Make Good Art

If you enjoy his voice as much as I do, listen to some of his audiobooks, you won’t regret it.

Neil Gaiman gives one of the greatest commencement speeches of all time to the 2012 class at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. The speech was so good it was adapted into a book: Make Good Art.

There are so many good things to take form this speech but here a few tidbits to get you started:

Advice for getting through tough times:

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 a mutated boa constrictor — make good art. IRS on your trail — make good art. Cat exploded — make good art. Someone on the Internet thinks what you’re doing is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before — make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, eventually time will take the sting away, and that doesn’t even matter. Do what only you can do best: Make good art. Make it on the bad days, make it on the good days, too.

He encourages us to make mistakes:

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

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Do More

video not 100% safe for work

A fantastic reading by Benedict Cumberbatch of a letter from Sol LeWitt to Eva Hesse.

Get out of your head and just DO your art. This is a great reminder to create more!

Do more. More nonsensical, more crazy, more machines… make them abound with nonsense. Try and tickle something inside you, your “weird humor.” You belong in the most secret part of you. Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool. Make your own, your own world. If you fear, make it work for you — draw & paint your fear & anxiety… You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to

DO

Sometime you need to create bad work to get to the good work or to find what you are really supposed to be working on.

Try to do some BAD work — the worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell — you are not responsible for the world — you are only responsible for your work — so DO IT. And don’t think that your work has to conform to any preconceived form, idea or flavor. It can be anything you want it to be.