Things are What You Make of Them by Adam J Kurtz

October 3, 2017     erinthebooknut     Book review

Things are What You Make of Them by Adam J KurtzThings Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives by Adam J. Kurtz, Grace Bonny
on October 3rd, 2017

Insights and inspiration for anyone who makes art (or anything else), from the popular author of 1 Page at a Time and Pick Me Up From the creative mind and heart of Adam J. Kurtz comes this quirky, upbeat rallying cry for creators of all stripes. Expanding on a series of popular guides he's created for Design*Sponge, this handwritten and heartfelt little book shares wisdom and empathy from one working artist to others. The advice is organized by topic, including: (How to) Get Over Comparing Yourself to Other CreativesSeeking & Accepting Help from OthersHow to Get Over Common Creative Fears (Maybe)How to Be Happy (or Just Happier) As wry and cheeky as it is empathic and empowering, this deceptively simple, vibrantly full-color book will be a touchstone for writers, illustrators, designers, and anyone else who wants to be more creative--even when it would be easier to give up act normal.

2.5 Nuts

This is one of those Tarcher Perigee books that is mostly a one-browse type book and then you’re done. And while those type of books have their place (usually as graduation presents) they’re not really for me. Despite that, let’s talk about the book itself.

Things Are What You Make of Them is “life advice for creatives” but honestly a lot of the advice in here can be applied  to anyone’s life. It’s about doing things and life and how to get through when stuff isn’t quite going your way. Each page of the book looks like it was ripped out of someone’s notebook and then scanned in, hand written with a few type written pages here and there.

Unfortunately those notebook pages are literally the whole book. There’s no other design or art, just life lesson after life lesson scribbled on page after page. Needless to say I got bored, and a lot of other creatives would too. We’re not known for our long attention spans.

The physical book itself is pretty small, a little bigger than my hand, and certainly not intended for more than that one time browse or a quick look up of a punchy quote. This is exactly the type of book one gets for someone graduating high school or college who will flip through it once and then send it off to Goodwill. It’s little inspiring moments with no lasting effort.

I don’t really recommend the book, a lot of it is stuff we’ve all heard before. And if you’re thinking of graduation gifts no one likes thoughtless quotables. It’s a one and done kind of book, get it out of the library if you’re interested.

What is your favorite advice for creatives? Share some in the comments.

From my shelf to yours,


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