Writers Write is a comprehensive writing resource. In this post, we’ve shared advice from British author, Neil Gaiman on making good art.
Neil Gaiman is a bestselling and multiple award-winning writer and creator of various works. I recently watched his keynote address, delivered to the University of the Arts Class of 2012. It’s both so inspiring and so authentic, that I had to share snippets of it with you.It’s his advice to those starting out in a career in the arts, and is valuable to us as writers.
Neil Gaiman On Making Good Art
1. ‘When you start out on a career in the arts, you have no idea what you’re doing.’
2. ‘I hope you’ll make mistakes.’
We’re generally petrified of making mistakes publicly, aren’t we? Neil says, ‘If you’re making mistakes, it means you’re out there doing something.’
3. ‘While you’re at it, make your art.’
Neil says, ‘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 … as only you can.’
4. Parting words about the world now and the world as we leave it
He speaks about how the rules in the creative landscape are changing, with the Internet changing the nature of the distribution of art. On the one hand, this is intimidating. On the other hand, it’s liberating. He says, ‘The old rules are crumbling and nobody knows what the new rules are. So make up your own rules … And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for being here. Make good art.’
Slow clap, Neil. I couldn’t say it better than that.
by Donna Radley
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