Saturday, May 19, 2012

007 neil gaiman's commencement address, 2012.

This is Neil Gaiman's Commencement Address to Philadelphia's UArts Class of 2012. 

Never in my entire life have I so closely identified with any speech I have ever heard.
My physical responses to Neil's speech in chronological order: 
Began with
 Fervent vertical head shakes 
Which led into
A messy agglomeration of eye water sweeping over my entire face
Followed by
My hands coming together to form thunderous applause
And ended when
A huge smile that was traveling across my face arrived at its apex. 

Maybe it's because I'm trying to make a life and a name for myself in the arts, but his words leave me feeling completely renewed. 

It's as if everything blurry that I was squinting to see is suddenly clear. 
It's instant LASIK for the creative soul.

Remember, whatever discipline you’re in, whether you’re a musician or a photographer, a fine artist or a cartoonist, a writer, a dancer, a singer, 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’ve known, that’s been a lifesaver, the ultimate lifesaver. It gets you through good times, and it gets you through … the other ones. Sometimes life is hard. Things go wrong — in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art. I’m serious. 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. Someone on the Internet thinks what you’re doing is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, eventually time will take the sting away, and that doesn’t even matter. Do what only you can do best: Make good art. Make it on the bad days, make it on the good days, too.” 

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

“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.
The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you're walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That's the moment you may be starting to get it right."

 – Neil Gaiman

Complete transcript available here.

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