Will you talk about your time at UMBC? Why you might have liked and disliked it? and specifically it's visual arts program.
Feel like I say this a lot, but I prefer questions like this to not be anonymous. I’ll reply directly, or email me (email@example.com) — I actually will reply!
So, UMBC. This was a great school for me, and I directly attribute a lot of my current life to my time there. It’s also the only college I applied to, someone told me they had a design program and University of Maryland didn’t. It turned out to be a very good choice, because the smaller size allowed me to really flourish. It’s easier to accomplish more when you get specialized attention and there’s less competition.
The Visual Arts program was pretty good. That is how I will describe it. Art education is strange, because you can teach methodology, technique, and history, but you can’t teach vision or talent. You can’t grade creativity, just problem-solving. I had some art professors that I loved (Peggy Re, Laure Drogoul, Guenet Abraham) and others I didn’t care for. Design moves fast and I found that some professors were more in tune with modern software and others threw you into the deep end. Both approaches work but your success depends on how you learn.
Other art programs are definitely a stronger foundation. But it’s undergrad. You’re going to mess up, you’re going to be busy learning about yourself. UMBC is an environment full of people vastly different than you are. Hang out with athletes and public policy nerds and biologists. Take courses that have nothing to do with what you think art is. Don’t take “History of Music” as a “soft option” Humanities course, it’s a trap! There’s also a very strong Computer Science department and you should be learning as much about web development as you can. Then consider an MFA from another institution to get real arty if you need to later. I wish I had better programming skills. I am considering an MFA myself sometime.
I will say this every single time I talk about UMBC: Most of my education came from working at commonvision. I learned practical skills, designing with production in mind, managing actual deadlines, dealing with clients in a “safe” environment, and benefitted from a ton of smart people around me. We had a ton of fun, we planned and curated events. I chaired Art Week in 2009. I made my first postcard designs at commonvision, I printed my first Unsolicited Advice planner there. I’m not saying that “everything I’ve ever done is because of commonvision,” but I’m also not saying that. It was the single most important part of my time at UMBC.
But really, no matter what you do or where you go, you need to involve yourself. You will get out what you put in. If you want to coast and get a piece of paper, go for it. But you’re wasting your time. I did everything from campus radio to a recruitment web series where I hung out with the college president on the roof. I designed the student handbook & probably a hundred posters, flyers, and signs. I got to explore my own styles and see them plastered around campus. I ate a lot of free popcorn. UMBC gave me a ton, but I can confidently say I gave plenty back.
how to buy what? ok i will post links and talk about my shit some more:
ADAMJK INTERNET GIFT SHOP this is where you can buy my small-run art things directly from me, including limited run prints and multiples, t-shirts, pencils, and anything else i have felt like making. i will ship anywhere in the world except apparently my shit just won’t ever be delivered in dubai so don’t bother.
hello hi sure yes ok this is my zazzle shop, which is a print-on-demand website of pretty decent quality and where i put up designs that are too weird or ridiculous to produce in large quantities. some of these items never sell at all, but there are some gems and you might like something. i make about $1 per sale so this is about jokes, not money.
adam j. kurtz, human being this is a moderately-okay person you can talk to, he is 25 and lives in new york. he is not for sale and is not a business or a brand just a guy. being him is exhausting sometimes for a multitude of reasons. he is very tired right now.
You probably get this often, but "week in scrap" is probably the best concept iv seen in a while! Awesome work!
i actually never get that, so thank you! i don’t know why this past week’s post exploded, but it’s cool that new people are discovering the project, especially now that there’s tons of them to look at.
I had a dream about you where you were eating a giant pizza-like burrito with meatballs and selling wierd zines in some sort of backlit club in Stockholm and it was you and a few english speaking people and me and all my instagram crushes and all I can think of today is what does it all mean
i think you are describing a calzone? i’ve never had that because it sounds like an indoor theme park but it’s definitely real. anyway i want to visit stockholm sometime so maybe we can invite your crushes and do this thing.