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Make Good Art

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4.31  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,438 Ratings  ·  607 Reviews
In May 2012, bestselling author Neil Gaiman delivered the commencement address at Philadelphia's University of the Arts, in which he shared his thoughts about creativity, bravery, and strength. He encouraged the fledgling painters, musicians, writers, and dreamers to break rules and think outside the box. Most of all, he encouraged them to make good art.

The book Make Good
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ebook, 80 pages
Published May 14th 2013 by William Morrow (first published May 29th 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Wow! This was amazing. I wasn't going into it expecting much, but coming out of it I feel inspired and motivated. This speech really made me think about my life and what I'm doing with it. I'll definitely be returning to this book when I'm needing something to lift me up!

favorite quotes:

“Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.”

"Somebody on the internet thinks what you do is
...more
Cari
May 16, 2013 Cari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four stars for the content itself, I saw the speech previously and it is, of course, awesome. Worth having this around, and thank goodness Gaiman's speech is actually why I bought this, because...

...no damn stars for the awful layout and design of the pages. Some are upside down, others have the print too small, and others are designed so they're extremely difficult to read. I've heard Kidd is excellent on other projects, but this one resembles the creativity of a 12-year-old girl back in the he
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Bill
Jun 02, 2013 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: favorites
Neil Gaiman is, if you'll pardon the coarseness of my language, a fucking genius.

"So be wise, because the world needs more wisdom.
"And if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would."

Also.

"Make good art."

Seems simple enough, yeah?
Sam Quixote
Jul 17, 2013 Sam Quixote rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Make Good Art is the transcript of Neil Gaiman's commencement speech at the University of the Arts, Class of 2012. It's an inspiring message of encouragement to artists everywhere to keep doing what you want to do, no matter what, and contains some nice ideas and quirks that only Gaiman could conjure up to make it a memorable talk.

The whole thing is worth reading as its kind of an instructional manual to creativity by being anti-instructional. If you don't know it's impossible, it's easier to do
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Raeleen Lemay
Jul 21, 2014 Raeleen Lemay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
BEAUTIFUL AND INSPIRATIONAL.

I really want to write a book right now
Wart Hill
Jul 16, 2015 Wart Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I needed this.
Priyanka
Apr 02, 2015 Priyanka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art-design
Neil Gaiman's soul-stirring speech on the essence of art, spurred such wide resonance that it was soon adapted into a small and lovely hardcover book titled "Make Good Art".

He imparts several pieces of life-wisdom on young people beginning a career in the arts. A summarized version, courtesy Open Culture, appears below:

- 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 t
...more
Rosangela
Sep 03, 2015 Rosangela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All

Lovely edition! Nice quick read! It's Gaiman’s inspiring speech designed by the graphic artist Chip Kidd.

It's a really good book to read when you feel sad.

It'll cheer you up.

"The old rules are crumbling, and nobody knows what the new rules are, so make your own rules."
Paola Ramos
Nov 13, 2015 Paola Ramos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, own
ALL THE PRAISE TO NEIL GAIMAN!!!!!!!!!!! I literally would read his grocery list if I could.

I feel very inspired rn!
Richard Wright
Jul 04, 2013 Richard Wright rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
A written transcript of a speech Gaiman delivered in 2012 (and which is easily found online, but I wanted a copy over of it). The speech is a glorious thing, about courage, and choices, and art. Everybody should read it. The book? It's basically an attempt to practice what Gaiman preaches, a exercise in visual design. It fails on every front to impress, or even just to FUNCTION, because it makes reading the actual speech extraordinarily difficult. It gets in the way. It's a barrier, where if it ...more
s.penkevich
Feb 07, 2016 s.penkevich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
Good art.
Perhaps the hierarchy is the High Art key?
Rebecca
The speech, if you haven't seen it, is worth seeing: http://vimeo.com/42372767

The book version is an interesting exercise in graphic design (all aqua and red text). Some pages work better than others. I liked the reminders of some of my favorite parts of the speech:

"Something that worked for me was imagining that where I wanted to be -- an author, primarily of fiction, making good books, making good comics, and supporting myself through my words -- was a mountain. A distant mountain. My goal. A
...more
Erika
Oct 05, 2015 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
"...Nothing I did where the only reason for doing it was the money was ever worth it, except as bitter experience. Usually I didn't wind up getting the money, either. The things I did because I was excited, and wanted to see them exist in reality, have never let me down, and I've never regretted the time spent on any of them".

