Things Are What You Make of Them
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.

Things Are What You Make of Them Details

TitleThings Are What You Make of Them
Author
ReleaseOct 3rd, 2017
PublisherTarcherperigee
ISBN-139780143131519
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Self Help, Art, Design, Language, Writing

Things Are What You Make of Them Review

  • Adam
    January 1, 1970
    i wrote this book i think it is very nice i like that the author doesn't try to act like he's the expert or better than anybody else, he's just really honest about what life is like for people who try to make things. <3 also he seems very handsome and tall <3
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  • Vitor Martins
    January 1, 1970
    Adam J K é um dos meus artistas favoritos e eu provavelmente sempre vou amar qualquer coisa que ele fizer. Eu sou apaixonado pelas suas cores, seu traço e sua visão de ver o mundo.Esse aqui é meio que um livro de auto-ajuda para pessoas criativas, todo em forma de notas escritas a mão pelo próprio Adam. Ele toca em muitos temas relevantes para qualquer pessoa que quer começar ou já trabalha com arte no geral. Planejamento de um novo projeto, como trabalhar em casa, como se encorajar em dias difí Adam J K é um dos meus artistas favoritos e eu provavelmente sempre vou amar qualquer coisa que ele fizer. Eu sou apaixonado pelas suas cores, seu traço e sua visão de ver o mundo.Esse aqui é meio que um livro de auto-ajuda para pessoas criativas, todo em forma de notas escritas a mão pelo próprio Adam. Ele toca em muitos temas relevantes para qualquer pessoa que quer começar ou já trabalha com arte no geral. Planejamento de um novo projeto, como trabalhar em casa, como se encorajar em dias difíceis, como lidar com feedback das pessoas, como saber a hora de abandonar um projeto e partir para outro. Alguns conselhos do livro são bem óbvios mas é aquele tipo de óbvio que fica muito mais claro quando alguém conta para você, sabe? É um livro lindo de ver (ele é todo colorido) e foi extremamente inspirador para mim. As páginas são como cards destacáveis, e eu vou deixar aqui o melhor conselho que eu destaquei e colei na minha parede para não esquecer. SUNSHINE & RAINBOWSIt's not all sunshine and rainbows, but a good amount of it actually is! Sunshine is literally good for you, so go soak up that vitamin D. The Sun is a massive star that will outlive all of us. As for rainbows, well, you've got to weather the storm first. Hang in there.
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  • Dani
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a fan of pretty much everything Adam does, so I'll admit that I went into this expecting I'd like it, but it was even better than I expected. As he always does, Adam provides the perfect mix of wit and inspiration. If you're a creative person (or just a person in general...), you'll wanna read this book!
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  • Emma Sea
    January 1, 1970
    very very short. these were probably more awesome in their original blog form than as a book
  • Mrs Mommy Booknerd http://mrsmommybooknerd.blogspot.com
    January 1, 1970
    This book is just what I needed because I realized a while ago that I was becoming a negative person overcome by all the bad things happening around me and in the world. It was hard to see the goodness day-to-day and I did not like the person I was becoming. I have been practicing re-framing and my life is looking a whole lot more positive. This book was the perfect companion to my new outlook on life. I loved it cover to cover and have reread it several times, took notes and shared it with thos This book is just what I needed because I realized a while ago that I was becoming a negative person overcome by all the bad things happening around me and in the world. It was hard to see the goodness day-to-day and I did not like the person I was becoming. I have been practicing re-framing and my life is looking a whole lot more positive. This book was the perfect companion to my new outlook on life. I loved it cover to cover and have reread it several times, took notes and shared it with those hold most dear. This is a must to kick start a more positive outlook on life and will certainly make your days so much better! LOVED THIS BOOK!
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  • Marianne
    January 1, 1970
    (ARC from publisher)I found the advice mostly obvious, and the voice a bit too jargon-y/commercial-art-y for my tastes. YMMV. But since what I want from self-help-y books is novel insight and/or eloquent prose, I wasn't thrilled with this one.
  • Nikita Gomes
    January 1, 1970
    It took me more than 1 sitting to read this book because I wanted to SAVOUR IT....
  • Mallika Mahidhar
    January 1, 1970
    Simple and effective.
