Adam J . Kurtz
HOME BREW: Moods, Mess, and Mistakes by Adam J. Kurtz
Cheaply printed and stapled by hand, the six issues of HOME BREW zine tell the story of a young artist trying to find their voice (and then get it out of their head).
Though the the work collected in this series wasn't always good, it became a foundation for a body of hopeful, vulnerable, and humorous work.
Reproduced in its entirety for the first time, this collection includes a new introduction from the author, a foreword from artist/educator Kate Bingaman-Burt, issues one through six (2011-2018), and some collected ephemera.
- Publisher : ADAMJK
- Language: : English
- Paperback : 198 pages
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.45 x 7 inches
Introduction by Adam J Kurtz:
The first issue partly documents a trip to Portland for a three-day interview at an experimental ad school that I hoped would change my life in a period of directionlessness (I didn't get in). By the second issue, I'd moved to New York, and by the third I was in my first serious relationship. These were my visual diary mixed up at home and released in small batches.
HOME BREW grew with me through my twenties, reflecting life as it happened in the ways I knew how to process. For me, that took the form of doodles, fake books, pill bottles, bits of conversation, plenty of internet, paper in all forms, and other recurring ideas that didn't always feel obvious at the time.
There are many reasons to not publish this collection. Much of it is awkward, bad, or embarrassing. Plenty of it represents moments in time and versions of myself that I no longer identify with. Besides, as the very first page makes clear: "Not everyone needs a memoir."
Despite the foreshadowing, nearly a decade later, I'm grateful for this paper trail. HOME BREW's recurring themes and ideas have ultimately found homes elsewhere in my work. These scraps and rough drafts document the creative growth of an artist trying to find their voice, and a person trying to find their place. Today, I am... getting closer.
From issue 2 onward, HOME BREW came packaged with an assortment of extras like stickers, pin badges, and balloons. These "sad loot bags" helped soften the blow, because even when things are hard, there's still so much joy to be found in the ephemera of being alive. At the right time, almost anything can be that good luck charm that helps us pull through.
I've always believed in the magic of making something from nothing. A book is six zines is twenty-four pages is a single image printed as a postcard. For me, that belief has led to a body of work that's not always good, but always rooted in who I am and the experiences of my life along the way. All I can hope for is to continue the work of processing my existence and communicating with others, with whatever I've got, in any medium I can, until I can't.
Adam J . Kurtz
Adam J. Kurtz is an artist and author whose illustrative work is rooted in honesty, humor and a little darkness. His books including 1 Page at a Time: A Daily Creative Companion have been translated into over a dozen languages and his work has been featured in the New Yorker, VICE, Adweek and more. Kurtz speaks frankly about channeling human emotion into our creative work, delivering lectures to conferences, organizations, and universities. His latest book, Things Are What You Make of Them is a handwritten essay collection that digs into the emotional realities of creative entrepreneurship.