Make Good Art – Neil Gaimen

When I was revisiting Ira Glass’s thoughts on storytelling ‘The Gap’ I was also thinking of Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech ‘Make Good Art’. I’m sure most people know Neil Gaiman. I first came across him as the co-author, with Terry Pratchett, of Good Omens. I then refound him as Amanda Palmer’s other half. He’s perhaps best known as the author of the Sandman comic graphic novel. I can’t say that I’ve ever gotten into that although I know it has a huge cult following. I have enjoyed the children’s books ‘Fortunately the milk’, ‘Chu’s Day’ and his reading of The Graveyard Book is excellent.

Checkout Make Good Art below:

Open Culture has distilled the video into the following points

  1. Embrace the fact that you’re young. Accept that you don’t know what you’re doing. And don’t listen to anyone who says there are rules and limits.
  2. If you know your calling, go there. Stay on track. Keep moving towards it, even if the process takes time and requires sacrifice.
  3. Learn to accept failure. Know that things will go wrong. Then, when things go right, you’ll probably feel like a fraud. It’s normal.
  4. Make mistakes, glorious and fantastic ones. It means that you’re out there doing and trying things.
  5. When life gets hard, as it inevitably will, make good art. Just make good art.
  6. Make your own art, meaning the art that reflects your individuality and personal vision.
  7. Now a practical tip. You get freelance work if your work is good, if you’re easy to get along with, and if you’re on deadline. Actually you don’t need all three. Just two.
  8. Enjoy the ride, don’t fret the whole way. Stephen King gave that piece of advice to Neil years ago.
  9. Be wise and accomplish things in your career. If you have problems getting started, pretend you’re someone who is wise, who can get things done. It will help you along.
  10. Leave the world more interesting than it was before.

Friday Inspiration: Neil Gaiman – Make Good Art

Neil Gaiman‘s address to the 2012 graduating class of the University of the Arts has been on my mind this week. Perhaps the most quoted section of the address is this:

Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do

Make good art.

I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn’t matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.

Make it on the good days too.

but there are lots of other good bits listen to them all in the video below.