Monday, May 20, 2013

Transitions and 'Making Good Art'

     It's that time of year for ceremonies, newspaper photos of graduates in caps and gowns, and the parties. Of course, the parties. I can't help but think of Neil Gaiman's  commencement address from last year which he gave to the graduating class at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He urged each one of those students to follow their passion, to not follow the rules, and to 'make good art'. I wish I could have heard this message at eighteen and about to head off to college to study journalism. Whatever impact it might have had, it's one I wouldn't have forgotten.
 
     A friend told me recently about a man she'd sat next to on a train, a twenty-five-year-old stock broker who had majored in business at the insistence of his parents. He was unhappy, recently divorced, and hated, hated his job. He openly wished he worked in a more creative field, one in which he could fulfill his desire to 'make something'.
    That man's elusive something is what Gaiman's speech encompassed. It's a great motivator if you need one, and it makes me feel thankful that I'm a writer. It's not too late for that young guy to follow his passion. It's never too late to 'make good art.'

8 comments:

  1. There are some really great commencement speeches on youtube now.

    mood

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    1. Yes, there are. J.K. Rowling's speech is another good one.

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  2. Dawn,
    It's never too late. What a great message.
    My mother recognized something in me as a young child and tried to get me to pursue a career in writing. It wasn't until a few years ago that I chose to heed her advice.
    Truly love writing and surely wish I would've listened earlier, but would never have known had I not been willing to change.

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    Replies
    1. So happy to hear you've found your passion for writing, Dave. Hopefully your mom was able to see that you finally took her advice!

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  3. Lovely post with good reminders. I thought that was a wonderful address by Gaiman, too.

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  4. Oh, I feel bad for that poor young man, who's the age of my youngest son. I hope he finds his chance to start again.

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  5. I read a great blog post this week in which the author reminded "Don't Hide Your Art." Something I think we all need to hear once in a while. And it immediately brought to mind Neil Gaiman's commencement address as well. Good stuff!

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  6. Lovely and interesting post! Thanks for posting!

    Nas

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