After years of being "a person who posts stuff online," I'm now a fulltime designer and author. My first book is a creative journal called 1 Page at a Time that's available in 17 languages. My newest, THINGS ARE WHAT YOU MAKE OF THEM, came out yesterday and is thirteen handwritten essays about the anxieties and challenges of being a creative – basically, anyone who "makes" anything.


Comments: 42 • Responses: 12  • Date: 

KeepEmCrossed14 karma

At what point did you decide to stop working for agencies and decide to only work for yourself/create your own products? And how has your income changed?

adamjkurtz6 karma

honestly i only started "being me" as a full time business two years ago. i didn't have time to do both. working harder has helped me with the money stuff. i mean i'm just doing more! but nothing is forever? i'm not convinced that this is actually a viable "career path" necessarily.

Archer24087 karma

Do you ever change up your handwriting style? How do you feel about calligraphy?

adamjkurtz3 karma

calligraphy seems so cool!!! & hard lol

almondparfitt5 karma

Whoa Alanis Morisette reviewed your book? Did you previously work on a project with her? Thanks!

adamjkurtz9 karma

alanis morissette is a personal hero of mine & it's been so cool being able to share some of what i do with her? it started in a tweet at her years ago & then later she followed me on instagram. she's helped me with her music & knowing she believes in me & this new book just means the world to me! lmao i'm such a fan boy but ok it's fine nbd.

matman884 karma

Is it in cursive? Please tell me it's not in cursive. Nobody can read that shit.

adamjkurtz14 karma

lmao yeah, fuck that

yottskry4 karma

Is it all genuinely hand written, or have you had a font made of your handwriting? I ask because I did the latter when I was off work for a month and very bored. I scanned in my handwriting, letter by letter, and turned it into a font.

adamjkurtz4 karma

i do have a really good font of my handwriting, with lots of alternates so it looks pretty real. but it feels like cheating so i only use it for the foreign translations of my books, where they'd either use my font or like, comic sans.

prncssbawkbgawk2 karma

Will you be answering all the questions here today with handwritten notes?

adamjkurtz6 karma

lmao honestly that's not a bad idea???? v "on brand" for me.

prncssbawkbgawk1 karma

That's the way to be!

Now for the real question: Did you make this book because you had your own anxieties and inner demons to face or was it because it seems to be a general issue amongst all creators?

adamjkurtz3 karma

most of my work stems from personal experience & then i find ways to sort of open it up. my books, products & projects often touch on all my shit – making it & seeing how others feel helped me finally realize we're really all in this together.

ae_rodi2 karma

Are you left handed? Your writing is slanted, do you ever use pencil guidelines when writing?

adamjkurtz2 karma

i'm right handed. the imperfections are the whole point! makes it feel real, which it is.

foundfrogs2 karma

what types of challenges did you face from publishers—if any—when you told them the book would be handwritten?

adamjkurtz2 karma

after a few years of working together i'm lucky that my editor totally "got it." but it is still very different from my first two books, which are both interactive journals. we're all a little like... "hmm hope people like this!"

abdullasyed1 karma

Adam, I am a big fan. Probably make you uncomfortable with how I like everything you post. I love the new book and read all of it yesterday as soon as I got my hands on it. Will probably keep on referring back to it over and over again, much like your other books.

My biggest struggle right now is my absolute inability to put myself in a box. I have a variety of interests and consider myself generally a creative. Etsy store, big cartel, tshirt brand etc. I self published a book in 2015. I have a food blog and a lettering instagram and a typewriter tumblr. I just... dabble into many different things all day every day.

Whats your advice on:

1) Being OK with a being a multipotentialite like that ted talk lady 2) Building a brand about "everything"- how do I find common elements in all areas of my work?? 3) Where to find the courage to quit my dayjob. I feel like I am too old to be slumming it. (27 yrs)


adamjkurtz5 karma

you are the glue! be your own best brand. & quitting is hard... i had day jobs while doing most of my thing. quit when you can afford to? idk

Chtorrr1 karma

What is the best dessert?

adamjkurtz5 karma

i mean honestly i just love desserts like... all of them

Chtorrr1 karma

What is your writing process like?

adamjkurtz3 karma