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Adam J. Kurtz

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Adam J. Kurtz
Born(1988-10-19)October 19, 1988
ResidenceBrooklyn, NY

Adam J. Kurtz is an artist and author of several books including Things Are What You Make of Them.[2][3] Kurtz uses his distinct voice and sizable internet following[4] to inspire aspiring creatives[5], advocate for mental health awareness[6], lend support to LGBTQ causes[7], and fight for artists' rights[8].

Early Life & Education[edit | edit source]

Kurtz was born and raised in Toronto and later moved to Baltimore where he studied visual arts at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County[9]. At age 22, he moved to New York City[10]

Career[edit | edit source]

Adam J. Kurtz's illustrative work is rooted in "honesty, humor, and a little darkness."[11] Though his career is primarily focused on self-directed projects[4], Kurtz has created art for The New Yorker and the New York Times, and worked on projects for brands like Instagram[12], Urban Outfitters[13], and Adobe.[14] Before focusing on his studio full time in 2015, he held numerous positions in the creative world, including roles at advertising agency Barton F. Graf and BuzzFeed.[15]

Kurtz is the author of several books on creativity, personal growth and mental health[16] including international bestselling 1 Page at a Time journal, which has been translated into over a dozen languages[17]. A collection of essays on creative entrepreneurship, Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives has been warmly received by the creative community at large, receiving praise from industry publications like Adweek[2] and Forbes[3], art world publication Artsy[18], and lifestyle outlets including BuzzFeed[19] and Refinery29.[20]

The positive response has led to public speaking, including keynote lectures at Adobe 99U Conference[21], HOW Design Live[22], OFFF[23], and Design Fabric Festival.[24]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Year Title Publisher ISBN
2011 Unsolicited Advice Annual Weekly Planner ADAMJK Press ISBN 0996907211
2014 1 Page at a Time: A Daily Creative Companion Penguin Random House ISBN 0399167358
2016 Pick Me Up: A Pep Talk for Now & Later Penguin Random House ISBN 0143109081
2017 What I Am Trying To Say To You ABRAMS ISBN 1419724304
2017 Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives Penguin Random House ISBN 0143131516

Products[edit | edit source]

Under his eponymous ADAMJK brand, Kurtz produces an award-winning range of gift items including pins, stationery, and other accessories.[25][26] He's also worked with a variety of brands and institutions to create limited products, including collections with Urban Outfitters[27] and Fishs Eddy.[28]

Controversy[edit | edit source]

In 2016, Kurtz worked with illustrator Tuesday Bassen to accuse fashion retailer Zara of unauthorized reproduction and copyright infringement. Their campaign received worldwide press and Zara was forced to remove the offending products and respond publicly.[29]

Awards & Honors[edit | edit source]

Personal Life[edit | edit source]

Kurtz lives in Brooklyn, NY with his husband, journalist Mitchell Kuga[34]. Their untraditional wedding at the Strand Bookstore, appeared in the New York Times.[9]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Kurtz, Adam J. "About Me". Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Nudd, Tim. "Can This One Short Book About Creativity Help You Be Happier at Work, and in Life?". Adweek. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bridges, Frances. "8 Ways To Be Happier, From 'Things Are What You Make Of Them' Author Adam J. Kurtz". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Dachille, Arielle. "Adam J. Kurtz Has Built His Internet Brand With Positivity". Bustle. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  5. Hartz, Marlena. "4 Liberating Tips For Creative People From Best-Selling Author Adam J. Kurtz". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  6. Griffiths, Madison (24 October 2016). "This Self Help Journal Lets You Draw Your Own Pep Talk". VICE.
  7. Manders, Hayden (2017-09-27). "Here's Some Essential Life Advice For The Queer Creative". NYLON. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  8. Wallwork, Ellen (2016-07-26). "Shoppers Threaten To Boycott Zara Following Accusations From Independent Designers". HuffPost UK. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Rosman, Katherine. "Of All the Blogs in the World, He Walks Into Mine". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  10. "Adam J. Kurtz on The Great Discontent (TGD)". The Great Discontent. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  11. Benun, Ilise (2018-04-20). "Adam J. Kurtz on Monetizing His Personal Work - HOW Design". HOW Design. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  12. "Meet the Artists Behind the Kindness Stickers in Instagram Stories". Instagram. 2017-09-26. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  13. "UO Studio Visits: Adam J. Kurtz - Urban Outfitters - Blog". blog.urbanoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  14. Stone, Terri. "ADAMJK Says It's Going To Be OK | Create". Adobe Create. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  15. "Adam J. Kurtz on Finding His Own Creative Career Path - Creative Resources". Creative Resources. 2018-01-25. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  16. "Adam J. Kurtz | Penguin Random House". www.penguinrandomhouse.com. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  17. "1 Page at a Time: A Daily Creative Companion". Adam J. Kurtz. 2014-08-22. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  18. Kurtz, Adam J. (2017-10-02). "8 Things Every Creative Should Know". Artsy. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  19. Rebolini, Arianna. "9 Pieces Of Advice That Will Get You Past A Creative Slump". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  20. OHIKUARE, JUDITH. "How To Stop Worrying And Slay Your Workdays". Refinery29. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  21. Inc., Behance, (2018-01-23). "Speakers Announced for the 10th Annual Adobe 99U Conference". 99U by Behance. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  22. "Adam J. Kurtz | HOW Design Live 2018". howdesignlive.com. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  23. "Five Things We Learned At OFFF Barcelona 2017 | Creative blog by Adobe". Creative Connection. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  24. "Mumbai Gets Its Own Design Festival - SURFACE". SURFACE. 2018-05-01. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  25. Ludolph, Emily (2018-02-01). "From Copy Center Clerk to Bankrolled Artist, How Adam J. Kurtz Overcame His First Big Creative Hurdle". 99U by Behance. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  26. "How Pin Culture Is Supporting The Indie Art Industry (& Finding A Home On Instagram)". Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  27. "Dreamers + Doers: ADAMJK - Urban Outfitters - Blog". blog.urbanoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  28. "How to Create Products That Win Over Hearts and Minds". Inc.com. 2016-06-10. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  29. Cormack, Lucy (2016-07-27). "Zara and Bershka accused of copying designs by independent artists". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  30. "Announcing the 2016 NVAs: 15 Artists Under 30 - Print Magazine". Print Magazine. 2016-06-29. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  31. "2016 International Design Awards Winners - Page 2 of 8 - HOW Design". HOW Design. 2016-04-25. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  32. "Adam J. Kurtz, human idiot trying to figure it all out | The Webby Awards". Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  33. "30 Under 30, Class of '18: Adam J. Kurtz, Artist and Writer". Brooklyn Magazine. 2018-01-16. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  34. "Tour an Artist & Author's Honest, Humorous Brooklyn Home". Apartment Therapy. Retrieved 2018-06-15.

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