Today, while being distracted from writing the current short story I’m wrestling with, I happened across (via Twitter) the most fantastic video I’ve found to date. But, I mean that on a personal level. This video may or may not click with you. I think it’s a great watch for anyone and everyone, but it simply made my day.
The follow video is Neil Gaiman’s address to the University of the Arts 2012 graduating class. He is the author of books like Stardust and Coraline, which have both been made into movies in the recent past. Also, he is well-known for his comic strip The Sandman. He’s won numerous awards for his literature. Basically, go read his stuff after you’re done.
Watch for yourself before I spoil it with commentary. This is worth all 20 minutes. Please, especially if you have any desire to be some form of an artist (music, art, writing, etc.) this is a must watch. But I fully believe this applies to everyone. Not only inspiring, but quite funny as well.
Make Good Art.
For me, this monologue embodies everything I’ve built my life around in the past few years—everything I’m striving to be. All my goals, all my hopes, all my dreams can be summarized in three words: Make good art.
You can call this tacky, but I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of a tattoo. However, the permanence of tattoos and my current lack of full independence has prevented that so far. Even still, I said on numerous occasions that if I ever found something meaningful enough on a deep, personal level, I would love such a memorandum. Three words, “Make Good Art” carry with it everything I stand for, and everything I hope for the future. Obviously, I wont make a rash decision today, or tomorrow, or even a year from now. I may never get that idealized tattoo, but if I ever were to, this would be it. I say this only to demonstrate the weight of this speech on a very intimate, and personal level.
As many of you know, I am working towards a Bachelors, and eventually Masters, in Social Work. This field of study has been fantastic, and it lines up with and supports many of my fundamental principles. I sincerely look forward to a career in social work.
Yet, I cannot help but wish I could start over. For several months now, I’ve wondered if I should have pursued a journalism major. I was turned away from a writing major for financial reasons, which is highly ironic given my current field of study. And this has left me, not necessarily with a regret, but a lump in my throat. I wish now I had at least taken some journalism classes. Thankfully, I woke up in time to take a two writing classes, one last semester and one this coming semester, but I can’t help myself from wishing I had done more. I often feel I wasted a great opportunity to develop my writing, my dream, by not accessing these opportunities.
They scared me away because of money. A common preaching point of mine has been to chase your dreams, regardless of the financial returns or losses. Chase your dreams. That’s why I loved this quote from the video:
“Nothing I did where the only reason for doing it was the money was ever worth it except as bitter experience.”
I have a goal, a dream, a mountain in the distance: to write. I know the journey will be difficult, full of mostly mistakes. Many times, I wont even know the direction I’m headed, but I can see the mountain top. I will reach that peak, one day, some day. But until then,
Make good art.
“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 in which life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art.”
—Author Neil Gaiman