Adam J. Kurtz wants you to know that everything is going to be okay (just hand in there). The designer, author, and illustrator is also a kindred spirit, known for his backhanded optimism and a dark sense of humor. His vulnerability also comes across through his smallpress-brand (you can buy his merch here), focused on gifts that are part quirky, part sentimental, and often literal.
“People are always saying how vulnerable I am, and I think, Am I?” he reflected in an interview with The Great Discontent. “The truth is, a lot of us are really vulnerable. In real-life conversations, or in a 2 am tweet. I don’t think I’m any more honest or vulnerable than anyone else,” he admits.
“Knowing that life is difficult and that you can’t control things, allows you to make informed, but also really open-ended, choices,” he went on to say. “The phrase ‘things are what you make of them,’ comes up in my work all of the time, because it’s literally my guiding voice; both in my personal and professional life. It’s helped keep me going, but I think it’s also helped keep me safe.”
With his work being honest and accessible, it’s understandable why Kurtz gained such a massive following on Instagram. His illustrations and designs have also been featured in esteemed publications like the New Yorker, VICE, Adweek, and his books have been translated into over a dozen languages.
In other words: you should definitely join the club.