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TALKING ABOUT FEELINGS

Lesson 1 of 1

TALKING ABOUT FEELINGS

 

TALKING ABOUT FEELINGS

Lesson 1 of 1

TALKING ABOUT FEELINGS

 

Lesson Info

TALKING ABOUT FEELINGS

Hello and welcome to this special event with Adam J. Kurtz. If you don't know Adam. He is a New York City based artist and author of One Page at a Time and his latest book, Pick Me Up. His design and illustration is rooted in Honesty, Huer and a Little Darkness, and I'm really excited. One of my favorite things about working and creativelive is inviting people to come that I want to potentially be friends with Sell officially. But I When I saw his book and I read it, I wrote this line about it that I have to read out loud cause I really enjoy it. It's like someone had put into the pages of this book the same crazy monologue that goes on inside my head. This book is smart, self aware and relatable, which is totally what Adam is. So let's welcome Adam Day Kurds. Thank you for saying all those nice things about me. I know that it's your job to do that, but I still appreciate it. Thanks everyone who's here and thanks to you guys who are tuning in online right now or in the future. Creative...

live is such a cool space to learn from and need all these great creatives. And so it is not too late to hit the back button on your browser and check out a class from one of that. But if you're gonna be here with me, this is your choice, and we'll do it. That's fine. You you have now made your choice. It is too late for you to get out of this. Um, this studio audiences, like squirming in their seats. So talking about feelings is is me talking about feelings. And if you're a fan of my work already, you know that my work is also just talking about feelings. And so I am going Teoh walking through just a few of the things that I've done on my own. Um, and the entire point of this talk is basically if I can do the shit, you can do it. There is not a secret to this, So I have a clicker. I'm gonna try it out. All right, So this is me. I'm a coffee drinker. Just kidding. Coffee drinker is not an identity. And I like to start out with this because, you know, we're graphic designers here or whatever we do and our Twitter bio right now. Probably says coffee drinker Lederer. Love whiskey and late nights. Guys, that's not an identity being a coffee drinker. You don't get on award for that. We all do. That coffee is actually an Indo. You might not know this coffee is an industry where many places brew and sell coffee. So you're not special, be human above all else. I think that is kind of I forgot that I could move. Being human is literally the most important thing because it is what separates you from everyone else. We all like coffee, but what do you like? What do you do? What is your work saying That separates you from everyone else, particularly in graphic design, particularly illustration, and these sort of career paths that many of us in this room and online do or are in. There's just a lot of us, like there's just a lot of people in the world, so be yourself. That's me as a kid. Um, I don't know what that key chain is, so it's like a green tiger. Maybe, um, and I put this slide in every talk that I do because I'm trying to crowd source an answer. So if you know what that key chain is pleased to eat me at Adam J. K. I think it is a gas station mascot from from Toronto when I was a kid. I think it's a Canadian gas station mascot, but I'm not sure. So here's me, Adam. Jake hurts. I'm a designer, artist, author, Canadian and annoying. And just by being myself, you already knew all of that. So before you get to this slide before you get to my Twitter bio, you're like, Oh, yeah, that do this Canadian And he also sucks. That's me. If you don't know me, I'm going to read you what someone else wrote. Graphic designer Adam J. Kurtz has built his portfolio on uplifting but slightly cheeky missives printed on brightly colored objects ranging from balloons to books. And that is a nice thing that cool hunting said about me. That's the website. They're very cool on hunting. Bring a trash bag of Zoloft. That is what fast company said about me, Not just about me, but about my Twitter account, and I have to ask you fast company. I'm sure you're tuning in fast company. If you think that I need Zoloft, why would you kick me while I'm down? Guys, that's fine. So this is us. This is everyone who is watching this right now. We are designers are directors, copywriters, illustrators, authors, bloggers, social media, something that suggested that's a constantly changing job. But whatever, whatever we all are, anything on this list or anything? Not What does this all boil down to? What unites us other than terror? It's communication, right? All of those things. Being arrested, designer and illustrator, blogger All of that boils antic communication. That's really like the name of the game. I don't know. I did that. I'm so sorry. Figure out what you're saying and then fucking say it. Guys, that's the secret. We did it. Congrats. Thanks. Great talk. Just figure out what you're saying and then say that thing out of your words. Out of your mouth on print, online. Just just say it. Just figure it out and say, That's it. Great. Feel something and then create work that will evoke that emotion in others. I mean, listen, I went to school once and I was very afraid of the word are and It took me a long time to understand what I think art is. And I think it is this it's you feel something and then you make something that evokes that in others. Ah, and yes, by this definition, on instagram of a sunset is art. So if you saw a beautiful sunset and you thought this is so beautiful that I'm gonna take a photo and share with the people that I like, I think that's art. Uh, you know, a poem is our Anytime you capture something and you want to save it forever, that's part. So congrats to your