Surfing the web in my quest to improve my skills in the proper use of the English language, I happened into an inspirational speech addressed to the 2012 graduating class of the Philadelphia’s University of the Arts on May 17, 2012 by Neil Gaiman. Everything he said made perfect sense to me. It was not only what he said what struck me, but the suave way he said it with an exquisite British pronunciation. The eloquent speech reminded me of the famous lecture given by Steve Jobs to the students of the University of Stanford in 2005. Both are extraordinary pieces of oral communication with very deep thoughts to mediate upon.
Neil Richard Gaiman is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theater and films. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels such as Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book.
In the speech, he discussed the value of ignorance stating, “If you don’t know it’s impossible, it’s easier to do.” He also stated there there was nothing wrong with making mistakes. Instead he 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.”
Perhaps most importantly, Gaiman reiterates the importance of simply making good art:
“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.”
For your ready reference, below is the commencement speech which I found at YouTube. Its duration is 19 minutes and 55 second, but every second is worth its price in gold. I strongly recommend viewing it, if you are interested in squeezing the juice out of life. This is it. Good Day and Best of Luck.