Adam J. Kurtz (aka Adam JK) is a designer, artist, and speaker whose illustrative work is rooted in honesty, humor and a little darkness. His books have sold over a million copies in twenty languages and his offbeat creative work has been featured in NYLON, Adweek, Vice, The New Yorker, and more.
Kurtz speaks frankly about channeling human emotion into creative work, and generally just trying to be more okay with whatever we've got. His most recent book, You Are Here (For Now), is a collection of art and essays about finding your way through the unknown.
ADAMJK® is an art and stationery brand focused on gifts that are fun, weird, sentimental, and often literal. This body of accessible artwork has been sold everywhere from museum gift shops to mass retail.
"Adam J. Kurtz wants you to feel better. About yourself. About the world. About the creative process, which, if you’re anything like him, you’re well aware can stomp on your dreams and grind your optimism down until you’re an unproductive mix of insecurity and self-doubt."
Now again but more human:
Originally from Toronto, I spent a decade in New York before moving to Honolulu with my husband and we finally adopted a dog which is BIG for us. Michelle Branch's The Spirit Room is a top tier album for me. I was previously the studio designer at ad agency Barton F. Graf and some other stuff. I don't have a whole big team – and I made this website myself.
I'm a creative person who has been making and sharing on the internet since my first fan website at twelve years old. After years of expressing myself online, I went to school for graphic design and learned to express myself slightly "too much" in more tangible forms.
My imperfect illustrative work embraces the world with "backhanded optimism" and a dark sense of humor. I'm hopeful but realistic. I'm "positivity-adjacent." I’m interested in the ephemera of daily life, a nice little thing that makes you feel better for some reason (that paper you keep in your wallet for three years) and creating honest, accessible work.
Many people call me Adam JK because of my initials and then it became the name of my Legal Business Entity® and yeah idk I'm goofy so it works.
I self-published an annual paper planner called Unsolicited Advice for twelve years. It's a project that got to be a small part of so many lives in a very special way. In 2023, a final "forever-ish" edition was released by Penguin Random House.
Thank you for visiting my website and feel free to reach out with any fun creative projects!