Adam J. Kurtz Will Remind You to Be Kind to Yourself

Blurring the line between artist and therapist, Adam J. Kurtz, is our favorite person on Instagram these days. Describing himself as hopeful but realistic, Kurtz is interested in the ephemera of daily life, a nice little thing that makes you feel better for some reason, and creating honest, accessible work.

A designer-author-illustrator-creative director-writer-small press-brand, Kurtz’s brand, rooted in honesty, humor, and a little darkness. One of our favorite creations by him is a book dedicated to life advice for creatives. Describing it as the most sincere work he’s ever done, the book is a fully handwritten essay collection that touches on what it really means to be a creative person, and all the energy and fear and internal jumble that comes with that.

But his advice can also be relevant to non-artistic folk as well. “Creativity is a huge, giant word,” he remarked once in an interview with the Creative Independent. “I don’t think creativity is inherently good. I don’t think it’s inherently anything. Actually, I’m not even sure if creativity is the drive to make things, or if it’s the mechanism that allows us to make things. It’s so big, and the word means so many different things to different people.”

“People say that to me all the time. ‘I wish I was creative,'” he notes. “Everyone is creative. Creativity is not a magical skill that you have or don’t have. I think creativity is one of the big, vague things that we all have that manifests itself in very different ways.”

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i’m very happy to support @trophybar with a t-shirt and print at @merchaid for a limited time. sales will support trophy bar: a fun, casual, inclusive, safe, QPOC-owned bar (with great burgers!!!!) that has always felt like home through years of birthdays and gatherings and nights out. i remember going my first summer in nyc, being surprised by mitchell with a giant stack of birthday donuts, or the huge cannoli cake full of smaller cannolis, drunk in the bathroom with sarah jean listening to a happy birthday voicemail from my favorite musician like wtf is happening right now, having a long life talk in the dark front corner, grabbing food with chris to talk about moving into a studio, sitting in a booth planning my first book after getting locked out of my apartment on a a particularly weird day… there are just so many memories for me here and i know we all have that place or have been looking for it. this is my paper valentine to a small place that makes this big place feel like home. i miss pre-COVID nyc but i also miss being 23 and easy to please with a $5 beer and shot combo and i miss smoking cigarettes and i miss feeling like anything is possible even though of course it still is. i miss a version of me that never existed and a version of me that i might still be sometime. people who create space for others are human angels. thank you farika and trophy bar for everything.

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According to Kurtz he tries to remind people that creativity isn’t just writing or drawing, and it’s not just for artists. It also doesn’t have to be labeled anything. “Really, everything I’ve ever done has come from this place of me helping myself, and then letting other people into it,” he notes.

You’ll want his positive spirit in your feed and life.