make good art

I’d seen this video (or links to it) floating around on the internet for a week or two before carving out the time to watch it. It’s twenty minutes long, and while that’s not a great deal of time–I routinely blow 30-60 minutes watching TV that is far less rewarding–I just hadn’t taken the time to sit and give it my attention. But when a friend tagged me in her Facebook post of the video, urging me and a few others to make the time to watch it, describing it as brilliant and even confession that it had brought her to tears at a couple of points, I promptly put it on my to-do list.

It still took me 2 days to get around to watching it, but I made the time. And it was more than worth it.

If you don’t know Neil Gaiman’s name, just know this about him: he is wildly creative, more than a little successful and seems, from what exposure I’ve had to him, to be a thoroughly genuine man. He is a writer, and in this video he’s addressing graduates of the University of the Arts. While his thoughts are oriented toward people who intend to make a living from producing some kind of art, as is so often the case, the advice applies to life in general, as well.

Here’s a beautiful example:

When you start out on a career in the arts, you have no idea what you’re doing. This is great. People who know what they’re doing know the rules, and the know what is possible and what is impossible. You do not, and you should not. The rules on what is possible and what is impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them.

And you can.

If you don’t know it’s impossible, it’s easier to do. And because nobody’s done it before, they haven’t made up rules to stop anyone doing that particular thing again.

I know that, most likely, for you a twenty minute commitment to an online video is just as big a deal as it was for me. I know that finding that time, ensuring that you are undisturbed and giving it to something you can find on YouTube is a tall order. I know that this is far from the first time someone has sworn to you that something they watched or read was “life changing” and insisted that you ingest it, as well, because they are sure, absolutely sure, you will find it life changing, too.

And because of all of that, I know that you may or may not make the time to watch this particular video. But you should. It truly is one of the most inspirational speeches I’ve ever heard, and I’ve had the good fortune to hear a fair few.

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About Ash Martin
Ash Martin writes dark fantasy and horror, has a thing for classic monster legends, Nordic mythology, coffee, and sarcasm, and is currently working on multiple books.

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