mom. She is an artist. Pictures of dogs, pictures of pie, you know, just like a Martha Stewart style Twitter food shot. Even that is art. Personal work is personal. Personal work. It's like a weird misnomer that I think we all sort of get there. So many creative people who are like this is just a personal project. And I'm like, Bitch, that's a website without, like, a book deal, maybe personal work. You got optioned for a movie. To me, personal work is truly personal work, and everything I'm going to show you is that and the fact that now I am standing on this side of, you know, the fact that I'm talking about anything is mind blowing to me and people people in this audience have known me for a long time are just like, How did this happen? Because this was never the intention. There's a few people in this room who have been with me for a long time, and only and like and you'll see these projects like this should not have happened. But I did. And so it can for you to personal work is personal. That's what I believe. So here, coming back to what I said art was, Here's some shit that I said and how I felt at the time. These are feelings that I had that I then transmuted into objects or art or projects. Uh, and that's it. It's all like, super fucking literal guys. Feeling sorry. I went from great to sorry. Really fast. I am also Jewish, so that's normal for me. Um, feeling sorry. You know, I feel that a lot. Sorry, I'm such an asshole. That is a balloon. And it says Sorry, I'm such an asshole. That's it is extremely literal on. Of course, there's a story. You guys can see me, right? You can see maybe from my feet to my head. I'm not the kind of person that dump someone else. I get dumped. This is the kind of person that you break up with. But I had to break up with someone and completely warranted. We don't talk about him, but I felt really bad for a long time because it's just like a weird thing to do. It sucks. And so I had these alphabet stickers and I put them on a balloon. And I photographed it for my first ever scene, which was also called Talking About Feelings. So, you know, still doing the same shit. Uh, and then I made these balloons, and the minimum order was 500 balloons. So I was like, Cool. What do I do with 499 leftover balloons? Uh, and I posted them on Tumbler. That's I just post them on Tumblr. And they blew up and they spread everywhere, and they ended up on blog's and culture websites. And six years later, people still buy these all the time. Uh, I took this screenshot out of this presentation because it is offensive. But every year, unlike the day before Valentine's Day, I get an email from some dude who was like, emergency. Urgent request, please. Overnight these balloons to me, I'm just like, Listen, guys, I don't know what you did, but balloons are not gonna be enough, But it does happen every year, and I have had people come to my apartment to special pick them up. Um, and it happened again this year. Please. Overnight. This I'm so sorry. Need these now feeling aimless. I think we can all relate to this, Um, particularly if you come through college and you're in this sort of early twenties, late twenties, early thirties, late thirties, early for pretty. If you are outside of school and now in terrifying control of your own life, you might feel aimless. This is my favorite moment from the movie bridesmaids when Rebel Wilson is holding Kristine Wig's diary and she's like, I didn't know it was your diary. I thought it was a very sad hand written book. One page of the time, My very sad handwritten book. You don't have to read that. I put on some like nice blurbs. Just so you know, it's like a legitimate book, but it is 365 pages of daily prompts, and so some of them are silly in similar goofy And basically I was feeling lost and scared, and I was like, New to you, New York, and you know, life is is scary and nonlinear. That's the hardest thing, right? When you're in the real world, you don't have those like short tasks and goals anymore. So if you gone through, you know, however many years of school, you're used to this like I accomplished something I'm gonna feel good on to the next challenge. You enter real life and you're just like, Oh, all I have to do is like May Grant And then, which is hard enough. But you know, you you don't get those short term goals anymore. And so I made this book that just has, like, something you got to do every day. And there's some metaphors. And there there's some life advice you could you could describe it as art therapy. I mean, who's called one page at a time, so it's not even subtle, but so I made this book um And then it got translated into 15 languages, and I was like, Okay, one accidentally stumbled into something that I would later learn is called hashtag relatable. You know, relatable content wasn't on my radar yet, but accidentally stumbled into this, like, very human thing, like, Oh, yeah, everyone's terrifying. And in that way, the book sort of like, saved me. And it made me realize that Oh, actually, I'm not alone. I am, like, one with the entire world I, like, arrived at the right conclusion the wrong way. Um, so I did this and all these people translated the book and it sold well on paying one was like, You like that? Drop that penguin Drop penguin Random House drop. They were like, cool, make another book. And I was like, What? No, it was our enough making the 1st 1 And also what would I do? But I did it on. It's called Pick me up and this is the first slide is I don't always know where I'm going, But that's really never stopped me before. And that has sort of become my forever mantra is like, Yeah, I don't know. So here's picked me up. It's a book. It's nice, is also a journal, and it also has these interactive creative prompts that get a little more riel. So disguise your terror by wrapping it in other emotions. You see me making a joke because I'm freaking the fuck out inside. But