I realised I've never put this video of Neil Gaiman's Commencement Speech on my blog. I'm a big fan of him and especially this speech. I already recommended it to lots of people who are making any kind of art, and I'm always surprised about how few of them have ever heard it, which really is a pity. It's so inspiring, encouraging, and funny too! (Plus he has a great storyteller-voice, no wonder he also started audio book recording.) I even have a print version, just in case I need these words at hand.
By now one thing is irrevocably wired into my brain:
When something bad happens to you, make good art!
Some of my favourite quotes:
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.
If you don't know it's impossible, it's easier to do.
If you have an idea of what you want to make, what you were put here to do, then just go and do that.
A freelance life, a life in the arts, is sometimes 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 wash its way back to you: appreciation, or a commission, or money, or love. And you have to accept that you may put out a hundred things for every bottle that winds up coming back.
If you're making mistakes, it means you're out there doing something. And the mistakes in themselves can be useful.
And most of all:
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.
And for me, and for so many of the people I have known, that's been a lifesaver. The ultimate lifesaver. It gets you through good times and it gets you through the other ones.
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.