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 a 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.
Make Good Art – Neil Gaiman’s timeless advice on the creative life, adapted by design legend Chip Kidd.
You want to be a writer? Keep writing.
Nobody gets to be you, except you. Nobody has your point of view, except you. Nobody gets to bring to the worlds the things taht you get to bring to the world – uniquely get to bring to the world – except you.
So saying there are enough writers out there, enough directors out there, enough people with a point of view – well, yeah, there are – but none of them are you, none of this them is going to make the art that you’re going to make, none of them will change people and change the world in the way that you could change it.
So if you believe somebody who says, ‘No, no, we’ve got enough of those,’ then all it means is you’re giving up your chance to change the world the way only you can change it.
When a young woman cites being told she shouldn’t pursue being an artist because there are too many artists in the world already, Neil Gaiman offers some words of wisdom. Complement with his even wiser advice to young people in the arts.
A fine addition to our ongoing archive of sage, timeless advice.
“Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.” Neil Gaiman’s 8 rules of writing.
Neil Gaiman’s fantastic 2012 commencement address about living the freelance life, adapted in a Venn diagram.