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Let’s be real. Life can be rainbows and unicorns at one point or gray and dreary like parts of Europe at another. Either way, the happiness that everyone seeks or works hard to maintain truly depends on what you make of your situation. This is what New York-based artist and bestselling author Adam J Krutz tells its readers on his latest book, “Things are What You Make of Them.” It is also the subject of his upcoming visit to the Philippines for a book signing event at National Book Store in Glorietta 1 on February 2.

Composed of 13 color-coded chapters of creative advice, the book is a deceptively simple, yet insightful book for creatives or for “anyone who needs a little creative boost or encouragement” in any career path. Expanding on a series of popular essays, Kurtz shares wisdom, motivation, empathy, and guidance as a working artist to a reader, printed in his signature scrawl in torn out pieces of paper with neon colors as its backdrop. The best part about the book is that each vibrant, full-color page is lightly perforated. You can take the page out and hang it by your desk, wherever you work, or on your mirror [as soon as you wake up] in the morning,” he said in a flip-through video of the book on Instagram.

Things are What You Make of Them cover topics from the practical — How to Stay Sane When You Work from Home and Working with Friends and Family — to the existential — How to Begin Again and How to be Happier.

Whether you’re a writer, an artist, entrepreneur, or someone who wants to be more creative, Krutz aims to empower readers with the nuggets of wisdom in his third book, especially when it looks like “it would be easier to give up and act normal,” whatever that means.

In many ways, his honest, humble, and Instagram-worthy book reflects the challenges not unique to him as well as the good he has made out of his own career. He has been sharing his art as a hobby for about 10 years (perhaps as a Buzzfeed writer) but going full time as a creative professional in 2015 was filled with what he realized as commonly-shared anxieties, fears, and stresses. He has since made two self-care journals where he took the lessons he learned and made them available to others. The first was called “1 Page at a Time” and was translated to over 10 languages including Spanish, Chinese, German, French, Russian, Bulgarian, Dutch, Korean, among others, proving the author’s wide reach of influence and advice.

With his new book, Krutz said he dug deeper into his truth and realized that “we’re all in this together.” Indeed, we are especially for the Tegan Sara Foundation who works for economic justice, health, and representation for LGBTQ girls and women. A total of $7,680 was raised after the book’s publisher donated a dollar for every pre-ordered copy of the book. Kurtz matched the donation, too, according to one advice included in the book titled, “Raise Others Up.”

When he wrote about happiness for Teen Vogue, he simply said this: “There’s no big secret that everyone except you knows. For the most part, we all understand these basic, common truths, but we forget them when they matter most.”

Photo from National Book Store

For more details on #AJKinPH Book Signing, visit National Book Store’s website and social media


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