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Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change the World
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Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change the World

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4.27  ·  Rating details ·  10,769 ratings  ·  1,528 reviews
Neil Gaiman once said that 'the world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before'. This little book is the embodiment of that vision. Drawn together from speeches, poems and creative manifestos, Art Matters explores how reading, imagining and creating can change the world, and will be inspirational to young and old.
Hardcover, 101 pages
Published September 6th 2018 by Headline
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Rob The book contains speeches that Gaiman has given throughout his life, including a commencement address and a plea for funding libraries. The target au…moreThe book contains speeches that Gaiman has given throughout his life, including a commencement address and a plea for funding libraries. The target audience would have been adults when he wrote the speeches. I think the best answer is something Gaiman says in the book. He warns people to let children enjoy reading and not force them into something they are not ready for. The example he gives is that his young daughter was reading RL Stine, and he suggested she read Stephen King. It did not go over well, apparently. Children may like this book, but I think he has other, more suitable books for children. I think Gaiman might suggest that children should have access to lots of books, and if they are curious enough or interested enough they will read it. So, it could probably go into a children's library, by that standard.... Hope that long, rambling answer helps.(less)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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 ·  10,769 ratings  ·  1,528 reviews


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Lisa
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The answer is not 42 after all. The answer to life, the universe and everything is:

MAKE GOOD ART.

Which of course may well be what Douglas Adams did, hitchhiking his way through the universe in a bombastic show of creative power. So 42 and "MAKE GOOD ART" could be seen as synonyms.

A mutated boa constrictor is harming you? Time for making good art.

This collection of passionate essays by Neil Gaiman and outrageously funny drawings by Chris Riddell will be my "Annoy-Everyone-Until -They-Read-It"-t
...more
Nat K
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to be inspired!

Oh my goodness, I L💜VE this book! I read it on the work commute home the day I bought it, and am SO impressed with it. It's one of those books that makes you believe that good things can happen.

Imagine a world devoid of beauty. Without colour. No artworks to adorn walls or office desks. No words of wisdom to inspire or incite. Imagine a world without books!

Art matters because it soothes the soul, keeps the blood pumping through our veins, makes us think. It connects us.

Didn’t someone once say “T
...more
Sean Barrs
"Make good art. I’m serious."

This is a collection of four essays, each forceful and energetic, that directly address why it is so important to read and write and, more importantly, they impress upon you why children should be doing it too.

This is not new material but has instead been published in various magazines and online publications, some of them even appeared in The View From the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction.

The essays are as followed:

1. Credo
2. Why Our Future Depends on Libra
...more
Ellie
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I needed this. Also Chris Riddell could stab me with a pencil and I'd thank him.
Swaroop Kanti
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I believe in the battle between guns and ideas, ideas will eventually win."

Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change the World - the title says it all!

You may not have the talent to draw, to dance or to write like a poet, but you do have the ability to think, to imagine, to read, to create. Always, remember your imagination can change the world, not just yours but for everyone around!
"Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and i
...more
Seemita
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Seemita by: Neil Gaiman
When I walk down a street I take often, I don’t need telling where the hump is or where the manhole splays. But even so, on days the street light doesn’t work, I feel a pinch; as if the little streak of light was a guide and despite being on a street I was well acquainted with, I need occasional help, a spurt of inspiration, a wise prelude.

‘Art Matters’ is that little streak of light.

Gaiman has long been an author who unspools the complex doings of my mind and weaves them back together in simple
...more
Bradley
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Half illustrations, half art-on-art, this little gem of a book is just about perfect for anyone who appreciates art and/or makes it. :)

I won't say the advice is new but it is very emphatic and heartfelt, so you're not hearing any complaints from this corner.

Best advice ever? Have fun. Next best advice? Make good art. Or maybe I have those two reversed. Doesn't matter. It's all good advice.

And above all, when everything goes wrong, STILL make good art.

Why? Because it helps you through the har
...more
Heidi The Reader
Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell have created a manifesto for readers, librarians and content creators. This little book celebrates everything having to do with reading, freedom of information and ideas, and how to start creating the life of your dreams, even if you don't know where to start.

