Thursday, March 1, 2012


I don't know if you have noticed the same, but it seems like everywhere I turn there is some sort of design challenge out there.  From interior to fashion and everything between - TV shows and the interwebs are chalk full of these contests and I'm fascinated by them all.

The online challenges I'm hearing the most about are those hosted by Minted.   Minted is a global community of independent graphic designers and an online store that prints and sells the best of their designs in the form of paper goods. Since 2008, they have hosted 66 different challenges and have received over 46,000 submissions! I've been toying with an idea for a while and a recent Minted challenge was just the kick in the pants that I needed...
THE BACKGROUND: on the look out for a gift I discovered that there was a shockingly small selection of what I would consider chic & modern art for decorating a nursery/kid's room out there.  Well a small selection of affordable chic & modern  art out there. Even my beloved Etsy came up short.

THE INSPIRATION: knee deep into a google image search I found this fun giraffe image.  I loved it and thought - if that could be customized, sold!  The fact that it was made with that bold modern fabric just sweetened the deal. 

THE DILEMMA: this beautiful little guy was made by a nice woman in 2008 and since then, her Etsy shop has closed.  What is a girl to do?

THE IDEA: can I make this?  Please keep in mind, I have absolutely no sewing experience. none. zip. nada.  I do however have a tiny bit of experience in drawing.  Could I maybe sketch out something similar instead and print it? Hmmm, that would get me half way there but how would I print it? 

THE CATALYST: I know folks who have submitted (and won) past Minted challenges.  Randomly the other day, I decided to take a closer look.  Low and behold, the current challenge was for children's art work!  How strangely serendipitous is that?  Unfortunately, the submission deadline was 18 hours after I found the challenge L but it did give me an answer to my "how do I print' question.  All submissions to Minted must be generated using Adobe Illustrator. Lucky for me, they have a 30 day free trial...    

THE SOLUTION: After I downloaded the free trial I began playing around.  After a bit of head scratching and a lot of youtube instructional videos, this is what I managed to produce...

Now I realize, this is plagurizm at its worse.  I have no intention of giving this to anyone, this was just a project to educate myself.  In fact, George Smith of the future is totally made up. J What this plagurizm did do was get my creative juices flowing.  I could have spent hours more on Illustrator.  Too bad the need for sleep and my day job got in the way.

I'm going to use these next 28 days of my free trial to see what I can do.  Mr. Squareview and I are going to visit my In-Laws in a couple weeks and while there we'll also see some dear family friends that just became first time Grandparents.  I've been sketching and I'm thinking some homemade art will be making the trip with us to congratulate them on their new edition. Which animal is your favorite?

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