Neil Gaiman gave a commencement speech last week, and it was typically inspiring. The fiction author famous for "The Sandman" and "Coraline" was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts at the ceremony at Philadelphia’s the University of the Arts last Thursday.
He may not have ever attended college (as he notes in his address), but he spoke of academia in a positive way and was, as always, both funny and inspirational.
The speech has gone viral on Twitter and has over 67,000 views, which doesn't come as a huge surprise given Gaiman's prominent social media presence (he has over a million followers).
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 urged the new graduates not to pursue endeavors solely for financial reasons, alluding to the first book he wrote, a biography of Duran Duran, for which he could not relinquish his rights because the publisher went bankrupt. He says that young artists should cherish their mistakes, and that the character "Coraline" was born from a misspelling of "Caroline."
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.
Watch his speech and let us know what you think!
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