We caught up with David Yurman, the legendary CEO of one of the world’s most Iconic jewelry lines, who shared insights on how to grow as a creative artist. Our dynamic Digital Director El Morrison shares his inspirational advice.
Photography by Chris Cantoya
I had the opportunity to sit down with David Yurman recently at Neiman Marcus in San Antonio. Yes…the. I have admired his work for over ten years, so it was special to meet him in person and had some one-on-one time to ask him a few questions about his life, his business partnership with his wife Sybil, and his advice to those who are just at the beginning of exploring creative careers.
Yurman is a sculptor by trade, and his wife Sybil is a painter. They co-founded their iconic, world-renowned jewelry line together, and they are both in the process of preparing to pass their empire down to their son Evan, who began as Design Director for the men’s collection and is currently Creative Director of the company.
We were at Neiman Marcus to celebrate the release of the Yurman’s first book,. I knew I would learn all about the book in the panel discussion led by Lance Avery Morgan, our Editor-in-chief, so I focused my questions in our interview on other topics. Prior to meeting Mr. Yurman, I scoured the internet to research his life.
What I found most intriguing was the recurring theme I kept reading over and over again: the Yurmans have intentionally curated their lives around art, art history, and their ability to create together. Here are five lessons David Yurman taught me about how to grow as an artist, whatever your craft:
1. Keep a notebook in your back pocket.
Find a way to notate the creative inspiration you discover in everyday life. Yurman keeps a small sketchbook in his back pocket, and he pulls it out to draw notes whenever he sees something that sparks an idea or gives him inspiration.
2. Lower your expectations.
In fact, Yurman suggests discarding them altogether… “Expectations tend to get in your way,” he advises. “Try to be there with your work – talent is God given and you’re just there as the vehicle.”
3. There are only MIS-takes, not mistakes.
There is no onus on mess-ups when you’re learning your skill. Just do it again until it gets better.
4. Remove judgment.
Your place is not to judge your work. Leave the judgment to others.
5. Stop being concerned about what other people think.
What anyone else thinks about you is none of your business. Just focus on being authentic.