miércoles, 20 de junio de 2012

Make. Good. Art

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Yesterday I was listening to Neil Gaiman’s Commencement address at the University of the Arts (yeah, I know, I’m about 3 weeks late to the party), and in a completely unexpected may, it made me like him even more. (And, in case I haven’t been clear about this before: I absolutely adore Neil Gaiman. I’d kidnap him and lock him into a room with me just to talk if I thought I could get away with it. For hours. Or days. Who knows? I have issues.)* 

Lately I’ve been in a reflective mood and I’ve been able to zero in on the reason why I enjoy his writing so much: it always brings a smile to my face. I’m not sure if it’s the subject matter, or the writing style, or repressed childhood memories or whatever, what I do know is, reading Gaiman is always a pleasure. 

So, hearing him in a somewhat somber and reflective mode was quite a departure from the Gaiman I’m used to reading. But his words struck a chord anyway. Because, what he said, the main thing he really had to say is …life is going to suck. You can’t help that. You can try to prevent it, but things happen anyway. And when those things happen, all you can do is pick yourself up. And then make good art.

And, isn’t that the greatest advice ever for artists? Because, it’s true. Every time. You can’t help what’s going to happen. You can try to control your life, but sometimes you won’t be able to. And, some of those times, when things go bad, really, really bad, you’ll find yourself making good art. Better art than you could have made if you’d been happy and whole and …well, normal.

I guess the point is, normalcy is over-rated, and there is a story there. There’s a story in everything that happens to you. You just have to find it. And, for that, you have to live. Screw up. Do things right. Figure out the difference. Don’t. 

Or, as Gaiman said: “Go and 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.”

*Joke. JOKE. Joke. Come on, people. JOKE.

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