This post is part of Flywheel’s “Designer Spotlight” series, which features an interview with a designer/coder/mover/shaker who uses Flywheel.
Heather Jones, web designer and developer specializing in WordPress and Genesis Framework located in Baton Rouge, LA (but secretly dreaming of living on the beach). She does amazing work for her clients, like the re-design she did for the site In Honor of Design, below. Oh, and she loves the color purple. You can find more of her work on her website, Viva la Violette.
How long have you worked as a designer?
I’ve been designing websites for 13 years, but I’ve also worked in the game industry for 3. Viva la Violette actually started as a graphic design/print shop in 2008, so I’ve had my hand in design for some time now.
Is there something that sparked your interest in design?
My interest in web design started when I saw animated .gifs for the first time. I was immediately intrigued. A few years later I ended up with a BFA in Computer Animation.
What are some bands/artists you listen to while you’re designing?
Wow, there are honestly too many favorites to name. A few are: The Black Keys, Muse, Maroon 5, and then I like older bands like Smashing Pumpkins, Tool, No Doubt, Stone Temple Pilots, etc.
What’s the best part of your day as a designer?
The best part of my day as a designer is receiving positive feedback from clients and customers on custom designs or premade themes. Grabbing an iced coffee from Starbucks is always good too!
What’s the hardest part about being a designer?
I think the hardest part about being a designer is getting attached to a design only to find out that it does not fit the client. Luckily, this has only happened a couple of times (knock on wood).
If you couldn’t design, what would you do?
If I couldn’t design for the web, I would probably be an architect or interior designer. I enjoyed taking those classes in college, and I actually wanted to be an architect until I discovered the computer. If I couldn’t work in the design field at all, I’m not sure what I would do with myself!
What’s your workspace like?
Very cozy! I’ve got all of my favorite things in this little studio, and I try to surround myself with things that inspire me. So obviously, lots of purple 🙂
What are three things you to do get the creative juices flowing when you’ve hit a roadblock?
When I’ve hit a roadblock it’s usually because I’ve been staring at a screen for too long. The first thing I usually do is step away from the computer and focus on something else for a bit. If that doesn’t work I choose some of my design books to thumb through to hopefully spark some ideas. Another thing that seems to work is exercise. A workout or quick swim in the pool usually makes my mind ‘reset’.
Have a favorite design-related website?
I know some designers are over it, but I really do love Dribbble. It’s Pinterest for Designers in my opinion 🙂
Any up-and-coming designers who you think are awesome?
Not sure what classifies them as up-and-coming, but I do have a list of favorites! At the top would be my Genesis friends Lindsey Riel & Megan Gray. I’m also a fan of Jo Klima’s work. Yep, all ladies!
Where do you find inspiration when you design?
It’s everywhere! I know that sounds lame, but it’s true. While most of my inspiration comes from my client’s vision (and sometimes Pinterest board), I also gather inspiration from browsing color palettes, fonts, and designs on the web. Taking a walk through a park or outside shopping center on a nice day is also a great way to find new inspiration.