Neil Gaiman Addresses the University of the Arts Class of 2012
Whenever I am struggling with my work, or feeling down on myself I listen to this address. It always makes me feel better.
OpenCulture provides a distilled version of the speech:
- Embrace the fact that you’re young. Accept that you don’t know what you’re doing. And don’t listen to anyone who says there are rules and limits.
- If you know your calling, go there. Stay on track. Keep moving towards it, even if the process takes time and requires sacrifice.
- Learn to accept failure. Know that things will go wrong. Then, when things go right, you’ll probably feel like a fraud. It’s normal.
- Make mistakes, glorious and fantastic ones. It means that you’re out there doing and trying things.
- When life gets hard, as it inevitably will, make good art. Just make good art.
- Make your own art, meaning the art that reflects your individuality and personal vision.
- Now a practical tip. You get freelance work if your work is good, if you’re easy to get along with, and if you’re on deadline. Actually you don’t need all three. Just two.
- Enjoy the ride, don’t fret the whole way. Stephen King gave that piece of advice to Neil years ago.
- Be wise and accomplish things in your career. If you have problems getting started, pretend you’re someone who is wise, who can get things done. It will help you along.
- Leave the world more interesting than it was before.