Jessica Prout, aka littlearrowdesign, didn’t start out designing, and that’s why we find her story so inspirational. In 2012, she stepped away from a corporate job in engineering to stay at home with her daughter, but soon after realized that while motherhood was an amazing experience, she still needed a creative outlet. So she opened an Etsy shop featuring her handmade bibs, crib sheets, and baby bedding. While searching for ways to make her shop stand out, she discovered Spoonflower. From there, the combination of her love for fabric and her husband’s background as a graphic designer led her to try designing too—with over 6,600 designs in her shop, you could say she found her calling! Get to know this featured designer who hails from Richmond, Virginia in our interview (and video) below.
My day starts with:
“Getting my kids ready for the day and a cup of coffee.”
When did you fall in love with design?
“I have always had a passion for creating, but it wasn’t until after my first daughter was born and I stopped working full time that I started pattern design. My passion and call to create is so strong, it is hard to think there was ever a time when I didn’t do it at all. ”
What influences or inspires your work and why?
“I am most definitely inspired by all things nature and wildlife, but I also love to do illustrations of different objects that I find fun & interesting.
When I’m in my studio, I feel:
“Happy. I love designing and being able to create daily is something that I am very grateful for.
What’s in your toolbox?
“My MacBook pro, sketch book, scanner, Wacom tablet, iPad pro, watercolor paints, and a very creative 4-year-old who is full of great pattern ideas.”
I’d love to see one of my designs turned into:
“Anything tangible. I love seeing my designs made into anything by the handmade community. The small-shop community is full of so many hard-working and talented creatives and I am honored any time they choose one of my designs.”
What is your process when creating a new design?
“I usually have an idea, then I make some rough sketches of my design, either on paper or on the Wacom tablet. Once I am happy with the general look, I refine the illustration in Adobe. Depending on the style I am going for, I add different strokes or textures. Then I start arranging my elements into a pattern. Once I am happy with the spacing and balance, I play with different colorways, until I find something I like.”
What piece of your wardrobe best represents your style?
“My flip-flops. I am a very casual person. Maybe too casual, if that is a thing?”
The best advice I’ve ever received was:
“Don’t be afraid to take a chance. Trust yourself and your ability to succeed through hard work and dedication.”
If I could live in a painting, it would be:
“Moraine Lake at Banff National Park by Lanjee Chee. It is just so gorgeous!”
The secret to a strong collection is:
“Choosing a strong color pallet, a variety of scale, and making some basic blender fabrics that coordinate with your hero print.”
For someone new to trying the design challenge, what advice would you give them?
“Go for it! Take your time to work with your design to fit your vision, and don’t get upset if you end up in a completely different place. Sometimes the best designs are a result of happy accidents.”
Want to see more? Follow Jessica on Instagram to keep up with her lively collection of playful patterns and baby clothing, not to mention a sprinkling of sophisticated home décor. Speaking of that, you can also check out her designs on finished goods like bedding, napkins, pillows and more at our sister brand, Roostery.