Interview with Naomi Fujimoto for Links
Jewelry designer and author, Naomi Fujimoto
Naomi in a TV appearance demonstrating for her book, Cool Jewels, on the program "Living the Life" with Louise and Carolyn, two of the hosts!
all images copyright Naomi Fujimoto or Kalmbach Publishing Company
Naomi Fujimoto is a senior editor at BeadStyle magazine. Her first book, Cool Jewels, was published by Kalmbach Publishing Co. in 2007. She has lived in San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and currently lives in Milwaukee.
I grew up making crafts in my friends’ basements. My parents still have some of my framed artwork up on the walls of their house! Also, they’ve taught me that hard work and integrity are everything, so I tend to think a lot about whether something feels right. They’ve encouraged me in my professional pursuits, regardless of how many times I’ve changed my mind. I tend to embrace things 100 percent. Even though I might spend a lot of time deciding whether to do something, I get pretty committed, fast. It can be a double-edged sword. A couple of years ago, I took a glass ornament class with Doug Remschneider. He’s a great teacher, but I am not such a skilled glass blower. My icicles looked like swirls of soft-serve and my onion-shaped ornament turned out like a digestive tract. We laughed about it but I hated not being good at it! see Doug Remschneider's link here: I’m not sure that there was a “never turn back” moment for me. As much as I love designing jewelry, I feel open to whatever professional possibilities are out there for me. And, my jewelry career has had many different aspects to it: selling jewelry, designing and writing for the magazine, teaching and doing community work, writing and promoting my book. See Naomi's terrific book, Cool Jewels, here on Amazon.com (as well as other bookstores)!
My ability to connect with people. That I have friends from childhood, college, grad school, work, tennis — from pretty much every aspect of my life. I feel like I’ve been able to attract really good people, professionally and personally. And my family definitely keeps me in line — particularly my sister, who tends to be pragmatic in her approach to life.
I’d like to develop my first-person writing. I enjoy making jewelry and sharing that with people, but I also enjoy the solitary process of writing. It’s satisfying because it’s such a challenge. Someone once asked me what my ten-year plan was and I couldn’t answer. Maybe because I seem to have lots of one- and two-year plans.
Being at a job I like. We have a solid group of people here, and everyone brings a different style and perspective. Also, I feel gratitude that my family and friends (and dog!) are happy and healthy. That I have the energy to learn new things. Last year I sprained my knee and couldn’t play tennis for four months. It was a depressing time. But it affected my attitude for the better: now, if I’m not playing well, I try to remind myself that a year ago I could barely play. That really puts things in perspective. I think gratitude is a conscious practice. Not every day is a good one, but I try to always find something.
6) Do you think you see the world differently than other people? If so, is that a positive or a negative force in your work?
I do see the world differently. I’m an overanalyzer, which can be an obstacle in doing creative work. It’s hard to say, “It is what it is.” What you think becomes reality, but there’s definitely a point where you can undermine your confidence by overthinking things. That said, being deliberate in my thinking helps me do good work: details matter.
on her blog, Cool Jewels Naomi Blogspot
This interview, as well as the copyrighted images provided by Naomi, can also be found on my Amazon blog: http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A2K4HN6EECBNR3/ref=cm_pdp_profile_changeview?viewAs=Public&Go.x=9&Go.y=3/
Thank you so much, Naomi, for this honest and great insight into what drives your inspiration and your creative energy. Additionally thanks for these observations on what instills in you your marvelous sense of beauty !