  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    2018 Read Harder Challenge: A one-sitting book. I get so much out of reminders like these. And although I still look askance at the word "creative" used as a noun, a lot of this advice really spoke to me, especially "be more of your own best" and "maybe try trying." I really liked the Acknowledgments, the "Working with Friends & Family" section, and of course, the colorful design. Consider this a great little gift book. The pages are even perforated so you can put your favorites in a visible 2018 Read Harder Challenge: A one-sitting book. I get so much out of reminders like these. And although I still look askance at the word "creative" used as a noun, a lot of this advice really spoke to me, especially "be more of your own best" and "maybe try trying." I really liked the Acknowledgments, the "Working with Friends & Family" section, and of course, the colorful design. Consider this a great little gift book. The pages are even perforated so you can put your favorites in a visible place.You may know Adam J. Kurtz from Design Sponge: http://www.designsponge.com/author/adam Favorite quotes:“Umm, failure is totally an option. It’s actually one of two main options in most scenarios. Instead of lying to yourself about the possibilities, choose instead to brace yourself for any outcome & be ready to learn from the experience. Your creative life is a journey and every step is moving you forward.”“Being genuinely kind is not a sign of weakness.” “I Can’t Do This: This might be the most basic of all fears? Also the easiest to conquer. How do you know you can’t do it if you haven’t actually, fully tried? You can’t win a race you don’t run & it’s not really running if you didn’t train beforehand. Maybe try trying.” “Rip Out Your Eyeballs!!!: If all else fails, stop looking! Take a break from obsessively checking follower counts and client rosters. Look inward instead. What are you working on now? New business? Personal projects? Everyone shares their best self. Be more of your own best.” “Create & Meet Goals: Having something positive to look forward to is important. We no longer have the structure of childhood to keep us motivated & subsequently rewarded. So set goals for yourself, big or small. Then meet them. Then set new ones & keep on going (forever).”“Remember that when your power is specifically rooted in communication, your silence speaks volumes.” “What can you offer that you don’t see represented?”“Be Accountable: …Don’t let planning the thing trick your brain into thinking you’ve done it. Try trying??”
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  • Mugren Ohaly
    January 1, 1970
    Creativity “self-help” books are the new poetry anthology, everyone is writing one and they’re almost all the same regurgitated crap.Plus, the author gave his own book a 5-star review and obviously thinks way too highly of himself.
  • Maria
    January 1, 1970
    "Sometimes, some of us, maybe, possibly, talk about doing things & then don't do them. Hold yourself accountable for your fresh start. Don't let planning the thing trick your brain into thinking you've done it."There are lessons we've known by heart for years and end up forgetting when needed the most due to frustration. "Things Are What You Make of Them" by Adam J. Kurtz is the perfect companion for those moments when the 'end of all things' seems ominously inevitable.Straightforward yet th "Sometimes, some of us, maybe, possibly, talk about doing things & then don't do them. Hold yourself accountable for your fresh start. Don't let planning the thing trick your brain into thinking you've done it."There are lessons we've known by heart for years and end up forgetting when needed the most due to frustration. "Things Are What You Make of Them" by Adam J. Kurtz is the perfect companion for those moments when the 'end of all things' seems ominously inevitable.Straightforward yet thought-provoking, upbeat yet realistic, it's the kind of book one should have within reach at all times. The fact that it's visually appealing, and quite uplifting, doesn't hurt either. We can do this!
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  • Kaylea Stoeltzing
    January 1, 1970
    For the exhausted full-time employee and full-time passionate.I was in love with this quick and witty read. After a year slump with my art I'm fjnally getting back into the swing of things but in the process, juggling a full-time day job (with a lot of extra overtime). I admit sometimes I struggle getting caught up with housework trying to develop my own business plans and not crash on the couch after the 9-5-. This is literally the perfect pick me up for any Creative I know!!! Especially on the For the exhausted full-time employee and full-time passionate.I was in love with this quick and witty read. After a year slump with my art I'm fjnally getting back into the swing of things but in the process, juggling a full-time day job (with a lot of extra overtime). I admit sometimes I struggle getting caught up with housework trying to develop my own business plans and not crash on the couch after the 9-5-. This is literally the perfect pick me up for any Creative I know!!! Especially on the days where you rather just tAke a nap and eat all your insecurities of your craft away.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    I am not a big fan of self-help books with their rose-colored quotes and shallow advice, but I like this little book of "Life Advice for Creatives" with its stiff little pages and pops of color. It is stylish, looks simple at the surface but offers a clear-eyed view of the ups and downs, challenges and opportunities creatives all face. I know one friend that will be getting this in their Christmas stocking.