I knew I like Neil Gaiman for a reason.

In the past three months, people have been asking me what I'm going to be doing with my university degree, because they assume I ra
...more
Annie
Feb 13, 2015 Annie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this online, wish I had physical book. THIS IS SO INSPIRING.

"...And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art."
jeremy
May 12, 2013 jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gen-nonfiction
after a video recording of neil gaiman's 2012 commencement speech at the university of the arts in philly went viral, it only made sense that it would soon find it's way into print. make good art, designed by chip kidd (of dust jacket/cover art infamy), is an inspirational message relevant to anyone pursuing creative endeavors and/or a life in the arts. throughout the address, gaiman, now of course at the peak of his craft, recounts his own early trials as he set out writing, as well as the doub ...more
Cassie
Oct 24, 2013 Cassie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-my-thing, 2013
I have not watched the speech that this is based on. Commentary on the book solely.

meh. This was recommended to me as inspiration for any artist or creative-type. To me it is just another bit of coffee table-gazing. A momentary ah-ha that quickly fades into a "oh yeah, I've thought about all of this before" leaving you back where you started. Back in your own head trying to figure out what the hell to create and where to start. Perhaps I ask too much!

This is a very short read, so pick it up if
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Jacquelyn
Sep 21, 2015 Jacquelyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice and very inspirational speech! I also loved how aesthetically pleasing this book was.
Dominic
I stumbled upon a display of "graduation books" at the book store, and this one attracted my attention. Rather than put down $13 plus tax, I decided to check my local library if they carried it, and thankfully they did. Because I'm honestly stunned that this book cost $13. Gaiman even says on one of the first few pages that the commencement speech is online and he gives the web address.

The book is essentially a TED talk. Well, no, it's shorter than a TED talk. I'm astonished that something like
...more
Ofir ( FlameLeviosa)
Incredibly motivating and inspiring! Make good art! Make fantastic mistakes!
I'd recommend this book to everyone, but especially to the people who stay awake at night reading, drawing, learning new choreographies, writing poems and novels and singing their hearts out. You have an amazing journey ahead of you and it's really great and you should enjoy it.
Ophelle (bookburnn)
Jul 10, 2015 Ophelle (bookburnn) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: real-shit
bookburnn, for picutres

Deciding to get an art course is to decide on a lot of things.

It’s to decide whether your passion would be enough to put food on the table, to afford a roof over your head, to pay the monthly bills—to earn a living. You’ll have a constant doubt. But you keep moving, until you reached graduation and everything hits you.. you have no damn clue where to start. Well, reading this one is a good place to start.

Art is such a hard profession to sustain. It’s not like you can get i
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Audrey
Jul 25, 2015 Audrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was fantastic. The formatting was gorgeous, the speech was incredible, and I am definitely going to be rereading it sometime soon. I don't know what to tell you other than pick it up, or at least listen to the actual speech.
If you want to hear more of my thoughts on this little book, check out my full review on my blog here: https://forwardsandbookwords.wordpres...
(I was a little bit too lazy today to reformat stuff so that it looks good in Goodreads. Whoops.)
Rikke Simonsen
Jun 23, 2015 Rikke Simonsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books, speech
Jeg har faktisk ikke hørt Neil Gaimans tale på Youtube, så dette var første gang, at jeg stiftede bekendtskab med den. Den er så inspirerende og rørende, og jeg fik virkelig lyst til at lave 'good art'. Han er så spændende, og bruger de fineste metaforer om livet. Han opfordrer til, at man ikke stopper med at lave kunst, men fortsætter - hele tiden - uanset om man har en god dag eller en dårlig dag. Det er alt sammen kunst, og det er hvad DU kan lave, der er unikt - ikke det, som folk tror er de ...more
Lamar
What a gem of a book, and brilliant as well. Iinspiring and motivating, I seriously want to print this and hang it on my wall. A great piece of advice for aspiring writers and artists.
The problems of failure are hard. The problems of success are harder. Neil puts it beautifully here.
"The old rules are crumbling, and nobody knows what the new rules are, so make your own rules."