on the outside, I'm like better food. Feeling annoyed. I feel this a lot as well. So we're going to run through a couple of emotions and I'll show you things that were born from that feeling. Annoyed. What is this season on? Tumblr. What is that thing? That unattributed art that I do not understand, but cool people seem to be wearing it. What is that? I I made a parody shirt, but I didn't actually make a shirt. I just, like, made a photo shop Mim essentially, and put it on Tumbler with a link now accepting preorders. And the link was it was a hyperlink. Write the joke has toe have a link, but when you click on it, it went to the Google searchers out for the word No, and I woke up the next morning. He had, like Reeboks, and I had literally, like, fucking 20 emails that were like, Hey, man, you're links Broken Like what? Like it broke to the word No, but I ended up printing them. I made, like 350 in the first batch. They paid my rent that we're going back to rent again, pay my rent for a little bit. And then the creator of that Joy Division album, art name, drops it in the Guardian newspaper. And then he bought, like, 21st archives. And I was like, Huh? Oh, my God. And then a blogger, you know how Blog's take, like one sentence and they flip it into an entire article. Somehow, that's like how the Internet works. This website animal New York, did that out of that one quote, and I still get orders like coming in through this website. So this dumb joke this, like immediate, like, has somehow continue toe like live it showed it. It's really that sure is very popular in Germany. I sell a lot to German people feeling anxious. I see people in the room or feeling this right now. That's okay. We all we all have drinks, so they're gonna be okay. Don't worry. If you're at home, Got a drink, You can come back. You won't miss anything good. This is bottled up feelings. This was like a two second Google that I just made for myself, and people really liked it. And now it's stickers on a patch and a physical jar that you can actually buy. This is an example of, like a two second like personal therapeutic joke, just like taking on its own life on it so popular that it appears to have allegedly been heavily inspiring to major retail brands that could potentially be Zara and Forever possibly perchance, Can we put, like on the screen like this? You know, do not take anything, he says. Seriously, Creative life is not responsible for any of the aforementioned comments. Yes, it was a job. That's the assistant way to say that. Just kidding. It's I am a tool or a weapon and completely free, which is literally terrifying. Guys, Have you ever thought about the fact that you could literally do anything good or bad? That is very scary. We as creative people have the tools to make amazing things, and we, as people with Twitter, can literally destroy your career in one tweet or become president. But, uh, I had a huge freak out moment, and instead of tweeting this sentiment, I typed it into a website for custom pencils. And a month later, ah, 1000 of these pencil have showed up. And the nice thing about pencil is the thing I love about pencils. Is it that they hold pencils, hold so many metaphors. But you can, you know, write the next great novel with a pencil or you can kill someone. If you puncture through the back of the lungs, they can die. So is a literally a tool or a weapon and completely free. And that is literally terrifying. I wish you would catch fire so I could put you out. Do you know that thing of when you're in a relationship that is not healthy? But you are just, like, not able to get out of it yet. And you're like, all right, three strikes, you're out. And then you're the move. Five strikes on, then 20 strikes a 20 strike matchbook, and then you're just like God damn it, I wish that things would just implode. I wish that this would catch fire so I literally had to, like, stomp it out like I need an exit from this. That is a very hard and scary thing that Israel for people. So I made a matchbook in an ashtray because that's how I process my feelings. Um, the fact that Urban Outfitters sold this ashtray across North America is very bizarre to me. Also, I no longer do that person so cool. I'm like the Taylor Swift of, like, novelty products. Can you imagine the ashtray? I would make my data. Jake Gyllenhaal, as a joke. I would never have Teoh because he's perfect. Feeling sad now that we're all coming down from that amazing joke. Hi, Jake. Um, just do not just don't How about No, I got to work early. I was not in a great mood. I made this in 20 seconds. It went viral on the internet and fast company wrote about me, which is why they said, bring a trash bag of Zoloft. Hashtag sad ver ties Inc. I put a hashtag on it, so I did sort of like encourage the spread of this joke. All I want right now is a doughnut Ambien, cigarette cheeseburger, soft serve banana pancake, gummy bear, dark chocolate, tangible skills hash brown. I tweeted that at, like, two AM once. And then I was like, Ooh, this is good. I hand wrote it and I instagrammed it. And I was like, Yes, and then two years later, an editor at Abrams who have recently published a bunch of paper goods What she was like That's got to be in your postcard book. And I was like what she was like. So people can send that to their friends, And I'm like, Okay, so available now in stores everywhere, uh, deepest insecurities. It's not all fun and games here Feeling love. Uh, I do feel this obviously is not the first feeling in the talk, but it's their feeling. Love, I love you like I love my coffee first in the morning or last at night Dark are sweet or both right now and later and always and constantly also started as a tweet. Um, I met someone. I met someone, you guys, and it was great. And right away I was like, Oh, my God. I understand what every fucking song is about. Every song ever I get it now I just felt this rush