This week, as we celebrate the beginning of Spring, I want to provide you all with some refreshing inspiration that I always find helpful, myself. About two years ago in a very new spin on painting class, we took a field trip to our art building’s media room. Our very young and trendy teacher sat us down to watch a speech. We kind of looked at each other and wondered what exactly a speech had to do with our painting class. She explained it was given by author Neil Gaiman to the graduating class of Philadelphia’s University of the Arts. Things then started to make a bit more sense. So we got comfortable and she started the video. I had never known much about Neil Gaiman other than the fact that he wrote the book “Coraline”, which inspired the animated movie I had seen only once before. After that brief thought, he was being introduced and welcomed to the stage. Once he began, we were all immediately engaged. He spoke of his struggles as a writer, not being “good” enough, having small menial jobs, but knowing writing was something he had to do. Something housed in every fiber of his being.
His speech provides light and airy humor with a touch of optimistic truth to what the world holds for those graduates, and for everyone who has ever had a dream. He calls it “Make Good Art”. As simple as that. Comparisons are made between the excuses we give ourselves to not do so and his response always remains…make good art. He leaves his audience feeling inspired, weightless, and ready to incorporate their own beauty into an evolving world of creativity. One line that sticks out to me the most, as a now soon to be college graduate, is one that made goosebumps run up my arms during that spur the moment painting class field trip; and now, two years later, that same line brings the same chill to my bones that gives me the courage and drive to go and do something incredible with my life. So I hope that you look into this speech, take in every single word and remember that if we do not face obstacles, do not doubt ourselves, do not feel fear, or take on those menial jobs, we are not chasing our dream. Never stop chasing.
“And now go, and make interesting, amazing, glorious, fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good Art.”