It was 9:30AM in Toronto.
I’d just had a fresh cup of coffee, and I was feeling really excited.
I’d been following Adam J. Kurtz through social media (Instagram) for the past few years and I was about to see him, one of my biggest inspirations speak on stage.
There are 3 reasons why I like him so much:
- His down-to-earth refreshing honesty.
Adam J. Kurtz is an entrepreneur, author and artists who is also an activist on a lot of important issues. He has a keen wit, a down-to-earth demeanour and a sassy-but-honest sort of speaking style. I was sucked into every second of his talk because of this.
He’s made it in the design world merely by being himself and creating art that is honest. He doesn’t believe that design can completely change the world but he does believe a little bit of that positivity and honesty can go a long way.
What I also loved is that he teaches the motto to not “quit your day job”. Not only do I find this refreshing, but also inspiring because unlike a lot of rockstar designers who go on stage preaching that it’s totally okay to “quit your job tomorrow and you’ll be fine” I find his approach a lot more relatable.
- His honest-to-goodness awesome artwork!
Adam has such a keen sense of wit, and a positivity mixed with darkness that is deeply imbued in his artwork. I love the rough but endearing aesthetic of the doodled-on artwork. It feels real and relatable. He’s even created a neat tarot deck, three books including “Things Are What You Make of Them” and speaks around the world to inspire other people and designers, as well as artists. You can see more of his artwork and products here.
- His kindness
I kept telling myself to not feel so nervous as I was waiting in line to meet him. I truly feel inspired deeply by his work. I had personally published my first book back in August and his motto of overcoming perfectionism and the tone of darkness imbued with positivity was a large theme in my own book. I relate a lot to his process and art. Anyways, my mind was racing with thoughts of how I wanted to compliment him that as soon as I met him I was greeted with a super warm smile and a friendly greeting – all of my worries dissipated and we had an awesome conversation about my book, his lessons and about him visiting his roots of Canada again. It went great and I even got a photo with him!
The biggest thing I got from his speech is that truly, things are what you make of them. You can create something from anything, as long as you have the right attitude. His work stems from a refreshing honesty and as he mentioned that we have literal ‘magic wands’ in our hands (pencils) and we can create anything, inspire a movement or simply create motivating artwork – I felt a deep sense of empowerment.
Thank you so much, Adam J. Kurtz for being awesome, visiting Canada again and your sharing your artwork and kindness!