Monday, March 20, 2017

Review: Make Good Art – Neil Gaiman


Make Good Art – Neil Gaiman


In May 2012, bestselling author Neil Gaiman delivered the commencement address at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, in which he shared his thoughts about creativity, bravery, and strength. He encouraged the fledgling painters, musicians, writers, and dreamers to break rules and think outside the box. Most of all, he encouraged them to make good art. 
The book Make Good Art, designed by renowned graphic artist Chip Kidd, contains the full text of Gaiman’s inspiring speech.


Review: I watched Neil Gaiman’s Make Good Art speech on YouTube soon after he gave it. It’s a pretty good speech, so when I saw the slightly battered book version of it for $1 at a scratch-and-dent sale, I picked it up.

This little book contains the full text of the speech. The text is beautified by a graphic artist who makes it artsy and colorful. Unfortunately, the beautifying of the text is the book’s biggest issue. If you have eye problems (like me), then you’ll know that light blue font on shiny white paper is no fun. Red font on white paper isn’t great, either. The book is only 80 pages long, but I got eyestrain from reading it. The graphics also chop up the speech in odd places. I backtracked a few times because I felt like I missed something.

The speech itself is inspirational. Neil Gaiman talks about how mistakes are inevitable. If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything worth doing. Mistakes aren’t always bad. You learn from them, and some amazing things have been discovered because someone screwed up. Go forth and screw up.

I know this is a tiny review, but Make Good Art is a tiny book. I’ll leave you with my favorite quotes:

“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

 
“The one thing 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 are walking down the street naked . . . that’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.” – Make Good Art
 

“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 a mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn't matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.” – Make Good Art







8 comments:

  1. How funny that the "art" part of this book is what made it difficult for you! Sounds like a great read, though!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found that funny, too. For me, the art in the book wasn’t “good art.”

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  2. Sounds like it's worth picking up, too bad the "art" part was straining though!

    Cyn @ Bookmunchies

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! The speech part of it is really good, especially if you’re a Neil Gaiman fan.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  3. How weird that the fonts were in colors that made it difficult to read. That kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it? It does sound interesting though! I'll have to look it up on YouTube! That's how I ended up "reading" The Last Lecture too. Great review!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Please look it up on YouTube. It’s a very good speech.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  4. I hate it when a book gets ruined by trying to look pretty. I will have to look his speech up.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It sounds like this one is inspiring and actually like the type of thing I would like, but the format is going to make me pass. Why wouldn't they just make it normal, so that it is easier for everyone to read? Such a let down :/ But those quotes were wonderful.

    ReplyDelete

I do a happy dance every time I get a comment. (You should be grateful that you’re not around to witness this dance. It’s truly horrifying.) Leave a link to your blog so I can visit you.