I met Ellie through a friend and am so glad I've gotten connected with her. Another NC native, Ellie is the author of Mint, a design blog dedicated to a broad range of design topics. She is a graphic designer at Flywheel Design in Durham, NC and in between working and authoring her blog she was kind enough to answer a few questions I had for her...
You are celebrating the one-year anniversary of Mint soon, how did you get started blogging?
After reading design blogs for about a year or so, I felt like I was going to explode with all the inspiration! I thought I'd start a blog to just "save" all the things I found. But once I actually got the blog up and running, I became more interested in finding new things to share, and I found that I was more creative in my day to day life as a result. It's been very empowering to me as a creative person, designer, and (maybe!) eventual business owner.
On Mint, you blog on a wide range of categories and topics – where do you draw inspiration and what are some of your favorite sites to get ideas?
Many of my favorite blog posts come from me just sitting around thinking about new projects - for example, I might think, "hey, I'd like to make a mobile" and next thing I know I've rounded up twenty images of mobiles as inspiration, and those will end up on the blog. I love reading other blogs, and those are what inspire me in my own creative endeavors. It's hard to list a few favorites! But let's see... Lately I have been enjoying Mustard and Sage, Please Sir, and Saipua. And Darling Dexter, of course!
How does your profession as a graphic designer affect what you blog about on Mint?
I spend a good amount of time at work looking at design books, magazines, and blogs for inspiration for work projects. And luckily, my boss encourages it! Often I bookmark things while I'm at work and revisit them for Mint posts. So I guess it means that more of my posts come from being interested in print design, packaging, identity, etc. I'm the kind of person that likes to completely soak myself in inspiration all the time so that I stay energized in my own work.
Are there any types of challenges you face as a blogger?
Honestly, every single week I wonder if I'm going to be able to come up with another weeks worth of content! But when I sit down on Sunday afternoons to put together posts, it just starts flowing and so far so good. Sometimes I wonder if I should be putting more energy into other projects and spending less time on the computer, but Mint still feels like a new hobby and I'm very happy.
Do you have any other hobbies, thing you don't blog about?
Well lately I've been putting a lot of time into wedding planning, and I'm hesitant to blog much about the day-to-day aspects of that. It feels too personal. I love to read, take art classes, and to do small DIY home improvement or decorating kind of things.
You are getting married this spring, what role has the blogging community played in your wedding planning process?
In some ways I think it has added some pressure! I go through phases of trying to limit reading wedding blogs, because it can be overwhelming. On the other hand, seeing so much inspiration has given me a pretty clear idea of what I hope our wedding will be like and that has been helpful.
Lastly, what do you hope your readers take from Mint?
I hope people get inspiration to take into their own lives - whether that's translated into craft projects on the weekends, purchasing products from independent artists and designers, or feeling empowered to start small businesses after seeing the success of other creative (and often very young) people.
(All images are by Ellie)