“I AM WIRED FOR DESIGN”: PART 2 WITH GERARD YOSCA
More with jewelry designer and part-time Ocean Grove resident Gerard Yosca. In Part 2 of the Coaster and TheBPlot interview (click here for Part 1), Yosca discusses design cycles, advice for aspiring designers and reveals what the design industry is like beyond the creativity.
Continue reading and you will have a whole new appreciation for the art of jewelry design and never look at jewelry the same way again…
TBP: I have walked through flea markets with you and it seems like a switch goes off in your head and you become uber-focused.
Yosca: When I come upon a good sale things literally call my name. I keep digging for stuff and I am so in there.
TBP: Talk about your design aesthetic for a moment.
Yosca: It’s very personal. My design comes from where I am moving. It’s not reactive to what others are doing but I find where I am moving other people are moving there also.
There are cycles in design. Certain movements – like organic art jewelry moving towards things that look more classic. Trends ebb and flow but they always come back a little differently. They come back relevant to the time we are in at that moment.
Our parents don’t understand when they see styles come back again and again. They say “why would I wear that again.”
The cool 18 year old girl however is looking at the style and wearing it in a different way that’s relevant to her and our parents can do the same – age is only a state of mind when it comes to fashion, most especially accessories.
TBP: How has design changed over the past few decades?
Yosca: Design changes every year or two. When I started, nobody wanted plastic in jewelry. Now people embrace plastic.
TBP: Technology has changed every industry over the past 10 years. Has technology influenced design positively?
Yosca: It is both good and bad. The whole world is at a designer’s fingertips today. You want to look at Moorish tile patterns… just a few clicks and it’s at your fingertips and that’s wonderful. Part of being a designer is looking at things and technology makes that infinitely easier.
Technology has diminished the skill level that a good designer requires. Every designer need to be able to draw with pencil and paper. Designers need to work with their hands.
A computer program will not help you figure out the intricacies of a good design.
A computer is a fabulous tool in the hands of someone who is already skilled. If you don’t have the manual skills to begin with technology is not going to help you make something better. If you don’t have the craft at your fingertips you won’t know what to look for on a computer.
Computer generated design flattens the pieces out which takes away the personality that the hand of a craftsman puts into every piece.
TBP: Trapped on a desert island, what is the one design reference every designer should have?
Yosca: An old-school hard-copy encyclopedia. New designers or aspiring designers should also buy art books and architecture books, books on gardening from the thrift store. You want to feed your imagination.
TBP: If you were not a designer what would you be?
Yosca: I wouldn’t be me. I would be dead. Design is everywhere in everyone’s life. Every day is filled with design decisions. Does the salad go next to the chicken on the plate? How many pillows go on that chair? I just am completely wired for design.
I always love when people who wear my jewelry tell me they get stopped on the street and complimented about the necklace or pin or earrings.
TBP: Beyond the fun and fabulousness, what is being a fancy pants jewelry designer really about?
Yosca: A large part about being a designer is recognizing the decisions that need to be made. What color? How bright? How dark? How big or how small?
The amount of decisions that go into designing an earring – nobody would ever believe it.
This is why designers get so annoyed when they are copied. All those decisions are taken by someone who didn’t work for it.
I inspire the kids at FIT to look inside themselves to design, not to others.
Kids think they have to look at another piece of jewelry to design a piece of jewelry. They need to look at doorknobs, pottery, table lamps. They have to look at shapes, proportions.
One of the questions an aspiring designer needs to ask themselves is “Who is this for?” As a designer you need to find the balance of the need to satisfy your creative needs and the needs of your customer.
TBP: So what do you say to your students that say “I just need to create.” They don’t want to think about the customer.
Yosca: You better have a second job. Part of the design job is having limitations. A good designer can design around the customer and still feel creative.
Accessories is such a serious business. And at the end of the day a necklace is just supposed to make a woman happy, feel more like herself, put a little more pep in her step. Accessories are something magical.
Yosca.com has more.
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