From palms to proteas — and bougainvillea to beetles — photographer Clinton Friedman captures the graphic beauty of flora and fauna of his native South Africa. No stranger to the world of household accents and accessories, Friedman worked with west elm to build a collection of plant and flower printed silk pillows, melamine plates and framed art prints for our Summer collection. We asked Friedman for some insight into his work…

What inspires you?

Looking out the window and seeing something new every day.

How would you describe your work?

Authentic, bold, considered, attention to detail and good old fashioned standards.


Tell us about your garden. What types of plants do you grow? What are some of your favorites?

The mother of all gardens, over 250 trees, over 100 succulent species and countless species of birds and insects. I don’t have particular favorites — I love them all together.

Who are your favorite artists?

Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollok, because of their spontaneous, automatic or subconscious creations, and there timeless quality.

What’s your approach to decorating?

I try not to fall into any framed approach but rather just go with my gut at that particular time, keeping it real and simple.

Tell us about your collection for west elm. How did it come together?

The specimens photographed were collected from various corners of Southern Africa — all inspired by an electric colour style.


Other than west elm, where can we find your work?

Inspired by Clinton Friedman: Parasol Window Displays
Clinton Friedman at


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