of love. And so I tweeted this and I wrote this. I made these mugs and they've been issued in a couple of colors. And this is a version that Urban Outfitters put out. And so people all over the country have this month. Here's the thing, though. Should put my clicker down. Here's the thing. You meet someone, they seem really great and cool Conversations. Air going well, good kisser. Beautiful eyes. Two months into the relationship, they make this mug that is a red flag if you date someone and after two months, they make this mug get out of the relationship. But he did not. And we're getting married soon. So everyone thank you. I mention this because it is a nice way to end that joke. But also I want you to know that I am capable of being loved by another person. Just that you should know. Feeling hopeful. I feel this too. I feel this right now because I hope you know, I feel hopeful that we will get out of this talk it. It will end. Home is not a place, but you are. Home is a key chain that I made that encapsulate all those feelings when you're homesick for somewhere you've never been different, Homesick for like I want to run away for it all. It's like, but it feels like home sickness or you get homesick for like how you think you were when you were 21. It's like when you were 21. You are a mess. But now that you're 28 this is obviously the true story. Well, you're 28 or like up on my bone structure. You can't go back and you don't want to. But this is a key chain for that. Everything will be so good so soon. Just hang in there and don't worry about it too much. This is a post it note that I wrote that has spread all over the Internet and is often remixed and unattributed and chopped up and printed on T shirts illegally. Like this shit is everywhere and people see this and they're like Adam J. K. Seems like a really cute dude. What a cute idea. And then they see the rest of network in there like but my dear friend was hit by a motorcycle and I made her a post, and obviously this was more of a therapeutic exercise for me. But it did cheer her up. She's totally fine. Should have said that first, she is totally fine, full recovery. She's doing great. Um, but I made this post it note. And one cool thing. One thing that I like about my work is that it is really simple, and it is really ubiquitous. I mean, you do not need technical skills to write words on a post it note. I would argue that the more skills you have, the harder it is to do because you're like that's That's not perfect. That's wrong. Look at the turning on that ship. That's not good, because it looks like anyone could have made it is why it it travels the Internet, and I think why it has the ability to genuinely uplift people cause it's in perfect and anyone could put themselves in that. And seeing that happen to this post it note image sort of encouraged me to keep thinking about ways that you can make things brought enough for people to put themselves in. And that's kind of what pop music is to write you people write songs that anyone can put themselves into, which is why every pop songs just Like Baby Hold On then and Now is actually started as a tattoo. That I have is sort of a rainbow shape that says then and now. And it's the idea that things are not great now. I don't know what you have going in your life, but I'm sure it's not perfect because perfect doesn't exist. But no matter where you are now, no matter how things are, no matter where we are historically in this moment in time, in this moment as Americans but also globally, things are not perfect, but they're better than they were 100 years ago. They're better than they were 1000 years ago. I am glad that dinosaurs are dead. Quote me on that. I feel more safe without dinosaurs, And so when you think about the arc of time, it creates a beautiful rainbow. Uh, and it became the cover of this project that I did with a publisher, and it's also a pin, but another example of a small little drawing that I made for me just to like, feel more okay in this stupid world was ableto like sort of do other stuff for other people. Also, I have to like this art because it's on me forever, like there's no going back. My mom is always like, you know, technology for removing tattoos has gotten really good. I'm like, Thank you, Mom. Never call this number again. Uh, feeling Internet feelings. Obviously, a lot of us live online all the time. Some of you are online right now. Uh, I have a lot of thoughts about the Internet because I've never had a lot of friends and I spent a lot of time online where I have friends retweet free US fame for No. These are sweethearts I made for Valentine's Day. Re blogged me Truly. The ultimate sign of love and affection re blogged me. This is kind of hard to see. It's an Internet addiction token modeled after on Alcoholics Anonymous token. I myself I'm sober, but also a lot of us can relate to feeling Internet addiction. It is a rial disease, and the fact that I wrote to the unknown selfie be true is just like a little You gotta like you end it with a joke, right? It's like everything is scary. Embrace your truth. Cool. See you next time. At least her cool. Only Internet. Someone's wearing that patch right now. Thank you. Um, I think about this all the time because on the Internet, there are some people who are just like so cool, like a 1,000,000 Instagram followers. And they're always, like doing the hands thing while holding a surfboard. You know, they always have, like, the kind of extensions that don't look like extensions. But you know that they are, um, but what do they have in real life? Guys think about that. What's the disconnect between the Internet reality in here? That's another talk tune in. Next time, here's some more feelings. These air sort of like gonna go really quick. Some take away moments for you, do yourself and see how it goes. Guys, just do it yourself. Their traditional gatekeepers, right, Traditional