One evening this week I was feeling particularly unmotivated, and decided to lie down and spend some quality time with a nice book. I randomly (or, rather, subconsciously) picked up my copy of Chip Kidd‘s little publication* illustrating Neil Gaiman’s ‘Make Good Art’ speech.
* I only just found out that Chip Kidd designed this book – it’d been my best find at a book sale a few months ago but, other than it being a beautiful book to look at, the main reason I bought it was Gaiman. As I was turning it over this time around, I actually saw the designer’s name at the back and was quite surprised, especially given the fact I bought my copy for around €3.
For the first few pages, I was more enthralled by the beautiful design than anything else. But then the more I read, the more the power of the words really hit me – and, I’m telling you, it truly is an incredible speech.
I stopped for a few seconds just to take this photo, because I just had to capture not only the words on the page but also that very moment when I felt just how much those words inspired and empowered me, as a creative.
And it’s all true, isn’t it? We just tend to forget it.
When I was a little younger and going through a particularly tough time, I cannot describe the way in which music saved me – how I learnt to be honest with myself, how putting words on a page and assigning a note to each syllable would rid my shoulders of so much weight.
Nowadays I’m in a better place and I could say that I don’t ‘need’ this as much – perhaps it’s for lack of time, but I no longer write anywhere near as frequently as I used to. That being said, I still think that nothing could ever replace the experience of looking back on a creative work of mine, whether it’s visual or aural, and just feeling. Feeling pride, satisfaction, maybe even regret – feeling what I did at the time that I made it, letting that emotion fill me and push me forward to make more.
You have one thing that’s unique. You have the ability to make art. And for me, and for so many of the people I have known, that’s been a lifesaver.
Make good art.