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  • Alexis Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    This one didn't quite resonate with me as much as Austin Kleon's similar books, but I definitely recommend it as a quick and energizing pep talk for creatives who feel stuck. It'll get the wheels moving again. :-)
  • Weronika Zimna
    January 1, 1970
    This was absolutely delightful and exactly what I needed.
  • Kelsey Porteous
    January 1, 1970
    I feel UPLIFTED DAMNNN
  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    Good life advice for any humans doing anything!
  • Beatriz Andrea Fernandez
    January 1, 1970
    I have been a fan of Adam J Kurtz's work since "1 Page at A Time" and I have been a fan of his column for a while. This book came while I was struggling with my own creative endeavors, and I purchased it in the desperate hope that it would alleviate my worries. It didn't. But it fairness to it and Mr. Kurtz, that's a lot of ask of any book. It doesn't discount the fact that the advice it contains is solid, realistic, and good. Kurtz's optimism and and warmth are also hugely apparent and cushion I have been a fan of Adam J Kurtz's work since "1 Page at A Time" and I have been a fan of his column for a while. This book came while I was struggling with my own creative endeavors, and I purchased it in the desperate hope that it would alleviate my worries. It didn't. But it fairness to it and Mr. Kurtz, that's a lot of ask of any book. It doesn't discount the fact that the advice it contains is solid, realistic, and good. Kurtz's optimism and and warmth are also hugely apparent and cushion any harsh realities he drops. I would have liked more expansion on some of his ideas though.
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  • Frances Thompson
    January 1, 1970
    Wanted to love it but found it a bit underwhelming with nothing startling or new (as a freelance creative writer for 6+ years), but it was easy to read and will look forward to passing on to someone new to the game!
  • Britten Thompson
    January 1, 1970
    A good book to have in your collection as a reminder and motivation aid, but there is nothing ground breaking or profound here.
  • Hestia Istiviani
    January 1, 1970
    I read in English but this review is written in Bahasa IndonesiaMasih dalam program pengembangan diri (individual development program) bersama dengan rekanku, aku masih mencoba mencari-cari bacaan yang sekiranya bisa membantuku untuk menjabarkan apa sih kemampuan yang bisa aku kembangkan.Salah seorang teman, sesama kutu buku, Dea Natasya, merekomendasikanku buku ini. Ia memberikan pendapat kalau buku ini bagus. Penasaran, aku coba googling dan ternyata buku ini sempat seliweran di toko buku impo I read in English but this review is written in Bahasa IndonesiaMasih dalam program pengembangan diri (individual development program) bersama dengan rekanku, aku masih mencoba mencari-cari bacaan yang sekiranya bisa membantuku untuk menjabarkan apa sih kemampuan yang bisa aku kembangkan.Salah seorang teman, sesama kutu buku, Dea Natasya, merekomendasikanku buku ini. Ia memberikan pendapat kalau buku ini bagus. Penasaran, aku coba googling dan ternyata buku ini sempat seliweran di toko buku impor seperti Periplus dan Kinokuniya. Hanya saja, karena waktu itu tidak tahu siapakah Adam J. Kurtz, jadi ya hanya dilihat sekilas dan tidak punya dorongan untuk mencari tahu lebih lanjut. Sayangnya, ketika aku membutuhkan buku ini, baik Periplus maupun Gramedia atau Toko Gunung Agung tidak memiliki stoknya. Opsinya adalah memesan secara daring. Wah, lama juga, padahal butuh untuk baca segera. Untungnya, ada Google Books! Things Are What You Make of Them dapat dikategorikan sebagai sebuah buku self help. Pada pembukanya memang disebutkan, buku ini tidak hanya ditujukan kepada mereka yang bekerja pada bidang kreatif saja. Melainkan bisa diterapkan kepada semua orang dengan pekerjaan apapun. Mau mereka bekerja di rumah atau di kantor, tips-tips yang diberikan oleh penulis bisa diaplikasikan. Adam J. Kurtz menuliskan semuanya secara to the point. Ia membagi bukunya menjadi beberapa bagian yang memudahkan pembaca untuk mengikuti pesan-pesannya. Dimulai dengan tips tentang bagaimana caranya untuk memulai semua itu. Bahasanya pun juga menyenangkan. Maksudku, ringan serta kekinian (meskipun tidak segamblang Mark Manson dalam buku Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck). Setiap poin dari tips yang diberikan ditampilkan dalam bentuk tulisan tangan dari sebuah bloknot. Bahkan sobekannya pun juga terlihat di sana. Uniknya, meskipun hanya dengan tips dan penjelasan singkat, Adam J. Kurtz mampu menyampaikannya dengan baik. Pembaca memang harus membaca perlahan dan meresapi setiap tulisannya untuk kemudian direfleksikan ke dalam pribadi masing-masing. Adam J. Kurtz juga tidak melebih-lebihkan. Dirinya sendiri menuliskan, tips-tips yang dia tulis memang dari sudut pandangnya, bisa jadi tidak sama hasilnya pada orang yang berbeda. Things Are What You Make of Them bila disandingkan dengan buku-buku serupa mungkin bisa dibaca bersamaan dengan buku-buku Paul Arden atau Austin Kleon. Ringan namun langsung pada sasarannya. Tidak perlu bertele-tele dan dibawakan dengan halaman yang tebal. Dalam kacamata pribadiku, tidak ada ruginya jika memiliki buku ini dalam bentuk fisiknya. Suguhannya berwarna sehingga wajar jika harganya mencapai lebih dari Rp200.000.
