Adam JK Is Here To Give You The Pep Talk You Need

Artist Adam J. Kurtz (a.k.a. Adam JK) totally gets it.

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The first thing you should know about the creative journal Pick Me Up is that you can use it any way you want. It's not meant to be filled out in order; randomness is better—you can start with whichever page you happen to open up to.

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That "anything goes" attitude is what you should expect from the hilarious and charming Toronto-born, New York-based artist and writer, Adam J. Kurtz. We visited him at his Brooklyn studio and talked about everything from tough break-ups to protecting your creative work to making a book to help real people like you. Read on for more tips to boost your creativity and make the best out of the worst situations.

A section of Kurtz's impressive pin collection.

Tip No. 1: Communicate Your Emotions Using IRL Emojis (a.k.a. Pins)

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"I'm actually kind of embarrassed right now, because I'm on Snapchat. And you're holding me, which is actually kind of intimate. Maybe it's nice."

"There are things [in the book] to make you feel good, and journaling prompts—because a blank page is the scariest thing in the world." —Adam J. Kurtz on his book, Pick Me Up

Tip No. 2: Don't Smile, Drink Water, or Do Yoga

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"It's a creative journal for mindfulness and self care...but it's not offensive. It's not annoying."

Tip No. 3: If You Can't Say Something Nice, Write It in a Fun Font

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"Fonts have different voices and different tones to them. When I started doing this hand-drawn work, it was really important to create a voice for it, so my kind of shitty, kind of cute handwriting becomes that thing. It's casual enough that I can write out, 'Cheer the fuck up,' and you can see that and not be personally offended. Because if I said that to you, or if it was in Helvetica Bold, you would be like, 'I don't know you'—but my handwriting helps enter a conversation in a friendly, unassuming way."

Tip No. 4: Bad Breakups and Dumb Ideas Could Launch Your Dream Job

"I make these items that say things that are hard to say, and it started with these balloons that say, 'Sorry I'm such an asshole.'"

"Please don't steal my work, but please *do* use it to emote something that's difficult to say." —Adam J. Kurtz

Tip No. 5: Speak From the Heart, and It Could Go Viral

"People take my work and do whatever they want with it all the time. Legally, that sucks, but that's kind of the point: I'm speaking for you, and then you can take it and make it yours."

Layer up the emotions to keep that terror down deep!

Tip No. 6: Find Inspiration in Everything—Even Seltzer Water

Kurtz lists his biggest inspirations—in under ten seconds.

Adam JK pins, pencils, balloons, and his newest book Pick Me Up are all available at Follow Kurtz on Instagram and Twitter at @adamjk

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