We’ve loved sharing our Silhouette Designer Spotlights with you so far! There are so many different Silhouette Artists in the Design Store with unique styles, designs, and ideas. This week’s artist fills her own creative niche, and we’re so happy to have little dear prints in the Silhouette Design Store! Read on to learn more about the designer behind these cute, whimsical designs.

Tell us about yourself!

Hi, I am Aimee Ray, designer and founder of little dear, and I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember! I’m probably best known for my Doodle Stitching book series on hand embroidery, and my eleventh embroidery book, Embroidered Mythical Creatures, has just been released. Besides digital art files, I also design and sell my original embroidery and felt sewing patterns. I live in northwest Arkansas with my husband, two kids, and three kitties. We just bought a house last year and remodeled the garage into our studio! You can see more of my work at my website.

How long have you been a Silhouette user?

I actually have never used a cutting machine! A few years ago, I began getting requests from my felt pattern customers for SVG files to use with theirs, so I learned how to create the files for them. It’s been great learning more and branching out into a unique, new community!

How would you describe yourself as an artist or crafter? What’s your creative style?

I love to draw and design, but I also love making anything out of anything. Besides embroidery and felt sewing, I’ve dabbled in crochet, weaving, needle felting, jewelry making, sewing dolls and doll clothes, clay, paper crafts and watercolor painting. I’d describe my art style as whimsical, nature-inspired, or maybe sophisticated cute!

Tell us about your graphic design career. How did you get your start?

I have a BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration. I spent years first working in comics doing digital coloring, inking and lettering, then designing and illustrating greeting cards. I quit my office job in 2010 to focus on my own work. My first embroidery book was published in 2007, and I began to grow my online following and Etsy shop from there.

When did you start designing files for the Silhouette Design Store?

I’ve just joined the Silhouette Design Store this year. I’ve been slowly adding my large library of cut files and I plan to eventually make my felt animal patterns available there as well. I love creating artwork for people to use in their craft projects and I always love seeing the creative ways people use my designs!

What is the design you’re proudest of?

My favorites currently in the shop are my llamas, design IDs #402545 and #402546. I’ve loved llamas since I was a kid, and these were really fun to draw. I’ve also really been enjoying creating more intricate mandala style designs. They are fun to design and make beautiful cuts.

Where do you find creative inspiration?

I’m inspired by everything around me, most especially nature! I’ve always been a huge animal lover and I collect all kinds of nature treasures—rocks, twigs, leaves, feathers, acorns, etc. My house is full of them. I also get so much inspiration and motivation from all of the amazing artists I follow on Instagram and Pinterest. They inspire me to try new things and always get better!

How do you overcome creative blocks?

I usually have several projects in the works at once, so I try to work on whatever I’m most interested in at the moment. If I get burnt out or frustrated with one thing, I will set it aside, switch gears, and dive into something else for awhile. It also helps to just disconnect from work and the internet, put on some music, and draw or doodle without any real aim. Just let your hand and mind flow, stream of consciousness drawing. It’s a great art journaling technique and it really helps to clear my mind.

What’s your favorite thing about what you do?

I love being my own boss and deciding when and what to work on. I get plenty of nature and time with my kids. I’m an introvert and also very self motivated, so having a home studio and business is perfect for me. I also love that I get to be creative every day!

What advice do you have for artists and makers who are just starting out?

Do what you do, as much and as often as you can, and share it whenever you can. The more you create, the better you will get and the easier it will be to find your unique style and niche. I get so much encouragement and feedback from sharing my work online. It’s so valuable to have a creative community to draw from! Believe in yourself, work hard, and there’s no end to what you can accomplish. I am living proof—when I look back at where I started, I’m so proud of the life I have crafted for myself.

We’ve loved getting to know you better, Aimee! If you want to find little dear online, find Aimee on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. You can find more of her work at her website, little-dear.com.