While I was in New York City last weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting Yumnah Qadar. My eye was caught by her incredible hand-painted earrings, which as it turns out she made herself. In fact, she has an entire line of accessories that she made herself, and she’s only seventeen! I really wanted to feature her on my blog because there is nothing I love more than accessories and independent designers! Not to mention, she is an extremely sweet person and was kind enough to answer a few questions for me! All the photos are by photographer Dave Austria.
1.What is your background in art and jewelry design?What made you realize you wanted to be a jewelry designer?
I’ve always loved the process of creating. But I got back into painting seriously last year when I was finishing up a few art pieces for my portfolio while I was applying for college…that’s when I really became reacquainted with my love for painting and art in general. The jewelry design aspect came later…It’s funny because I feel like I’ve been doing this for so long since I put so much time into it, but the jewelry side of my art is fairly new. I love accessories and was looking for bold, bright and unique accessories to wear. that’s when I decided to merge my love for art with my love for jewelry and create the vision of the accessories I wanted to be wearing.
2. If you could sum up your jewelry collections in a just few words what would they be?
Daring and bold. I feel like even more than just my jewelry the women who wear it play a key role in how the collection is viewed. They’re women who are content with who they are and they don’t mind being noticed in the YND’s pieces.
3. Can you describe the process that goes behind creating one of your jewelry sets? What inspires you? What techniques do you use?
When I’m coming up with new designs or creating new sets I usually just pull out the paint and go. Sometimes I’ll have color scheme in mind or a pattern or image that I’m pulling from, but other times I just start painting and see where my hands take me. With the new collection “The Great Migration” I was inspired by the work of painter, Jacob Lawrence and tried to recreate the vibe I get when looking at his work. It feels great when I paint something that I love and when it’s finished I feel like I’m looking at it for the first time..I love the spontaneity of the process.
4. Please describe a moment that as a designer you felt really proud of your work. What do you feel like is your greatest accomplishment so far?
Hmmm…I love seeing other women wearing my designs! Its such a beautiful feeling to see someone else wearing the pieces and wearing them in a way that’s so unique to them!! It’s great to see how everyone is able to make their own statement with their pieces and transform the pieces based on who they are and how they wear them.
I also love when people are surprised to hear that I’m 17 and compliment me on my work as a young artist…I think it shows that if you want to do something, you can create your own reality and path no matter how old –or young you are.
5. What type of work can we expect to see from you in the near future?
There’s so much to be expected! I’m adding new pieces to the collection and really realizing what my signature is for YND–but you’ll definitely be seeing a wider range of pieces like hand painted rings, more necklaces, etc. We have a shoot coming up soon so stay tuned through the website, facebook or twitter! Also, I’m very excited about working with boutiques and creating presence for my line in different stores. I’d love to see my designs featured in magazines or on the runways and I see myself moving towards that direction…right now I’m just enjoying and having fun pushing myself and my creativity. I’m so grateful for all the love and encouragement I’ve received for Yumnah NajahDesigns, I’m determined to make sure I don’t disappoint!