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Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives Paperback – October 3, 2017

4.7 out of 5 stars 448 ratings

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  • Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives
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  • You Are Here (For Now): A Guide to Finding Your Way
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  • Pick Me Up: A Pep Talk for Now and Later
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From the Publisher

Life advice for anyone who makes anything. From the Author of 1 Page at a time & Pick me Up
Things Are What You Make of Them by Adam Kurtz
1 Page at a Time Pick Me Up Things are what you make of them You Are Here (For Now)
1 Page at a Time Pick Me Up Things Are What You Make of Them You Are Here (For Now)
365 prompts to help readers tap into their creativity by encouraging them to draw, write, list, reflect, and share. An intimate and engaging journal for anyone who loves to explore ideas, record thoughts and feelings, and capture those fleeting but amazing moments of everyday life. Insights and inspiration for anyone who makes art (or anything else). A collection of essays and artwork that explores mental health, identity, handling setbacks, and more.

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Funny, wry, straightforward advice" -Adweek

"Pursuing art in all its forms, whether professionally or not, requires so much resilience and faith. Adam J. Kurtz's 
Things Are What You Make of Them is full of pick-me-ups and reminders that you are more than your self-doubt, and certainly you aren't alone in them. -BuzzFeed

"Serving up optimism and hope" 
-NYLON

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

"Advice from someone who's been there" 
-Teen Vogue

"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 podcast

"Kind, generous and empowering" 
-Cool Hunting

"Highly relatable and will make you laugh, cry and feel less crazy than you think you are. You're actually fine!" 
-Man Repeller

"A colorful, encouraging companion" 
-Forbes

"In 
Things Are What You Make of Them, Kurtz shares mini-essays of how he deals with the intangibles that can keep people stuck, overwhelmed, or afraid to move forward. He also confronts the idea of what concepts like happiness and success look like to people in creative or more traditional industries." -Refinery29

"Delivers the big pep talks you need" 
-HelloGiggles
"The book is divided into 12 color-coded sections, which run the gamut from the practical -- 
How to Stay Sane When You Work from Home and Working with Friends and Family -- to the existential -- How to Begin Again and How to be Happier. The advice is geared towards creatives, but honestly, these nuggets of wisdom are valuable mood boosters for people in any career path." -Bustle

"This life-affirming book has the feel of a personal diary, with hand-lettered text and heartfelt but practical advice. The perfect handbook for the creative soul in need of a gentle kick-start." -The Advocate

About the Author

Adam J. Kurtz is a 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.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ TarcherPerigee (October 3, 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 144 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0143131516
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0143131519
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 7.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.24 x 0.4 x 6.35 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 448 ratings

About the author

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Adam J. Kurtz (aka "Adam JK") is a designer, artist, and speaker. His books have been published in more than a dozen languages, and his offbeat creative work has been featured in Nylon, Adweek, Vice, The New Yorker, and more.

Kurtz's new book, YOU ARE HERE *FOR NOW: A Guide to Finding Your Way, will be released October 2021. Follow @adamjk for art and updates.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
448 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on December 5, 2018
11 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for a gift
Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2020
This book is lovely, and I can’t review it highly enough. I have pages copied throughout my house, saved as my phone wallpaper, and inscribed in the margins of my journal. The colors are beautiful, and the message is one of self love and motivation. I’ve given this as a gift to (it seems like) almost everyone in my life. x
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2 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on November 25, 2017
11 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on October 22, 2017
Reviewed in the United States on February 24, 2018
Reviewed in the United States on October 4, 2017
One person found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on October 5, 2017
2 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on October 6, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

Slinky
4.0 out of 5 stars I would actually like to give this 3 1/2 stars.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 27, 2017
10 people found this helpful
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David
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and inspiring
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 7, 2019
Terri F
5.0 out of 5 stars cute
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 5, 2020
Kate
5.0 out of 5 stars Calming
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 18, 2020
Katerina Spanova
5.0 out of 5 stars Good pep talk in book form.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 9, 2018