publishing traditional like tools and resources. We have access to kind of everything. I think when I was your age, you have to get Microsoft Word and now we have, like Google docks. I mean literally, like even the tools that were already easy get easier. So do things yourself. Just try it. Every year I do a little pocket dated agenda and started in 2012 as a gift that I made for my friends for Christmas and Hanukkah because I was broke. And then the next year I did on Kickstarter, and you can see every year I raise a little bit more money. In 2016 I raised $42,000 I was like, Oh my God! And then this year is $47,000 that is very scary because then you owe people stuff. But I did that without a publisher, and I'm like, probably not supposed to talk about numbers. But this is more than three times what my book advance was for my first book. So, like when you think about the fact that I did this just like kind of by myself, anyone could have done that anyone could do anything. I love Kickstarter. This is not an advertisement for Kickstarter, but I love Kickstarter. I am obsessed with Kickstarter is easier than you think. You can kind of accomplish anything as long as you try and you're willing to show people that you're trying so do it yourself. Just try. You don't have to wait for anyone anymore. Be genuinely interested and excited. People are always like, Hey, man, I would love to collaborate with that retail brand that rhymes with shma much Mount Boehner's, um, that I talked about many times in this talk. I also not an advertisement for them. I'm sort of an advertisement for them. Um, but this is how collaborations happen is just being excited. This is a tote bag that I did for the Strand. And I'll tell you what happened. I went to the Strand to sign books like for sale. People weren't waiting. It was like I signed them. They put a sticker on it and I was like, So, strand, I see you have some took bags. Artist did, and they're like, Yeah, we used to have a program where we did a lot of artist collaborations and I was like, Oh, what if you run that room back? And they were like, you know, we had been thinking about it, but like we just didn't No one's really done it yet. And I was like, What about in September? Uh, and survive for them last September. Sometimes you just have to like, be excited. I mean, I love this strand. It's such a great bookstore and there tote bags are iconic and I just sort of like inserting myself into their lives, sort of right, and then stock them. I was invited in. It's like a vampire thing, like they walked me in and then I attacked them. This is a series of dishware that I made for fishes, Eddie, which, if you don't know fishes that either an iconic New York brand, they're like, super kitschy and like, kind of jui New York etess like me And like, I just love them their stories, nuts and a girl who worked there bought a pin from my website and she had it delivered to work because you can't get mail delivered in New York. It's not possible, Uh, truly impossible. And I wrote a note, and I was like, dearest woman at Fisher's. Anyhow, I don't know. This is why I am obsessed with you. And I wrote like it was like a post it that needed an extra post it, you know, to me like it kept going and they were like, Oh, you should come by and I was like grand design Well, and I took a picture and I posted on Instagram and I was like, It was so gross. It was like everyone should follow this cool account And then they got a bunch of new followers and then they were like, Oh, I shouldn't boil it down to that. I think they also like me as a person, but it was basically a very over like, What if we do this thing together and we have in this collections out and we're adding to it and it's just like the coolest partnership of my whole life, and I love them so much, and it kind of just happened because I get obsessed with stuff. But again, she ordered something first, right? Don't just, like, run into the store. But once the doors open, it's okay to, like, walk through it. That's fine. That's smart, right? If you don't stick up for yourself, who will? Nobody is begging you to sell out. This is a new slide recently added to this talk, and here's why. I have spoken at a bunch of art schools recently, and there's this idea of selling out right that like Oh, don't be a sellout like it would suck to sell out. I'll never sell out. Nobody's asking you to sell out. No one is coming to you like Congrats on your graduation, will. You designed this for Satan himself. You should be so lucky that someone wants to hire you the day after graduation. Nobody is like begging you to sell out. There is no shame in making work with brands, Say one more time. Brands. No shame. There's no shame in collaborating in a way that is meaningful and mutually beneficial. There is no shame in making work that is accessible to other people. There is no shame in in making products that can be purchased in stores. If you need to call that an artist multiple to sleep at night, that's fine. But we're doing is making accessible artwork, and that's important and amazing. And that's not selling out guys. So the tote bag that I made for Microsoft and you know Microsoft like make a tote bag and I'm like, What if the tote bag says 10 productive uses for this tote bag and then lists them and they were like, Oh, cool. Thank you, Mike. This is such a me joke to make and the fact that I made it with arguably one of the largest brands in the world. That's not bad. Not a bad thing. It's an amazing thing. You can be yourself. But like for others, that's that's what we're talking about. I'm still me. Very me. It's another problem. Um, this is literally a pile of garbage we made from The New York Times is a collage of paper scraps. And this is totally a thing that I would make and looks like, um, broken down poetry that I made for Tumbler in the past. But it was for the New