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AdamJK is here, with reassuring messages and little ways to boost your pleasure

AdamJKʻs new show at Bas Bookshop in Chinatown runs through mid January 2022. Special events every First Friday. A new collaboration project debuts December 3. 2021.
noe tanigawa
AdamJK's new show at Bas Bookshop in Chinatown runs through mid-January 2022. Special events every First Friday. A new collaboration project debuts Dec. 3. 2021.

Adam J Kurtz has a new book and a show at Bas Bookshop in Chinatown. The title for both, is "You Are Here. For Now."

"It's a little bit of duality, right?" AdamJK said. "I'm never purely positive, I'm never purely negative. Because life is everything. Life is both at one, life is 10 conflicting emotions and they all inform each other."

AdamJK's art reflects that. His current show features relatable aphorisms and observations that are truthful, and generally positive. One poster says:

noe tanigawa
Adam J Kurtz is Adam JK, author of several books including an unsolicited advice planner. His latest book is titled, You Are Here. For Now.

"Good things happen.

Love is real.

We will be okay."

"For me, the best version of something positive is something that is true. If you break down that sentiment, you know good things do happen. Doesn't mean that they're always happening for us. But they are happening, and the knowledge that they can happen is a reminder they can happen for you again. If it's been a while, hey, maybe your turn is coming up."

AdamJK has worked with Adobe, Urban Outfitters, and other brands as well as on his own line of posters, books, keychains, and items, including the comforting You Tried trophy mug.

"This is just what my humor's like as an East Coast Jewish person," AdamJK said, "Very tightly wound. Now I'm in Hawaiʻi, I'm trying to chill out a little bit."

Originally from Toronto, AdamJK spent 10 years in New York City.

"And while in New York I met a local boy, Mitchell Kuga from Moanalua Valley," AdamJK continues. "Last year we moved home to Hawaiʻi so we can hang out with his parents. You know, people from Hawaiʻi are never as happy as when they're here.

AdamJK says he writes his books as he would talk to a friend. One card reads:

"You are an amazing and emotional person who feels feelings.

This can be annoying at times, but it's also your secret power.

Keep being human."

Adam J Kurtz

"What choice do we have but to be who we are and it can be so frustrating to feel deeply and it can be so difficult to feel a range of conflicting emotions at all times but that's what it is to be alive?!"

AdamJK has a onesie for that. It says:

"What is this? I was literally just born."

Ideal for that disoriented infant.

"Hey, life has been so hard with this pandemic and the challenges," AdamJK points out. "And the supply chain and the lack of jobs, but you're still here. You're alive. And that's such an incredible gift. We need to take advantage of that. We need to say, Hey, I must be here for a reason. How can I take care of myself so I can be a better caretaker for others? That's really the message that I cannot get out of my head. And so when I have something stuck in my head, what do I do? I make art out of it."

Now, you can do that too.

AdamJK's book is "You Are Here. For Now." And there's a gift with purchase. It's a kit of tools he used to create his book — pencil, notepad, washi tape, and a large, handy eraser printed with the words:

"I literally do not know what I'm doing."

Noe Tanigawa covered art, culture and ideas for two decades at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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