Being a creative during the COVID-19 pandemic has been creatively challenging. From trying to persevere through voids of inspiration and energy to navigating layoffs and fewer gigs to, well, trying to keep a handle on mental health in general, 2020 has been a year unlike any other.
And that’s why we’re especially thankful for Adam J. Kurtz.
“My creative work is rooted in my own lived experience, using design tools to communicate the ups and downs as I figure out not just how to be a successful independent brand and studio, but a human person,” he writes. “Years of sharing work and process has created a larger consciousness of who I am and what I care about—the power of art to transform our own lives, the importance of acknowledging our mental health, and the value of a dumb joke (laughter is unfortunately not the best medicine but still pretty good).”
In partnership with Adobe Acrobat, Kurtz has created “Holding It All Together,” a series of three printable toolkits for navigating the times, which break his create process down into stages. The first was focused on finding balance in work and life, and the second, about creative exploration, is out now.
After balance, Kurtz writes, comes the fun part: play. Experimenting with ideas. Following whims. Finding solutions in mistakes. And perhaps most powerful, especially now: Surveying what’s going on within you.
“It’s not magic, but it is magical. As creative types, we have a special power to transform our ideas, feelings and more. Sometimes it’s messy, sometimes it’s stressful and sometimes it all just flows so easily it’s like the work was always meant to be. You don’t know until you start digging, and that’s what this kit is all about.”
Here, in Kurtz’s own words, is what’s inside:
Break It Down Worksheet: You’ve been holding onto a feeling but it’s time to let go. Break it down into the what and why, and then make a plan to move forward, or make it into art.
Thought-Starter Checklist: Not your usual brainstorm! This list of quick hits might trigger something new. Check off anything you connect with just to enjoy the feeling.
Big Mistake Activity: Remember when you messed up and you thought it was a big deal so you tried to fix it and then nobody noticed and it was lowkey even better? Let’s do that again.
One-Sheet Zine Template: With just six interior pages, this booklet is the perfect size for exploring an idea without a huge commitment. Created on a single sheet, it’s easy to print a bunch and distribute your work!
Take some time for yourself, and download a copy here.