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  • Lorelei
    January 1, 1970
    I adore this book. I've been a long-time fan of this author on social media, but this is the first book of his I've been able to pick up. There's a few things that I appreciate about it, especially in comparison to similar things I've read.First off, it's short. You can probably sit down and read all of it in about half an hour if you try. I know some people might not like this, but think about it: this is a book for creatives. Why would you spend so much time reading self-help books that you le I adore this book. I've been a long-time fan of this author on social media, but this is the first book of his I've been able to pick up. There's a few things that I appreciate about it, especially in comparison to similar things I've read.First off, it's short. You can probably sit down and read all of it in about half an hour if you try. I know some people might not like this, but think about it: this is a book for creatives. Why would you spend so much time reading self-help books that you leave yourself no time to create things? There's no flowery prose, no irrelevant anecdotes meant to boost the author's ego. There's just sound advice.This book is split into intuitive sections and so it's easy to pick up if you've got a specific problem. The very beginning talks about how to get started and includes some steps you can "read while procrastinating." Because let's be honest, we creatives spend a lot of time reading things about productivity in order to procrastinate on said productivity.Some might say that the advice is common sense. I mean...yeah. The best advice often is something you've heard before, something you already technically know, but need to hear at the right time for it to really sink in. That's what this book feels like to me: advice given at the right time. I'm planning on keeping it close to me so that whenever I'm suffering from self-doubt or feeling blocked, I can re-read the appropriate sections and kick my ass into gear. There's no such thing as a self-help book that will change your life. You need to change your life. Still, I think this particular book is a friendly, concise, and very stylish tool to help you do just that.
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  • Chloe
    January 1, 1970
    This collection was absolutely LOVELY.I've been having a hard time recently, both creatively and personally. I feel like what I've been creating (which, in my case, is music) has just been sub-par to everything else. I've been feeling uninspired and like everything's been done before. And this little book was a nice breath of fresh air. This was NEEDED. Not only is this to the point, but it's refreshing and relatable. It's creative advice set up almost as little reminders and I tore out half of This collection was absolutely LOVELY.I've been having a hard time recently, both creatively and personally. I feel like what I've been creating (which, in my case, is music) has just been sub-par to everything else. I've been feeling uninspired and like everything's been done before. And this little book was a nice breath of fresh air. This was NEEDED. Not only is this to the point, but it's refreshing and relatable. It's creative advice set up almost as little reminders and I tore out half of the book to pin up around my room and wherever else I need a visual pick-me-up. I stumbled across Adam's work on instagram forever ago and I just love his work; its honesty and its heart. This was super helpful and I know I'll be picking it up periodically in the future whenever I need it.
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  • Kaela
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 / 5 starsThis book isn’t the type to finish in one sitting (basically why it took me ages to finish this tiny read).As someone who is into self-help books, I didn’t gain any new information from reading this. However, I felt it’s a book for us creative people to pick up when we need a little push. I found myself relating to many topics covered.What I loved most is the overall design of this book! In a gist: this book isn’t exactly a self-help book. More than anything, it’s a quick pick-me-up 3.5 / 5 starsThis book isn’t the type to finish in one sitting (basically why it took me ages to finish this tiny read).As someone who is into self-help books, I didn’t gain any new information from reading this. However, I felt it’s a book for us creative people to pick up when we need a little push. I found myself relating to many topics covered.What I loved most is the overall design of this book! In a gist: this book isn’t exactly a self-help book. More than anything, it’s a quick pick-me-up for us people with creative careers. This is something I would like to have near my desk so I can refer to it anytime I feel the need to!
