Meet The Modern Sculptural Artist Inspired By Life’s Different Colors


Large sculptural artwork of colorful layered hand-painted and hand-sculpted flowers

Stef Ross stands over large artwork of white layered hand-painted and hand-sculpted flowers

Women’s strapless swimsuit made of thousands of rhinestones, crystals and pearls by Stef Ross

Sneaker made of thousands of rhinestones, crystals and pearls with a Nike swoop by Stef Ross

Stef Ross has always been a creative person, but she never made it her vocation until a friend needed help designing her new house. Over the six-month project, the Lincoln Park resident rediscovered her creative groove as she transformed rooms with wallpaper and furniture. She created more than 50 pieces of art for the home, and it wasn’t long until friends started asking to purchase pieces. A chance conversation with a gallery owner then led to a solo show in 2021, which launched Ross’ artistic career. In April, she will debut a collection at the Park Hyatt Chicago in connection with Art Expo. Luxe recently sat down with the artist to learn about her creative process.

How do you start a series? I begin with my inspiration files—mostly fashion trends—taking themes from those photos, maybe it’s a color or pattern, and then I combine them in my own way.

What inspires the color in your art? I come from a big family that gathers for every occasion. My art is filled with that same joy. For me, color creates an atmosphere that’s all about enjoying life, coming together and celebrating.

What about materials? Almost anything can inspire me. I was in Palm Beach, and a friend and I went to the same bakery every day. The treats came in these bags that were so beautiful, we couldn’t throw them away. So instead, I added beading and made an art piece out of them. It was personal, and I loved the result.