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ArtI'm an artist whose newest book on creativity is literally handwritten... AMA.

Oct 4th 2017 by adamjkurtz • 8 Questions • 96 Points

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. http://www.thingsarewhatyoumakeofthem.com

Proof: https://i.redd.it/e4uxtaloegpz.jpg

Q:

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?

A:

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.

https://imgur.com/a/Pkjyw


Q:

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

A:

calligraphy seems so cool!!! & hard lol

https://imgur.com/a/1x1P6


Q:

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.

A:

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.

https://imgur.com/a/UZR5i


Q:

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

A:

lmao yeah, fuck that

https://imgur.com/a/mGuqR


Q:

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

A:

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

https://imgur.com/a/CEO66


Q:

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

A:

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!"

https://imgur.com/a/gTHr8


Q:

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

A:

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

https://imgur.com/a/BnpUz


Q:

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)

Thankssss

A:

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

https://imgur.com/a/eanuM