"The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before."

I feel like this should be required reading — especially the parts about how to respond to intellectual disagreements.
...more
Deborah
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. What a gem! Neil Gaiman with the artwork of Chris Riddell promotes reading, writing, libraries, literacy, art, and creativity with lots of advice. Read. Create. Imagine. “Ideas spring up where you do not expect them, like weeds, and are as difficult to control. I believe that repressing ideas spreads ideas.” Let ideas bloom. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and has a right to disagree, rage, and argue. Don’t censor. Ideas are words and drawings. Reading is important as well as th ...more
Trish
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Neil Gaiman once said that 'the world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before'. This little book is the embodiment of that vision.
(from the blurp)

Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell have teamed up a number of times before and make a great team. Both wholly embrace enthusiastic fans, fan art, any art, as well as charities. Therefore, they created this little book in which Chris Riddell illustrates speeches, poems, manifestos and comments by Neil Gaiman about the i
...more
Veronique
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Be bold. Be rebellious. Choose Art. It matters.”

To many, this tiny book is going to seem very expensive for what it is. I can understand that. On the other hand, I totally buy what Gaiman and Riddell proposed to do, defend the Arts and Freedom of Speech in this crazy world of ours!

The book itself has a simplicity, both in words and drawing style, that can attract Everyone. In that light it reminded me of how Fairy Tales (the original ones from oral tradition) were aimed for everyone too, from
...more
Asha Seth
Oct 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Gaiman says, "Make Good Art. I'm serious."
I say, "Read more Gaiman. I'm serious."
.
.
This is a cute little book with Neil Gaiman's advice on reading, writing, following your dreams, importance of libraries and librarians, why kids should read, and respecting art, and the illustrator's endeavor into transforming those pieces into sketches.
I thought of doing a picture review so readers get a hint of what to expect from this tiny little enchanter of a book. Obviously, these are pieces that stuck with
...more
Julie
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I chose to read a long with the printed book, while listening to the audiobook version and found that the audiobook is expanded, especially in the section titled, "Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming." So, I recommend you listen to the audio version to hear in full all that Gaiman has to say and the printed book to also appreciate Riddell's illustrations.

My favorite quotes:
"Libraries are places to go to find information."
Paraphrased: Libraries are places of equal access
...more
Robin Bonne
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A reprint of an essay that I believe I previously read in The View from the Cheap Seats.
Aoife
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: a2, a5, 2018, september
A very quick read (I just read this in work, don't tell anyone) featuring some of Neil Gaiman's wisest words paired with Chris Riddell's fantastic illustrations. Neil's advice basically boils down to 'do the thing that only you can do, and do it well' and it's a wonderful read. Buy one for everyone you know.

(He also loves libraries and librarians, and they're cousins to bookstores. So I feel like he loves us too.)


I don't know that it's an issue for anybody but me, but it's true that nothing I di
...more
Neil R. Coulter
I've still not really enjoyed anything by Neil Gaiman, and I still feel bad about that, because everyone who's anything like me regards Gaiman as one of the literary greats of our time, maybe even of all time. I feel like someday I'll connect with something by Gaiman; I really want to, but so far, I haven't.

Anyway, reading Art Matters felt to me a little bit like reading a long greeting card from Gaiman. What it says is generally true, but pithy and not particularly original or inspiring. As a c
...more
Ashley
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Come ON people !
Star Rating: 1,000,000 (5) STARS!

ART MATTERS
Because Your Imagination Can Change The World

“I suggest that reading fiction, reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do.”


I want to shout my love for and the the importance of this book from the rooftops. This book is everything .

Please if you do read this based upon on my review I’d really love to hear/ see your feedback. I’m just blown away.

