In an age where everybody and their grandmother wants to be a professional creative, real artists are becoming less and less common. Sure, making that album or that web series would be cool, but what separates a creative from a legitimate artist is their motive. Adam Hurly is an artist, true and true.
Adam, the author of ‘The Prospectives’ series, isn’t doing what he’s doing for followers. He isn’t trying to “go viral” or appeal to the masses. He’s simply trying to make something that he loves and that he’s proud of, without anyone’s opinion clouding his judgment.
A lot of people have a strong grasp of ‘What’ they do; whether you’re a doctor or a lawyer or a fireman. People also know ‘How’ they do their thing. What’s special, however, is when someone can clearly identify the reason ‘Why’ they do what they do. Adam Hurly wants to create, and he wants to create with the purest of intentions. That is, for all intents and purposes, the definition of an artist.
“I started writing it in May of 2014 and launched it in July,” states Adam. He started it with clear intentions to do this series for three to four years, which is impressive because he’s planning on finishing off the series March 2017, almost exactly three years later. He began the project with three clear goals in mind. Firstly, he wanted to start something and see it to completion. Check. Secondly, he wanted to create something that he’d be really proud of regardless of what the feedback was. Check. Lastly, he wanted to create something that he’d love every day and that would motivate him. Check.
In the three unique series—two fiction and one nonfiction, each ranging from seven months to one year—he collaborates with an illustrator friend to deliver a graduated narrative and visual that slowly lends a few lessons. His illustrators have been Sam Kalda, Levi Hastings, and Justin Teodoro.
The project, which you could call ‘the first Instagram serial of its kind’, has a loyal following and Hurly is making sure to end things on a note that the people who care about it will appreciate. More so, though, he wants to end things in a way that will propel him forward. Although his series has a loyal following, Adam still considers himself far from a success story. “I have $200 in my bank account right now; I don’t know why people think that’s successful.”
Adam constantly asks himself, “Will doing this help me grow in a way that I want to grow?” He admits that blowing up isn’t one of his priorities; therefore he doesn’t do much promotion. He’s also an editor himself, so he knows from experience that any pitch he receives from a publicist is just because they’re being paid to do so. Any pitch he’d send to an editor about his own project will likely get ignored because “of course someone is going to pretend like his own work is outstanding. I’d think it was B.S. if someone sent me that, plus I doubt any of those editors finds the time to actually read it. And I understand that.”
That being said, the project has landed him a lot of work as a freelance writer. His current client roster includes GQ, Men’s Fitness, YouTube, Bloomberg, and BMW; many of those editors—effectively, his bosses—have found the project impressive.'It takes life’s rough tumbles to shape you into the best version of yourself' Click To Tweet
Ironically enough, it took writing a series called “The Prospectives” for Adam to find true perspective. He learnt many valuable lessons along the way, starting with the notion that patience is a virtue.
“I couldn’t have done it at 25, that would have been absurd,” he explains. He continues, offering, “I think my advice to people is just wait 10 years and screw up as much as possible, because at 30 you’ll be happy.” It takes life’s rough tumbles to shape you into the best version of yourself. People, much like Adam’s projects, require patience in order to grow steadily and evolve naturally.
After moving to New York from Sioux Falls, SD, Hurly found himself caught up in a life he wasn’t happy with; “I felt I was tired of trying to keep up with a certain crowd or trying to live outside my means.” He points to social media as the biggest proponent of this “people trying to be something they’re not” mentality. Hurly soon found a group of friends he felt comfortable with and developed the support system he needed. He admits, though, that it’s not something you can force. Once you’re able to recognize what happiness is to you, then you can begin to preserve that feeling and cut out the rest that makes you unhappy. “I had to do a lot of wrong things to make me realize what was right,” he admits.
Another thing that Adam admits to learning is the ability to find the good in having little. “I’m happiest when I’m broke,’ he claims, continuing “There’s actually an advantage to having few resources because you get creative and you get innovative and you start to realize the benefit of what you do have.”'find the time to stop and think' Click To Tweet
It’s all about perspective and being aware of your situation. Adam credits his ability to stay levelheaded and focused to his mindfulness practices. He takes every opportunity that’s available to get his head right; whether it be a daily jog, which he recommends strongly, or simply enjoying his daily commute and using that time to relax and think. He urges everyone to find those moments throughout our hectic days to find the time to stop and think, otherwise you get too caught up in it all.
Adam’s Questions for the KYŌ App:
- Is this editorially interesting?
- Will doing this help me grow?
- Do I have the patience to let this grow steadily and evolve naturally?
Illustrations: Justin Teodoro