While the concept of “crowdsourcing” may have gotten off to a rough start within the creative community, the practice has matured. Some of the more reputable firms now enable talented, independent creatives to get greater exposure and additional opportunities than they might have gotten on their own.
For example, if you haven’t visited Minted in awhile, maybe it’s time for a second look. Minted defines itself as an online marketplace for independent design and art. Using crowdsourced graphic designs and art from a global design community, Minted sells premium printed products for the $10 billion stationery market, the $48 billion wall art market, and the $7 billion party décor market.
Minted defines their mission is “To find exceptional artists and designers all over the world and bring their work to consumers who appreciate great design.” According to their website, “We believe that great design lives and thrives in the hands of indie designers that people may not have access to through traditional retailers. Our goal is to use technology to allow our community to discover the work of great designers from all over the world. And at the same time, create a place where designers can get exposure and build their careers.”
All designs and art featured on Minted are sourced through design competitions and curated by the community. The company holds ongoing competitions, giving designers and artists the opportunity to submit their work. Those voted to the top are sold on the site. Designers earn cash prizes and commissions on all their sales.
Partnership with West Elm
Minted recently announced a partnership with West Elm to sell crowdsourced art prints at West Elm home-furnishing stores nationwide and on www.westelm.com. This is the first major retail partnership for crowd-sourcing pioneer, Minted. It is also the first content licensing partnership for Minted. Minted sourced and licensed the art to West Elm, who manufactured and marketed the final products.
The two companies launched the Minted + West Elm Wall Art Challenge only a few weeks after meeting at West Elm’s Brooklyn headquarters. Within another two weeks, artists from around the world had submitted more than 1,400 works of art via Minted’s crowdsourcing platform. As with all Minted challenges, the winners were selected by the public’s vote and the winning artists will earn a commission on every sale.
West Elm’s creative team hand-picked 25 of those winners to be produced and sold by West Elm. The winning works include photography, graphic patterns, and painterly landscapes.
“West Elm and Minted share a passion for discovering and supporting exciting independent artists,” said Minted CEO and founder Mariam Naficy. “I am thrilled to introduce Minted’s talented community artists to more consumers through the West Elm brand.”
“Our Minted collaboration provides us with a great opportunity to continue to support and elevate independent artists,” said Jim Brett, West Elm President. “The Minted community and crowd-sourcing platform has helped us curate a beautiful collection that we’re confident our customers will love.”
The framed wall art is priced from $59 to $199 and is offered in ready-to-hang formats in a variety of frame colors. West Elm encourages customers to create their own collections by piecing together their favorite works into a gallery wall.
Rose Lindo, a winning artist who lives in Austin, Texas, has her work “Man Meets Nature” for sale at West Elm. “Being from a teeny town in Oklahoma that recently got its first grocery store, it’s mind-blowing and humbling that my work is now sold by a major American brand,” said Lindo. “West Elm has an aesthetic that inspires me.”
About West Elm
Mixing clean lines, natural textures and handcrafted collections from the US and around the globe, West Elm offers unique, affordable designs for modern living. The brand introduced its first catalog in 2002 and opened the doors of its first retail location in 2003. The brand’s collection of modern furniture and room décor is now available in 55 retail stores in the United States, Canada and Australia, and at www.westelm.com.