Yumi Nagumo: Empowering Creativity – It’s never too late to start!

Yumi Nagumo: Empowering Creativity – It’s never too late to start!

Yumi is an emerging artist, still relatively new at her craft. She has a music education background, with a lifelong joy of creating “something out of nothing”. When she isn’t teaching piano, you can find Yumi in her humble studio making jewelry with precious metals and natural stones.

Yumi Nagumo - tree

For this blog post, I thought I would share how I got started on my creative journey, in hopes of encouraging others thinking about getting started in their art/craft to take that step towards their creative journey too.

For as long as I can remember, whenever I felt a spark to try something new, I always had this gray cloud of “it’s too late to start” or “there’s not enough time, I’ll just wait until I’m retired” looming over what could have been a great journey. This only propelled the downward spiral thinking of ‘what could have been’ upon reflection years later. Tired of reflecting on paths untaken, I decided to break the negative thought cycle, and push myself out of that bubble.

How I started: Try It Out

My creative journey started by signing up for a Beginners Silversmithing course at Mountain Gems with Kelly Allanson in 2015. Truth be told, I dropped out after about 3 or 4 classes as I did not have access to equipment to practice, and felt a little overwhelmed. But after gathering some tools and practicing on my own, I felt ready and comfortable with the basics and went right back into it. Finding a good teacher, whose teaching style meshes well with you, is also important and I truly lucked out on my first go!

Continue to actively search for workshops to learn more – I found project-based workshops helpful, but this may not be the way for everyone (there are also wonderful courses at VCC), find what works for you and continue on that learning path.

Yumi Nagumo - saw pierced bear perspective

Be Active in Your Field & Challenge Yourself

  • When you feel comfortable with sharing your work, push yourself to ‘level up’ by signing up for local markets, and seek avenues to have your work juried for feedback. The Craft Council of BC offers a wonderful program for members: CCBC’s Standards of Quality takes place four times each year, with helpful feedback.
  • Give yourself a project to complete – is there a technique that you’ve had a challenge with? Create a project based on that technique to practice and overcome that challenge.
  • Join clubs to meet others with similar interests, to bounce ideas off one another, and to learn more. One of the best things I’ve done is join the Port Moody Rock & Gem Club, I’ve learned so much about different types of rocks and gems with my lapidary mentor, Geoff Cameron. Find a lapidary club near you through the BC Lapidary Society.

Balance Between Work +Art

Of course once you’ve found your passion, the thought of “I just want to do this full-time!” may cross your mind, but this does not (usually) happen right away. It takes time, perseverance, patience, and experience to refine and master technique and skill (I’m still learning!). Finding a balance of work + art, and carving out time in your day, or week to work on continuing projects might sometimes feel like a challenge. But, keeping yourself organized and reminding yourself of what is important will help you stay focused.

If there’s an inner spark to start your creative journey, fuel that passion because it’s never too late to start. Everyone’s journey is taken at a different pace, at different times in their lives. You never know unless you try! Most importantly, if at first you don’t succeed, don’t give up – keep at it, and you will get to where you want to be.