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5 Life Lessons David Yurman Taught Me

What the legendary CEO of one of the world’s most iconic jewelry lines shared with me about how to grow as a creative artist.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Mr. David Yurman this week at Neiman Marcus. Yep…the David Yurman. I have admired his work since high school, so it was very special to meet him in person and have 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.

Mr. 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 both are 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, DAVID YURMAN: CABLE. I knew I would learn all about the book in the panel discussion led by Lance Avery Morgan, our Editor In Chief of The Society Diaries, 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: David and Sybil Yurman have intentionally curated their lives around art, art history, and their ability to create together. Here are 5 lessons he 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. Mr. 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.
Mr. Yurman suggests to discard them altogether… “Expectations tend to get in your way. Try to be there with your work – talent is kind of God given and you’re just there as the vehicle.”

3. There are only MIS-takes, not mistakes.
“There is no owness on mess-ups when you’re learning your skill. Just do it again until it gets better.”

4. Remove judgement.
“Your place is not to judge your work. Leave the judgement to others.”

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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.

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