York Times. Very fun. This is drawing of pills, guys. I did not need a reference image for this. And it was $4 Shave Club's ah publication. Mel. It was so me. Like, Look, look how many pins that could be. You guys, that could be in my next Whatever. It just looks like a thing that I made, but it was for someone else. That's why it's no big deal. This Let me, uh, put this down. This is a cootie catcher. Do you remember making cootie catchers. This is a cootie catcher that I made for Adobe. Um, I should totally not say that I say this in talks that aren't being filmed. Ah, don't be paid me really well for this. And it was the end of the fiscal year. They were, like, rushing that payment through. And then early the next year, I got the same check again and I was like, Okay on, I just cashed it and it was No one has said anything. Quit. Here's the thing. I stopped stealing photo shop, so I felt like I deserved it. But again, I made a cootie catcher for Brandt like, that's so me. I'm self. I don't police. I walked past adobes office on the way here today, and I'm sure right now in the office, someone is like, Are gonna walk past and they're like, throw a rock at me, be open opportunity. Guys like stuff just comes up and it's cool to do it. That's how I ended up here. Totally fun. Someone slid into my d. M's. This slide is broken and honestly, I think this is God's will because this is a slide that has Ah, bunch of animated GIFs of emojis. So usually at this point of the talk, I'm like, I'll do emojis for your brand. I don't care, Uh, and I'm glad that we can't see that they are executed well, but like I don't want to do the emojis, I'll just do it because, like I live in Williamsburg and rent as expensive, this is just a talk of our rent. This is just the production of rent. Should we also way don't have the rights to that? It's just so many numbers, like Pi reiterate and expand on success. This is another thing for young, creative people who have a lot of ideas. I'll be like Oh, executed the balloon onto the next one, and I never want to do the same thing twice. But here's the thing. If you have something that's working, don't immediately bury it. What do you doing? So I made this hand written guide for the block design sponge, Simple tips for success and because of how the Internet digest text because of how content is shared, I broke it up into bite sized chunks and separate images because Pinterest, another little tingle, walked past on the way here. San Francisco is full of brands, but people loved this. And so I just did Mawr. And now I've done like 15 or so of these guides that are easy to share on Pinterest and easy to share his photo sets and just sort of like, lovely and digestible. And it's not that much reading. And now my new book, Things Are What You Make of Them Life Advice for Creatives. It comes out October 2017 and it is an anthology of my favorite handwriting guides. And when I did that first Guide, I was not like this is gonna make a great book. I was just making ah thing. And then when I made two guides, I was like, Oh, cool, I mean two guides. That's more than I thought I would dio and the fact that I, like, sort of wrote a book by mistake, and now it gets to be one is very cool, so that's what it looks like. You can preorder it now. If each of you preorders 1000 copies, I could just buy an apartment. Stop talking about Rhett. Things are what you make of them. This is the most important thing I could ever tell you. And it goes for everything in life. Ah, heart project is just the sum of its parts. Break things down. If they feel scary, break down a scary life event. Or conversely, build your life into something great. Your life is just the sum of your parts. You are just the sum of parts. Things are fine things. They're going to be OK. Nothing is so big and so scary that you can't get through it. And that's not to say that things aren't fucking awful because things are fucking awful. But it's what you make of them. So everything is terrible. And conversely, everything is great. Find a way again, do things yourself. Collaborate where you can find a way to make things happen because it is possible if this talk I showed you anything. It's that one human idiot can make enough things to fit in a slideshow. Five years ago, I would have been like, Here's my one thing I've ever done. Thank you. Uh, just find a way to do it. Have some fun. You know, we keep talking about this, but everyone in this room will die. So have some fun before you dio Great life is hard and scary. Just try to enjoy yourself like I'm freaking out. But I'm also having a great time. Don't be too precious. I think this is especially for artists and designers were always like You know what we're doing? We're right. Fuck the client. If you don't learn to be flexible to take input, to collaborate with others if you don't learn from mistakes if you don't learn from beta testing, that's like a San Francisco thing to say, right? We got ahead, not from a tech guy. Um, don't be too precious. Just be open to exploring things and letting things change because it is better to do something that other people had input on. Then to put your foot down and then do nothing. You got so in my head, that's a joke. But everyone was like, Oh, yeah, Okay, Next it's okay to not know it is okay to not know what you're doing. I do not have any cue cards, not reading if you like. I don't know what I'm doing and it's not fine. Profit a t end of the day. Maybe this could be a life. I don't know. So this is me, Adam J. Count everything. This is how I feel about everything. But also, this is where you can take a moment to follow me on Social media. Thank you so much. Thank you. So we have time for Q and A. I need his back. Uh, I have a really literal, possibly un interesting question. But making stuff like actually making the art isn't the hard part. How do you get, like, I'm not gonna so 10,000 