This week has been very artistically accomplished for me – I was able to get quite a few new pieces finished that are scheduled to hang in a great little local-food cafe in Media, PA this weekend, and I’ve felt very inspired and at peace with my “inner artist” – a nice change from the angsty, hot mess she tends to be at times. While browsing other art blogs to see what was going on in the community (doing my best to avoid being the reclusive artist that I can be!), I came across a video of Neil Gaiman’s 2012 address of the graduates of The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. You can view the entire speech here, and I highly recommend that you do.
One of the quotes from his speech that stuck with me was, “Things will probably work out, and time will probably take the sting away, and the only thing that really matters is that you do what only you can do; make good art.”
These simple lines are really at the essence of what being an artist is – we have creation in our blood. It is a process that has been passed down to us from our earliest of ancestors. The art of making, so to speak, is inherent in all of us, and it’s no coincidence that it’s often the things that helps to get us through the dark times and the thing that we turn to when nothing else seems to be working. Through all of the circumstances in which we find ourselves – the ending of relationships, the beginning of new ones, the deaths of loved ones, and all the impossibilities we can be faced with – make good art.
In many ways, it’s easier to visualize putting this sentiment into action with the big things. In the past, I’ve always tuned to art when I couldn’t handle the things going on around me, but this week, not too long after hearing Mr. Gaiman’s speech, I had the chance to apply his words to a much less serious event, and perhaps learned that it’s just as important to use all the things around me to ‘make good art’ when the circumstances are just kind of annoying and not totally devastating. Continue reading