Discover more from Interruptions
Minted for artists
A little guide
A few times a year Minted (a California-based print on demand site) opens up one of their art challenges. This one was the Paintings, Drawings & Mixed Media Fine Art Challenge. I worked on 3 pieces, two re-workings of designs that had been in my ‘Serious wip’ folder for a while and one new design. Bud was an editors pick this time. I’m so happy it will be out in the world and not languishing in serious wip any more! Minted print super big and with lots of framing options so I’m excited to see this one launched some time in August.
To the customer Minted is a nicely curated print on demand site with lots of choice in art and stationery (it is very popular for wedding invites for example). But artists are often confused about how it works for them, so here’s the lowdown.
Minted is a POD site where artists and illustrators can open up their own store front. However, winning one of their challenges is currently the only way to have a Minted store. That’s how it stays beautifully curated. They hold lots of challenges throughout the year, from save the date cards, wedding invites and Christmas cards to art and photography challenges. You can enter a small number of designs and if selected, you get a prize payment and then a 10% royalty per sale (I believe slightly less for stationery). You will also be in their main catalogue and you can then open up your own store front on Minted.
You are in the main catalogue and have the chance of further sub licences with other other companies like Target and Pottery Barn. Your work can also be chosen for TV deals (one of my prints was on the Queer Eye set).
If you win a challenge and open up your own store front, your self-launch designs are non-exclusive to Minted, so you can sell those anywhere else.
If your work isn’t chosen, it’s no loss, these designs can then go into your regular print collection elsewhere or you can enter them again at a later date.
There is a lovely, supportive Minted community on Slack where your questions get answered quickly.
They pay monthly and on time!
Minted have exclusivity to your winning piece potentially in perpetuity, you can’t sell it anywhere else. Although they do mix up their catalogue occasionally and if they decide to retire your design, you can do whatever you like with it.
It’s POD so after your prize you only get a percentage of each sale. (Having said that 10% is pretty good.)
Competition is steep. I believe stationery is the most competitive but this art challenge had approximately 100 editors picks from 1653 submissions.
Things to think about:
Make what you are best at. I stick to art prints rather than stationery - mainly because I don’t work in illustrator (which you need for stationery) but also there are some amazing stationery designers on there and it’s very competitive.
Pick a piece you aren’t sad about Minted having exclusive rights to in perpetuity. I have a best-selling print that I ‘self-launched’ in my Minted store (so non-exclusive). I have been asked many times to make it exclusive so they could potentially sub-license it. It would have had more exposure and potentially more sales but I wasn’t keen to surrender exclusivity to them for my best-selling print.
Minted has a look. Have a good look around the site and steer your work in a particular direction or colour palette. It’s important to get to know the market of these sites very well so you can hone your submissions.
Don’t work too hard on new designs. Re-working older or unused designs means it won’t feel like spec work, a dirty word in the art community. I would never ordinarily enter an art competition, this is a different set up - more curation than competition - and one I’m happy with.
Top prizes are worth up to $2,200 plus royalties (much more than editors picks) and are voted by Minted visitors and customers, so if you want to go for those, be prepared to promote yourself!
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, it can be one part of your income stream.
And most importantly, read the T&Cs.
Thanks for reading :-) Any questions about Minted let me know - this is not a sponsored post! Would love to talk more about income streams too.