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  • Diana Band
    January 1, 1970
    Read this for work, but was happy to do it, for selfish reasons. As a creative professional, it's nice to get some advice geared specifically towards the challenges of the lifestyle. There's some good bits of wisdom about getting out of your own head and your own way, and a I think a fair amount of it applies to life in general--even if you don't think of yourself as a creative person. This is a super quick read--it took me maybe an hour to get through--so if you're looking for a little pep talk Read this for work, but was happy to do it, for selfish reasons. As a creative professional, it's nice to get some advice geared specifically towards the challenges of the lifestyle. There's some good bits of wisdom about getting out of your own head and your own way, and a I think a fair amount of it applies to life in general--even if you don't think of yourself as a creative person. This is a super quick read--it took me maybe an hour to get through--so if you're looking for a little pep talk, this is a great book to start with.
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  • Eline
    January 1, 1970
    After Adam's appearance on Debbie Milman's podcast (Design Matters, really awesome podcast, give it a listen ;) ) I was really looking forward to reading this book and consuming all the wisdom in it. I couldn't help but feel a bit underwhelmed by this book. All the pieces are so short there is barely any advice in them. I could see this book as a quick pick me up for people who feel a bit down in their creative career (but in my opinion you're better of with Austin Kleon's books, who have a bit After Adam's appearance on Debbie Milman's podcast (Design Matters, really awesome podcast, give it a listen ;) ) I was really looking forward to reading this book and consuming all the wisdom in it. I couldn't help but feel a bit underwhelmed by this book. All the pieces are so short there is barely any advice in them. I could see this book as a quick pick me up for people who feel a bit down in their creative career (but in my opinion you're better of with Austin Kleon's books, who have a bit more dept to them).
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Awesome guide book and pep talk for people trying to make a living as an artist or working on a side hustle or pursuing any kind of art. I loved the format: each section ordered in a neat list with a brief but punchy blurb on each page. Pithy but powerful. As an object, the book is pleasant to hold (so small and compact!). The binding’s a bit stiff, but for a good reason — each page is perforated so you can rip it out and hang it up for inspiration! I love the idea, although personally I’ll be k Awesome guide book and pep talk for people trying to make a living as an artist or working on a side hustle or pursuing any kind of art. I loved the format: each section ordered in a neat list with a brief but punchy blurb on each page. Pithy but powerful. As an object, the book is pleasant to hold (so small and compact!). The binding’s a bit stiff, but for a good reason — each page is perforated so you can rip it out and hang it up for inspiration! I love the idea, although personally I’ll be keeping mine intact.
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    It's difficult to put a star rating on this book. Because it's incredibly simple and it has good stuff... just nothing I hadn't heard before in different ways and there really wasn't any thing that made me have an "ah ha" moment. Overall it was pretty average.I will say as a slight criticism the "cute" censorship of "scratching out" but still being able to read curse words was annoying. Either curse or don't (substitute words with other words like shitake mushrooms or something). Otherwise it fe It's difficult to put a star rating on this book. Because it's incredibly simple and it has good stuff... just nothing I hadn't heard before in different ways and there really wasn't any thing that made me have an "ah ha" moment. Overall it was pretty average.I will say as a slight criticism the "cute" censorship of "scratching out" but still being able to read curse words was annoying. Either curse or don't (substitute words with other words like shitake mushrooms or something). Otherwise it feels half-assed or lazy.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to love this book but it didn’t provide any new insights or nuggets of wisdom (for me). I wouldn’t discourage anyone from readying it as it’s a rather sweet, quick read, I just wish the author dug a bit deeper. He would make a point and then jump to the next topic barely scratching the surface. Maybe I was expecting the wrong thing?On another note, the design is absolutely delightful and makes a great piece to have out for guests to flip through.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Inspiration for days! Adam provides real tips and action steps to easily insert into daily life. Seems lighthearted on the surface, although as the book progresses, you realize the subject matter is much deeper than it may appear, (in a good way). :) Also love the neat tear-out pages feature, to easily share pages with friends, and hang them up on your own walls, too!
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