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Make Good Art

4.3  ·  Rating details ·  6,924 Ratings  ·  873 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
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published May 14th 2013 by William Morrow
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(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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(B+) 78% | Good
Notes: A tonic for timidity and doubt, it balances enthusiasm with expectation, flourishing in spite of its own artistic design.
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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."


"Make good art."

Seems simple enough, yeah?
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
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... 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
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays
Good art.
Perhaps the hierarchy is the High Art key?
“And 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 mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn't matter. Do what only you
Raeleen Lemay
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, nonfiction

I really want to write a book right now
Sam Quixote
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Paola Ramos
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, favorites
ALL THE PRAISE TO NEIL GAIMAN!!!!!!!!!!! I literally would read his grocery list if I could.

I feel very inspired rn!
Kayla (BOOKadoodles)
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Super inspirational! The typography is outstanding and definitely outside-the-box, which is just an added bonus. This would be perfect to give as a gift to any aspiring creators out there!
laura (bookies & cookies)
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Exactly what I needed after a disheartening day. Brilliant for anyone feeling uninspired, lost, or aimless with their creativity. I'll definitely have to check out the actual speech soon!
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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."
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, own
A beautifully designed, hardbound edition of Gaiman's famous commencement address. Inspiring for authors, artists, anyone who is or wants to be in a creative field. The design of the book is sumptuous and fun, and makes for a perfect gift.
Wart Hill
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I needed this.
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
"Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do.
Make good art."

Neil Gaiman og hans tale, 'Make Good Art', er simpelthen så ufattelig inspirerende. Jeg havde ikke forventet noget mindre, men jeg havde dog alligevel overvejet, hvor inspirerende manden kunne nå at være på 80 sider - svaret er meget!

Det er en utrolig kraftfuld tale, der
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Deborah O'Carroll
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I love this little book so much. I'm so very very glad that I picked it up at the library. Now I want to own a copy of my own so that I can read it whenever I like.

Every writer should read this. EVERY WRITER. Every artist of any kind. Read this.

Or, if you don't, at least go watch the video of the author speaking (in a fabulous British accent) all of the words in this book and a few more, at the commencement address at which he presented this speech. It's 19 minutes long, and well worth every sec
Jessica (Books: A true story)
I liked how Neil Gaiman talked about how he made life choices. He had a goal of becoming an author that he imagined as a mountain in the distance. He looked at the choices in front of him and decided whether they got him closer or farther to that mountain. I thought that was great advice. This is a great gift book. It has beautiful typography. In a nutshell, here's the six pieces of advice he gave:

1. When you start art you have no idea what you are doing. This is great.
2. If you have an idea, do
Richard Wright
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Aj Sterkel
Feb 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I watched Neil Gaiman’s Make Good Art speech on YouTube soon after he gave it. It’s a pretty good speech, so when I saw the slightly battered book version of it for $1 at a scratch-and-dent sale, I picked it up.

This little book contains the full text of the speech. The text is beautified by a graphic artist who makes it artsy and colorful. Unfortunately, the beautifying of the text is the book’s biggest issue. If you have eye problems (like me), then you’ll know that light blue font on shiny whi
The speech, if you haven't seen it, is worth seeing:

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
May 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013, not-my-thing
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
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This would be a much, much better reading experience if I'd read it from a physical book than from a black & white kindle lol. My first thought was to give it a 3 star rating but after a day contemplating, I really liked the design and layout inside the book so I'm adding another star. Props to the artist and of course to Mr. Gaiman himself.
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muy inspirador. Gracias, Gaiman <3
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks, read-2018
Achei o livro tão bom que vai ter uma opinião no blog em breve!
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
David Schaafsma
May 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, writing-books
A Neil Gaiman commencement speech to artists, designed and illustrated by Chip Kidd. The advice is solid from someone who has written dozens of books, comics, screenplays, without going to art school or even college to become a writer. HE LEARNED TO WRITE BY WRITING, and failing, and not following whatever rules art/writing programs seem to put in place, which is why he has been particularly successful. He's unique. You can see the speech on Vimeo or Youtube if you want, too.
Ofir ( FlameLeviosa)
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
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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.” 595 likes
“I hope you'll make mistakes. If you're making mistakes, it means you're out there doing something.” 479 likes
More quotes…