things by hand to sell on Etsy like a society six. How do you elect actually find a place that you trust to make quality things that you're okay selling with your name on it? So actually, I get this question a lot. Not as beautifully worded is that that was like a very generous asking of the question. But people are constantly asking you variants of the question and it ranges from Hey, I really like this thing. How can I or just like a tweet like where you make that where you make that? Here is the secret. And it has always been how I've done everything. I just Google I just because there's so many companies that do, like promotional products or manufacturing. I literally Google Custom pencil custom balloon. My balloons are still made with the same guy after six years, and he was just like the number to Google results like I thought his name was cuter than the other company. So it's just trial and error, and things are not always perfect, but also what I have learned through this, like manufacturing process and again, super small scale. It's pins and patches and little products. For me getting choked up here, you can just ask for what you want. You can say, like I needed to be like this. Is that possible? Eso from a quality perspective that used to see something that's not working, just ask, but to make it even simpler and take a step back from that. You can make a zine at home A Xena's Paper and Staples, and a book is just like fours. Ian's so the jump there is not very it's not a far jump. So when I had this meeting about making my first book with Penguin, I was like, I can't do that And she was like, What are you talking about? What he did. And I was like, Oh, yeah. Okay. Um, so start, start simple. You know, my first product that I remain was postcards because postcards are art prints and they're also paper and they're also really fucking small. No big deal. So start, just start somewhere and then let things sort of snowball or balloon from there. I feel like you're very like, grounded and, like, no ego or or maybe you know that when you create something, if you're doing it for external approval, like its people will know. But if you're really doing is authentic and, like, do it for yourself or if you are truly means something, when you make it like it will resonate. So is there any like, daily? Oh, well, maybe you don't agree with it, but this one might my first comment. And is there any daily practice that you do to be grounded or be authentic that, like, I need to make sure it's like I'm true self. When I do this work? That's a good question. So, yes, I will negate your first statement. Uh, I'm an egomaniac. I'm a little bit of a narcissist like you can't stand with a microphone clip to you without being at least comfortable talking about yourself for 40 minutes like my name's on the wall. So I appreciate you saying that. And I I do think that the things that I make and say come from a place of core truth, but I don't think that means I'm devoid of ego. That's recognizing that you have an ego. And then also telling the Internet Who haven't you go in a room full of people just like looking at you while you're still saying it. One sentence that keeps going, Um, that's true, too. So it's sort of this, like cyclical action off like these are all my problems, but telling you about them is authentic. But that doesn't negate the problems. And, you know, hopefully you just build a body of work that way. I'm kidding. But as for a daily practice, I think that kind of bulls down to who you are. And so I have a good grasp on like what I'm like and what I need. Um, I know that it's easier for me to speak out loud than it is for some other people. I know that it's easier for me to just tweet my truth than for other people. Um, but I have a lot of trouble with a lot of other things, like being in a crowd or exercising. So we all have our strengths and our weaknesses, and I think it's up to us toe. Find things that help us achieve those goals. I will say that one page at a time and pick me up. Um, as interactive creative journals are specifically meant to sort of encourage the things that I have figured out. So I'm not like the expert on creativity. I'm not actually a therapist, but things that I have figured out I've tried to put into those books. And so if you go into those books and you're like, this is gonna fix me like, you will be disappointed. But if you go into a book and you're like, this seems fun and you teach yourself some stuff along the way, that is really fucking cool. And I feel like I accomplished a goal. Thank you for thinking I don't Haven't you go? My boyfriend's at home like that Bitch is so wrong. I have I love you so much. I have a couple of questions from the Internet. Fucking loving. And I want that. Yeah. Okay. Wow. Now there's even more. Okay. It's just Mitchell being like he saw us. He sucks. No, this is actually Sierra. And she says, I noticed you mostly used the same font for everything. Was that for branding purposes? And how important has that been here? You're killing me. It's my handwriting's here. People ask this question a lot there. Like, what fun is that? It's literally my handwriting with a pencil on, and that's why I give everyone pencils all the time when you order suffer in my sight or if you like, meet me at an event or something. I always have these little pencils. That's what I use a pencil and a scanner, and it's not even cleaned up that well as evidence by my entire body of work. Um, but the reason that there is a thought process to that The reason that I use my own handwriting is because it does add a layer of truth right, and even if you don't know why you connect with something, it's one extra step that sort of pulls you in. And also when it's written in like a super shitty handwriting, I can literally say like Hey in there, baby, And you could be like That's kind of funny But if that was like times New