it’s flattering you would ask me this! do i seem like i have figured out my direction? it’s flattering when i get asked design questions! do i seem like i know anything about anything? i am just 1 person out of billions. i don’t know more than anyone else, and i’m happy to admit that.
what is “direction” anyway? every single person is completely different, with different needs, desires, motivations, and happiness. what makes you feel satisfied might not be enough for the next person, what you find most fulfilling in life might be what someone else gave up to find their stability. you need to figure out what makes you the best version of yourself, for yourself. learn what you need to feel comforted, loved, useful, productive, accomplished, and content. learn where you need to be, what you need to be doing, and who you need to be doing it with. it might be sharing your creative mind, it might be raising a child, it might be exploring as much of the world as you can, or it might be enjoying a happy hour drink with the rest of a group you belong to after an engaging work week. the good news is you have an entire lifetime to figure it out.
here’s the thing — half the time, you’ll earn a degree in one thing and do something else entirely. think about how many people graduate with fine arts degrees versus the number of full time career artists. it’s not just art, it’s everything. ultimately, what you choose to study does not define who you become.
if graphic design is literally the only thing you’re interested in, then maybe it’s the right choice. work hard, learn as much as you can and pick up additional skills like printmaking, web development, motion graphics, whatever is available and interesting. be the best graphic designer you can be, and then take all of that to your first, second, fifth jobs. do your best and hope for the best. that is literally life.
are there are career paths that are maybe more predictable and traditional? yes, i think so. i have friends who took other paths and landed into jobs immediately after graduation, or those who are on pretty standard med school tracks. those are probably great options and i hope that they will do, or continue to do, really well.
but i also know lots of people who earned degrees in one thing or another who aren’t actively doing anything related to what they studied. or aren’t actively doing anything at all, really. what you study doesn’t define you forever. you can always try, learn, and explore new things. life will surprise you, jobs will push you down different career paths, and you may find that you’re really good at, and enjoy, something you did not expect.
your family is worried about you because they know what we are just figuring out — that life is hard, that priorities and dreams change, and that nothing is guaranteed. they want you to have the best foundation possible so you can achieve everything they know you deserve. choose to be happy by doing something you know you love, but make them proud by being the fucking best at it.
Adam J. Kurtz
P. O. Box 550
Brooklyn, NY 11211
not as often as i maybe once did — i think the age of making friends online has changed a little bit, as our interactions become less personal and more like shouting into space in each others’ directions.
that said, i have made some new “internet friends” and collaborators and inspiration over just the last year, sure. and living in new york helps, because people inevitably come through and then we get to meet up!
also, sometimes i meet people in real life who know me from the internet first and that serves as a sort of ice breaker. i am usually flattered and not creeped out when this happens and it has led to some good things.
i generally think i am “adamjk” but sometimes i’m not even sure, honestly
what is “joy division,” i keep hearing about it??
i think as a whole, my resume design does a good job of incorporating my cleaner and messier aesthetics and serves as a well-rounded introduction. it’s a good way to get to know me — if you hate it for being untraditional, you’ll probably hate me.
and you’re not