I've made so many different items. Sometimes it's a one-time printing of something I just really really wanted to exist because it made me laugh. Other pieces, like the Good Things Happen keychain, become so popular that they find a permanent home in the ADAMJK® collection.
Here's the story of five of my all time favorites:
1. I LITERALLY DO NOT KNOW WHAT I AM DOING Hat
Oh man, where to start with this one. So much of what I make is just stuff that I need to exist, and this was a true need. Nobody knows what the f*** they're doing until they tried, and then maybe it goes great, or maybe you fail, and then you try again. This hat let's people know that I don't know, and then they can make their own decisions about whether or not to take my advice, or ask for it at all??? Even as I get better at certain things, I still feel like I know nothing. Maybe that's amazing because it means there's so much more learning to do. Maybe this hat was optimistic all along.
2. BOTTLED UP FEELINGS Ceramic Jar
The "bottled up feelings" art means so much to me, because it started as a doodle I did on a bad day. I turned the doodle into a few enamel pins, and right away people connected with them. They are me personified: Unable to contain my emotions (despite trying) but ultimately you can read them all over my face.
In 2016 I had the opportunity to collaborate with one of my favorite brands, the NYC housewares company Fishs Eddy. Our Mixed Feelings collection had an assortment of dishes, but this jar was the standout for me. I knew I wanted it all white with the embossed letters, super simple, almost like a small sculpture. The collection was popular and ultimately sold out.
Thanks to a partnership with Chronicle Books, the ceramic feelings jar was reissued in a new gift box. The best part is that their wider distribution means it can end up in bookstores too, so more people can stumble across it at a shop somewhere and feel… extremely seen.
3. NOTHING MATTERS Chenille Patch
You ever just get super super stressed about something? You ever get so anxious you can't sleep? Good news: Eventually, it won't matter. Time moves on. You'll never see that terrible boss again. The grade on that one test will become irrelevant. Acne will be the least of your concerns. Nothing matters so much that it should shut you down completely.
I see this as both a reminder to stay chill and a slightly nihilistic joke. After posting a drawing on Instagram, people requested the nothing matters heart enamel pin. I also did some heart-shaped stress balls for Valentines Day one year. But this, the fuzzy chenille heart is my favorite. The super cute, super soft chenille is part of the joke, a funny contrast with the phrase itself, and I can't help but feel better every time I see it.
After 1 Page at a Time came out, there was almost immediately pressure to do a second book. The first was rushed to release in Brazil (due to the popularity of the journaling trend at the time) and was a bestseller immediately. An amazing thing that changed my life, but a lot of pressure for a 24 year old who never expected to make books at all.
Notes from my Pick Me Up book pitch
I never thought I'd make a second book, but eventually I started to feel more confident about getting "real" in a more direct way. Pick Me Up was the product of allowing myself to be more specific, even if sharing my existential dread and particular brand of optimism left me feeling more vulnerable.
It's a journal you fill out slowly over time, coming back to the same pages over and over again to mark a bit more and see how you've grown. You'll end up reading past advice you wrote – because we all seem to give great advice to everyone else and then forget it when it's our turn – and tracking your changing moods, dreams, and fears. We all keep growing, and instead of turning the page, I wanted to replicate the way we keep cycling back on our inner thoughts.
While not as commercially successful as my first book, it's still been translated into twelve languages, and has been able to reach other people looking for a quiet, contemplative, slightly unhinged place to open up to themselves.
5. THEN & NOW Rainbow Enamel Pin
This was my take on making art inspired by my own LGBTQ+ identity. I just had this moment where I was like, "ok dude when are we gonna make some gay shit???" and this was the result. I got it tattooed on my arm, a reminder that the arc of time moves forward, bridging where we were then, to where we are now.
Progress takes time, and there's work to be done. Human rights are not guaranteed for all people in all places, and it's hard to even imagine that happening in my lifetime. But things are better than they were. The conversation shifts. Role models emerge. Time keeps moving forward and the change can be represented as a beautiful, simple, rainbow arc. This one's on me forever, so you know I mean it!