Roman, you'd be like Shut the fuck up If that was like Helvetica but current too tight on a picture of like clouds. Unlike a daily meditation instagram account, you would be like, Thank you, Owen. Follow. Um, so it is a choice, but it is. It is my handwriting, and I'm sorry for insulting you The issue over there. I just assumed that you're over there. So and then Haley asked a good question. Do you have any daily rituals like, Do you create work on a schedule, or does the impulse just hit you? Bam in all caps? That is a really good question, and it's sort of a mix of both. So there are some days when I wake up and I'm like, I'm ready to say this on Instagram and I get my pencil and I like, Do you have something? And for me, Instagram is kind of like a daily practice because I'm like What will I post today? Um, that's from something. I tweet me later, but there are some days when I'm like, I gotta do my billing like there some days that the reality of being a small business hit and you just like Do Aton of boring shit. And it's not fun and you don't get to make anything and it sucks and never do it. What was the question ritual? I like to wake up in the morning, and I leave that I work from home. I have a home studio, a separate room, but I leave home and I go to the post office almost everyday. And then I get coffee from a coffee shop and bring it home. And it's not that I don't know how to make coffee, although that is a debate that's recently come up for debate because I didn't grind the beans right, But But I leave the house and then come home, and so that becomes a separation of like, That's my commute. And when I come back home, I met work, and so you gotta have socks on. Gotta have pants on. People think freelance from home is like no pants it's that doesn't work and also your computer chair get so sweaty. I have a big thighs like There's not just the worst. Can't work like that. All right, let's make a book. Did I answer your question? I have, um Is there anyone? Anyone in the room? What? One? Because I have, like, my crazy eyes away. I see people are like, Please don't call me Well, I have one that is a little bit It's pretty deep but I think it will be finally nice way to close things up I tearing the opening night You and a guest will make you cry next time on creative life. So this is from Robin Young. And she asked if you had five minutes in the intention attention of the entire world. What are the key points you'd want to make? And what would you say if I had five minutes to talk to the entire world? I would probably I would sing the entirety of Atlantis. More sets. Thank you. I would even say that I would just play. Thank you. And then I would be like by my book, and I would leave. I would like 32nd might drop. I have nothing to say to the world. Um I was going to say that's not true, but like, yeah, I don't know that I have anything to say to people. I think my whole deal is being really open about the fact that I don't really know what I'm doing, right. Like, I kind of know how to do the thing that I am now doing. But I don't know what that IHS play that back, and it will make you can, like, extrapolate. What I mean is, I'm good at doing the things that I do, but I'm not always sure what I'm building or when I'm making the fact that this is a career is mind boggling to me. And so my whole deal is that I'm not an expert. I'm just like anyone else. So the idea of ever giving this top down advice like it's me a professional creative. This is what you need to do everyday toe creativity. Like I don't want to be that person. And I will never tell you that I am. And I'm not a therapist, and I'm not an expert. I'm not a guru. Um, so yeah, I think if we all just listen to more Atlantis more set, we would be better people. Not a joke. I'm actually gonna close things with another. It's not even a question, though. It's a comment. Should I go away for that? No, it's a really good one. You have to stand right there. Uh, so Suzanne says this is more of a comment, but Damn, you are awesome. Thank you for this. You made my night. I pre ordered your book and before Ambien. So in 20 minutes, she's going to be like, Oh, I should preorder his book. We've all been there, so, um, thanks for coming, everybody. And thank you so much for traveling all the way from Brooklyn to do this talk. Of course. And thank you for mentioning. I do live in Brooklyn. Thank you guys for tuning in. And that's it for tonight. Have a wonderful evening. Thanks. Thank you.

Class Description

Join Adam J. Kurtz as he gives his acclaimed lecture, anecdotes and advice. He'll talk about not waiting for permission to make personal work that is actually personal, and how he's made that his whole thing somehow. He'll also guide you on drawing and writing activities from his latest book, PICK ME UP: A Pep Talk For Now & Later. This weird, optimistic book pushes you along with unexpected prompts, “existential activities,” some dark humor, and pages that keep you #connected, even when you feel alone. More than anything, you’ll build your own guide now for figuring shit out later – because someone telling you to “cheer up” is infuriating, but a pep talk from yourself might just work. Watch yourself change as you record and reflect on where you are and where you’re going.


Purchase your very own copy of Adam's book PICK ME UP from Amazon.

Reviews

user-f897f8
 

Loved this short simple talk! First off, it is very uplifting as Adam has an awesome sense of humor. Second, it is a great reminder to self that you don't have to be serious about what you do and how you do it. Thank you, Creative Live for discovering Adam J. Kurtz for me!

user-b07421
 

Great talk! Very honest and fun, and completely inspiring! Thanks Adam

mimi
 

Thank you so much for this opportunity, Creativelive! Such an amazing atmosphere, office/hq, and experience! Incredible night overall. So happy I discovered you.