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Meet Mint’s new marketing intern Journey

Marketing intern Journey Shamily at TedX Detroit with Mint. (Photo: Vickie Elmer)

Journey Shamily has a big, silly, sweet smile on her face.  Despite setbacks in her life, she smiles and giggles a lot, maintaining a sense of optimism and professionalism.

Her digital art shows her sense of “body positivity,” no matter the size, shape or shade of the women she creates.  She wants every woman to feel empowered about their bodies and every girl to see someone who looks like her, “beautiful and unique.”

Shamily, 18, was chosen as Mint’s first marketing intern in November, selected for her experience in graphic design and her attitude and enthusiasm. In that role, she creates videos, social media posts, fundraising materials and will help establish Mint’s social media policy guide. And she is learning new skills, guided by her mentor, Mint board member and marketing lead Kelly O’Neill and others on Team Mint.

“It’s helping me take my career to the next step and be more professional,” Journey said. 

Her favorite early assignment was serving as the Mint photographer and videographer at our Paint Detroit with Generosity opening at the Fisher Building. (Watch for a new post soon sharing one of the videos and a couple of photos from that wonderful opening. The show is up at the Fisher Building through Dec. 30.)

Journey Shamily, 18, attends WayMichigan, an online school and will graduate from high school next year. She has bounced around, living on her own, briefly in a homeless shelter with her mom, and now with her grandma, who has been very supportive of her creative projects. 

After graduating, she intends to  take a gap year to save money and add to  her experience as a freelance designer and digital illustrator.

In 2020, Journey is planning a community service project, bringing Mint Artists Guild into Detroit area homeless shelters to work with children on creative art and gifts for their moms.

 She has been part of Mint’s Learn & Earn program since September 2018. She has learned to connect with others and network around her art among other things. 

Mint is “very inclusive, very friendly and safe,” for all artists, she says.  She helps make it friendly, with her big smile and the “hello, hello, hello” greeting for all.


Fun fact:  She loves Ted Talks  – and sold her work with Mint Artists Guild at TedXDetroit 2019.

Digital art © Journey Shamily

Future plans: Attend a university in New York or elsewhere to study graphic design or illustration.

See her work:   Visit her website or stop by at Mint pop ups and the Mint tent at the Palmer Park Art Fair in June.


Support Mint Artists Guild with a monthly donation now, so we may hire more Journeys, more creative youth for internships and creative work in the year ahead. 

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Big dreams, jump in right now: Our story in The Creative Armory

Mint co-founder Vickie Elmer shares our creative reuse of an Italian ice lid, turned palate, turned art chain. (Photo © The Creative Armory)


Mint Artists Guild has long believed in the “start small, dream big” approach to creating an organization. We see power in moving forward, with our emerging artists as our colleagues and our inspiration.

 Jess, the founder of The Creative Armory blog, captured that in an interview with our co-founder and executive director Vickie Elmer. It came out just in time for the Funky Ferndale Art Fair this weekend and as we have an array of events queued up through the fall.

Elmer talked about the impact training young artists in entrepreneurship and community and community service.

“If we start them on the path now and stress community service, generosity, and mutual support, we are going to create a powerful ecosystem of artists and creative entrepreneurs that are going to spread beauty and success around Detroit and the world. I’m going to bask in the reflected glory of all that they do,” Elmer told The Creative Armory.

Mint is basking in the glory of our story being told by a creative entrepreneur who hustles and cares. Read the entire piece here and if you feel your creativity or energy stir, please share it with your creative community.

A Mint Mantra and some of the many pieces of youth art in the Mint Studios in Palmer Park. (Photo: © The Creative Armory)

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Meet the creative collectors hosting Mint Masterpieces

Meet the hosts of the 2019 Mint Masterpieces. (Photo © Vickie Elmer)

Our beautiful party with a purpose moves closer to our home this year.   Judge Deborah Geraldine Bledsoe Ford and attorney Jerome Watson will open their art-filled Palmer Woods home to guests on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 19.  Tickets are now on sale to Mint Masterpieces II.

Their collection is expansive and eclectic, featuring a number of pieces by internationally known artists Romare Bearden, Olumide Oresegun,  Huey Lee Smith and others.  Detroit artist also grace many walls and doors, with Henry T. Heading a particular favorite. Their daughter Alana’s art; Judge Ford’s paintings and Mint alumni Ackeem Salmon’s mixed media pieces also are well represented.

Tickets are  available for Mint Masterpieces for $150 for VIPs and $100 for patrons. VIP guests enjoy early entry, a tour and a special gift. Everyone enjoys live music, a wonderful eclectic art collection, fine food and surprises.  Our secure site allows you to buy tickets now and support Mint’s continued growth.



Judge Ford has always created creative pieces, from crochet to floral arrangements to cake decorating. She started painting almost two years ago and shows her paintings at the Detroit Fine Arts Breakfast Club.  

Her husband is a serious collector who started buying at art fairs and while on vacation. While in Sausalito years ago with his then girlfriend Debbie, Jerome Watson found and purchased their first piece together from a Russian artist.  She saw promise that they liked some of the same art; the piece now hangs in their stairway.

“My goal is to have the best eclectic art collection in the world,” said Judge Ford.

Mint Masterpieces is sponsored by Blossoms, with support from Eric’s I’ve Been Framed Shop, Sherwood Forest Gallery and the Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency.  More corporate and business sponsors are welcome.

For more stories from these wonderful collectors, art patrons and Mint supporters, subscribe to Mint’s YouTube channel.    And unlike the art in this international collection,  tickets for Mint Masterpieces will disappear quickly – so buy yours today!