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Q&A: Heather Ross

Our Q&A series continues with West Coast artist, photographer and stylist Heather Ross. Her new book The Natural Eclectic: A Design Aesthetic Inspired by Nature, a lusciously illustrated guide for nature-lovers, designers, and flea-market foragers is available in bookstores now.

What adjective best describes you?


How do you normally start your day?

I rise slowly, make tea, before racing off to my boutique on shop days.
Days off I rise late, make tea, and enjoy it in my garden (weather permitting).

Do you like to travel? If so, what is your favourite place you’ve visited and why?

I love to travel though I don’t love the ‘getting there’ part! The charming villages found in the South of France speak to me, for their warmth, colors, textures, and their proximity to both the sea and the countryside. The antique markets are a big allure too!

Books and authors I love include –

I adored ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog‘ by Muriel Barbery. While it is not a visual book, it so delightfully explores themes on beauty, art, culture, aesthetics, and yes, elegance.
Also, I think my highly acclaimed old school mate Timothy Taylor is a brilliant author.
I loved his locally set, visceral storytelling in Stanley Park.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I have a sweet tooth. The dessert menu is always most interesting to me.

In two sentences or less, can you tell readers something unique about your line of work?

I would say what is unique about the way I work, is that I have my hand in so many aspects of the creative process. I don’t just document things as a photographer. I find, make, style, arrange, paint, curate, etc. etc. etc.

If I weren’t an artist / photographer and stylist I would be…

A marine biologist, a psychologist, or a botanist.

What does the title ‘The Natural Eclectic’ mean to you?

In the introduction to my book I explain I like the duality of the word natural. Obviously it refers to nature, which inspires everything I do, yet it also describes someone or something that unfolds with ease and authenticity. I use the term eclectic to describe seeking out and bringing together the best from a myriad of sources or ideas. Combined, the two words perfectly convey not only my sense of aesthetics but also a philosophy and way of life.

March 8, 2016
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