The Most Inspiring Speech You Will Hear Today: “Make Good Art”

The Most Inspiring Speech You Will Hear Today: “Make Good Art”

This one is especially for all the creative students, whether you are already studying with The Learning Group or not. Whether you want to become a writer, a photographer, or an interior decorator, this speech will do more than inspire you – it will get you fired up to go out there and do what you love and to love what you are doing.

So without further ado: The speech

In 2012, Neil Gaiman (you can read more about who he is below) gave a Commencement Speech to the graduating class of the University of Arts in Philadelphia, USA.

So give it a listen, and go out and make good art:

Neil Gaiman Speech - The Learning Group

You can scroll down for the highlights of the speech.

Who is Neil Gaiman?

Though many people don’t know who he is, Neil Gaiman is probably one of the most influential figures in contemporary popular culture. Along with Alan Moore, he revolutionised the medium of comic-books with his series called The Sandam (first published in 1989). All those Batman and Ironman movies you love to watch – they have all been influenced by this man in one way or another.

Other than that, Gaiman is an award-winning novelist and writer. He has written a book with Terry Pratchett, he wrote the fantasy movie Stardust (staring Claire Danes), and he wrote the hugely successful children’s book Coraline (that was also adapted into a movie).

Just go Google ‘Neil Gaiman’ for a list of great books and comics to read!

Highlights of the speech

For those of you who don’t want to watch the whole video, here are some of the quotable highlights:

“When you start out on a career in the arts you have no idea what you are doing… People who know what they are doing know the rules, and know what is possible and impossible. You do not. And you should not. The rules on what is possible and impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them. And you can.” 

“If you have an idea of what you want to make, what you were put here to do, then just go and do that.”

“I hope you’ll make mistakes. If you’re making mistakes, it means you’re out there doing something.”

“And remember that whatever discipline you are in, whether you are a musician or a photographer, a fine artist or a cartoonist, a writer, a dancer, a designer, whatever you do you have one thing that’s unique. You have the ability to make art.”

“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.”

“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.”

Do the stuff that only you can do. The urge, starting out, is to copy. And that’s not a bad thing. Most of us only find our own voices after we’ve sounded like a lot of other people. But the one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”

“That was the hardest lesson for me, I think: to let go and enjoy the ride, because the ride takes you to some remarkable and unexpected places.”

“And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.”

In conclusion

Remember that you can make a living from your passion – Neil Gaiman is living proof thereof. So when enrolling for your course, or while studying, always remember that only you get to determine what’s possible and what is not.



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