animals and a wildness overcome by the modernity of today’s world. With his artistic expression he hopes to share that lost grandeur.
Where we would like 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 Em has been posting on stories lately), Ramnik’s work is right up your alley. How charming and regal would this be in an office, study or library?
The art: Peeping
The artist: Paula Pecevich of Braintree, MA (@paula.pecevich)
get to know them: Paula is a designer/illustrator with a degree in Graphic Design. When she’s not designing on my computer, she has brushes or pencils in hand. Paula has an appreciation for great art, love for typography, paper & color and feels blessed to create every day.
Where we would like 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 would also be so nice as a little surprise in the tiny 5″ x 7″ size – can you imagine your guests liking it, leaning forward 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 interweaves bold colours, textures and patterns with uplifting and thoughtful messages. She loves to create things that lift women up and help them see themselves in a positive and powerful light.
Where we would like to see it: How good would this be in a room covered in dark and moody paint or wood trim? In creating this piece, Sharise said she wanted to “depict optimism in the form of coming out of darkness into the light. By letting the warmth of the light bring a smile to her face.” It would be so sweet to let it shine against an even bigger backdrop, you know?
Just in case today isn’t enough art for you, here are a few more standout pieces we fell in love with while browsing the Fearless Optimism collection. There’s something for everyone, right?
1. Persevere | 2. Wisteria | 3. Chin up | 4. Radhaben and the Gold Coins | 5. Sand of whispers | 6. The light
1. Morchella pillow | 2. Paper flower pillow | 3. Kissing Summer Breeze
I leave you here. I think I’ve made my case for Minted – thoughts? (Can you tell I’m a huge fan? Came across that here?) Again, you can get 15% off sitewide – and 25% off Save the Dates! – until Monday 4 April with code FIFTEEN† If you’re looking for art, homeware, or stationery, there’s no better time to shop (and no better way to get money straight into the hands of creatives). And if you need some help navigating their awesome selection (you know, like I did), text (415) 993-WALL for quick, free expert guidance. Let’s celebrate a few independent artists, brighten up our spaces and make our homes feel more like home. CONGRATULATIONS, FRIENDS. See you down there. xx
Opening Photo Credits: Design by Jess Bunge | Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Makeover Takeover: Jess’ highly anticipated (small space) living room reveal