Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives by Adam J. Kurtz
Things Are What You Make of Them: This brilliant, life-affirming book is chock full of audacious advice to help creative people make sense of rejection, failure, false starts, fame, happiness and collaborations. –Debbie Millman

Insights and inspiration for anyone who makes art (or anything else) from the bestselling author of 1 Page at a Time.

With a foreword by Grace Bonney, founder of Design*Sponge.
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Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives



Things Are What You Make of Them

From the creative mind and heart of designer Adam J. Kurtz comes this upbeat rallying cry for creators of all stripes. Expanding on a series of popular essays, this handwritten and heartfelt book shares wisdom and empathy from one working artist to others. Perforated tear-and-share pages make it easy to display themost crucial reminders or to pass a bit of advice on to someone who needs it.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • 144 Full-Color Pages
  • Thirteen Handwritten Chapters
  • Pocket Size (4.2" x 6.4")
  • Lightly perforated pages
  • ISBN: 978-0143131519

Praise for Things Are

"This brilliant, life-affirming book is chock full of audacious advice to help creative people make sense of rejection, failure, false starts, fame, happiness and collaborations."
–Debbie Millman, host of Design Matters

"All of Adam J. Kurtz's words are filled with wit, warmth, wonder and wisdom."
–Alanis Morissette


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Artist/author Adam J. Kurtz Author photo by Daniel Seung Lee

About The Author

Adam J. Kurtz is a Brooklyn-based designer, artist and author of 1 Page at a Time and Pick Me Up, which have been published in over a dozen languages each. His "very personal" work for clients like Strand Bookstore and Urban Outfitters has been featured in NYLON, PRINT, VICE, BuzzFeed and more. He’s one of PRINT Magazine's "15 Under 30" and a 2017 Webby Awards Honoree.

Author Links

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Adam J. Kurtz Website
ADAMJK Gift Shop

this might be a good thing Newsletter:

Things Are What You Make of Them

Your book preorders helped raise $7,680!

We raised a combined total of $7,680 for the Tegan and Sara Foundation, working for economic justice, health, and representation for LGBTQ girls and women.

Thanks to publisher TarcherPerigee for their role in making this contribution happen.

Learn more about this campaign.



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For media inquiries contact Keely Platte, kplatte@penguinrandomhouse.com.
For partnerships and speaking please contact studio@adamjk.com.
Download the press release or view the blogger kit.