Inspiration:Cat exploded? Make good art.


Here is a really lovely commencement speech that Neil Gaiman recently gave.  It is quite thought-provoking, a little funny, and amazingly inspirational.  It got me writing for the first time in a month.  I hope it does the same for you!

These are a few of my favorite one-liners.  They are all the more poignant in context.

If you don’t know it’s impossible, it’s easier to do.

I learned to write by writing.  

I tended to do anything that felt like an adventure, and stop when it felt like work, which meant life did not feel like work.

A life in the arts is like putting messages in bottles on a desert island and hoping that someone will find one of your bottles and open it and read it and put something in a bottle that will find its way back to you. 

The things I did because I was excited and wanted to see them exist in reality have never let me down.

Sometimes life is hard… when things get tough, this is what you should do: Make. Good. Art… Cat Exploded? Make good art.

The moment that you feel that just possibly you’re walking down the street naked… showing too much of yourself, that’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.

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.

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29 thoughts on “Inspiration:Cat exploded? Make good art.

  1. for some reason, it wouldn’t open…or appear.

    however, anything that gets a writer on the the road of writing….has my interest!

    Lady Nyo

  2. This is great. Thanks for sharing it.
    I’ve read it twice and expect to many times again.
    I’ll add my own thought to it –
    art should come organically from the heart/mind/soul,
    and not be inspired by a market niche or need.
    (In the latter case, it’s then a commodity, which is fine – just don’t call it art.)
    Some genre writing, in my opinion, is produced to fill a market niche and it’s not art.

  3. Love this! The one about “Life in the arts” is a tag like blogging, isn’t it? Did you post a video to watch too? If so, i can’t see it but there is a blank space that looks like it should be there.

  4. Reblogged this on Life at 30 and commented:
    This is my first attempt at reblogging… I truly have no idea what I’m doing so I hope it works!! I loved this post so much I had to share it. It’s a commencement speech that Neil Gaiman recently gave, and is very inspiring. I love so many of his thoughts. He talks of how the world is changing, traditional methods of distribution are changing: “the old rules are crumbling and no one knows what the new rules are, so make your own.” Very thought-provoking.
    But the following is one of my favourite comments of the speech:
    “Be wise… and if cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and just do what they would.”
    Brilliant – definitely worth a watch!

  5. Reblogged this on James Chris Fields and commented:
    An absolutely inspiring commencement address for all of us who never stop graduating.

    Here’s to remarkable and unexpected places! Cheers to the honorable liars, the people who make art, and the people who support the people who make art. Thank you Neil Gaiman! A sly wink to your wife Amanda Palmer, and another to all my good faerie friends at the House of Collection. Listen to this if you haven’t and thank your lucky stars that you are a glittering winged creatrix. Then go find another faerie friend and thank them for making pretty as well.

    If you love what you do, even when you hate doing it, YOU HAVE ARRIVED.

    Glorious and fantastic mistakes INDEED!

  6. Hi. That line about feeling like you’re walking down the street naked I think is particularly true and is something to aim for. Something along the same lines – I can’t remember who said it now – is that the people who hung around the perimeter of the playground are those who turn out to be the dangerous writers. Anyway, thanks for the inspiring words. They’re always useful…

  7. Ah, Gaiman. There’s no way I can top him.

    Well, hello again. It’s been awhile. I stopped by to invite you to my new-website-theme-housewarming-thingy, because you were on my list of WordPress.com followers. I deleted my old WordPress.com site and, after the last few months of changing it up, I’m finally proud of RNMcKinnon.com (especially its new theme, launched yesterday!). Hope you’ll stop by. Keep writing!

  8. writing will always have some mistakes–interesting mistakes–because we are but human–and i would ban the internet to keep the libraries open and newspapers in publication–make good art

  9. Very inspiring! I am starting to be much more public in my creative life and so these were great for me to read to boost my confidence. I like the one about walking down the street naked. I know that feeling, but I am going to try to focus on it being a good thing for art.

  10. Pingback: Flecks of Inspiration to Ring in the New Year | Lightning Droplets

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