The kind of inspiration that fits for creators of any age or genre or medium.
"The things I've done that worked the be
...more
Rich Stoehr
May 16, 2013 Rich Stoehr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
For the artist, for the graduate, for the creative soul, for the person looking around at their life and wondering "now what?" - this is a beautiful little book.

Neil Gaiman's words are beautiful - some of the wisest, smartest, most clever and most heartfelt words I've read from a writer I admire a great deal. His words give hope in the face of failure and warnings of the pitfalls of success. Though his speech was aimed at graduates of an art school, they can be taken to heart by anyone who depen
...more
Allie
As usual, this post was originally written for my library’s blog Read @ MPL.

If you are an artist or a creative type, Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman will likely appeal to you right off the bat. Originally given as an address at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, the speech was adapted to this playful little tome. I say “playful” because it was designed by Chip Kidd (if you don’t know who he is, I think there is a good chance you’ll recognize his design work. Ignore what I said before.) and
...more
Jess
Jun 18, 2013 Jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, I know this speech is readily available on the internet, so a book containing only this speech might seem superfluous. But if, like me, you could sob over Gaiman's shopping list & will indiscriminately purchase anything that comes out of his head, you won't care.

Fantabulous speech--five stars. Graduation speeches usually rank right up there with oral surgery & cauliflower for me, but this really is inspiring. My very favorite bit was, "Nothing I did where the only reason for doing
...more
Ashley (JaffaCaffa)
Fantastic speech by the wonderful Neil Gaiman, I mean what more can I say. An honest, inspiring short book with a nice quirky design layout. A lot of people said if you liked J.K. Rowling's Harvard speech to check this one out and I 100% agree. Even if you've never heard of Gaiman before (have you been living under a rock!?) this is a quick, uplifting read that you'll most definitely enjoy. :)
Alex Ristea
Can I just go ahead and give this one a bajillion stars? It deserves it.

Make Good Art is Neil Gaiman's commencement address, put into pretty words and colours.

(If you haven't watched that yet, do yourself a favour and remedy that situation ASAP: http://vimeo.com/42372767)

This book struck all the chords, hit me right in the creative gut, made me feel all the feels. If you have any sort of artistic inclination, you need to read this book.

Now, about this particular edition. I mean, you can get the
...more
Gaia
Jan 01, 2015 Gaia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So inspiring! Even if it is a really short book and I read it in less than half an hour, it made me understand how the world really works and how the life of any kind of artist is hard but at the end worth it. Also I highly recommend to watch the speech's video on youtube because it blows your mind in a very positive way.
Jimmie
Jun 23, 2013 Jimmie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The speech itself is rousing and inspiring and empowering and all those things commencement speeches should be. That's not why I'm giving it two stars. I gave it two stars because of the godawful graphic art Chip Kidd employed to present it. I hated the colors (some sort of salmony-orange-red and seafoamy blue) so much it was distracting. And the way the words were arranged on the page made no sense. It's like it's 1995 and Chip it just fucking around with the WordArt function on his new desktop ...more
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“Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.” 396 likes
“I hope you'll make mistakes. If you're making mistakes, it means you're out there doing something.” 296 likes
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