PLEASE if you love books read this. If you are an a
...more
Em*bedded-in-books*
3.5 stars for the content
5 stars for the art .
Totalling upto 4

Loved many of the snippets of advice ( advice doesn't seem right , but I don't know what else to name it..
Oh
Got it
Pearls of wisdom )

Loved most pearls of wisdom , but some made me uncomfortable as I felt I wasn't upto it.
For example , if I follow my heart , I will resign from my job and just read and eat and sleep... And after sometime may feel lethargic and bored. I envied Gaimann and Riddell for they ended up doing what they love.
...more
Steve
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An upbeat call to arms - for libraries and reading (and empathy) and writing and experimenting and trying (and failing) and going your own way and not being bound by others' rules and expectations.... All assembled in a nice (slender) little volume of previously published Gaiman-wisdom, neatly packaged, and nicely illustrated. If you've read The View From the Cheap Seats, you won't find much new in here, other than some creative and accessible and free-spirited presentation and packaging, and th ...more
Makrand
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga-comics
I mistook this book for a Children's illustrated book. No, it's not. It's a hugely motivational book for Artists, Musicians, Writers or anyone in creative fields

--------
Art Matters, as the name suggests is Neil Gaiman's plea to all the Artists to not give up and continue doing what YOU love doing.

The book is in form of sketches by Chris Riddell and they are a treat to watch! The main agenda of the book is to insist the creative folks on creating content and reading more books.

The final part is v
...more
Pradnya K.
I don't know how the smallest books can be so impactful. Perhaps they are condensed. Look for yourself - The Little Prince, The Prophet, Animal farm and few others. I'd add Art Matters in that line. Since it lacks story, I do not see it enjoying the love of kids and hobby readers' list. But everyone who appreciates art will appreciate this.

PHYSICAL BOOKS ARE TOUCH, HARD TO DESTROY, BATH RESISTANT, SOLAR OPERATED,
FEEL GOOD IN YOUR HAND: THEY ARE GOOD AT BEING BOOKS, AND THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A PL
...more
Nada Majdy
I chose this book thinking it would be a light quick read and it was but it was also deep and inspiring.
I definitely think every creative person and anyone who's interested in art or even admires it should read this book because it's just so beautiful and funny and makes you contemplate about life and rethink your intentions about art, Stop for a second and ask yourself: why does art matter?
ps. I really want to reread this book hopefully later on this year (incha'Allah)
Lauren
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gaiman and Riddell can do no wrong in my eyes. Such a perfect team. A sweet, inspirational set of short essays, illustrated by Riddell. Loved it.
Jenny Baker
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
“I believe that you have the absolute right to think things that I find offensive, stupid, preposterous or dangerous, and that you have the right to speak, write to distribute these things, and that I do not have the right to kill you, maim you, hurt you or take away your liberty or property because I find your ideas threatening or insulting or downright disgusting. You probably think some of my ideas are pretty vile too.

I believe that in the battle between guns and ideas, ideas will, eventually
...more
Richa Sharma
I always liked Neil Gaiman's fiction and this non-fiction was also awesome. Very pretty illustrations, big fan. Every word is meaningful and well written. Best example of 'how small number of words can leave a big impact'. Loved it. Recommended by Alicia Souza, the Indian Artist.
Annetius
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-english
What an inspiring manifesto!
"Be bold, be rebellious, choose art. It matters."
It's an absolutely terrific little book with 4 essays about reading more and teaching our children to do so, about libraries, about being yourself and about your right to daydreaming, about inspiration and art. And sometimes it happens that the more you expose your very inner self, it might be the best way to succeed. I felt so sorry when reading about libraries and librarians, because in my hometown, even if a library
...more
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
This is a small but powerful little book that offers some great inspiration. One of my resolutions for the new year is to push myself more on creative projects. I just often feel that my vision far exceeds my skills. This book teaches, however, not to make those assumptions, that not knowing often leads to the best results.
Gorab Jain
3.5
Words of wisdom, blended pretty well with the illustrations.
Girish
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“We have an obligation to Read For Pleasure. If others see us reading, we show that reading is A Good Thing."

One of the finest short books I have ever read. Listening from Gaiman his life lessons and pearls of 'wisdom' - the book leaves you feeling inspired and happy.

No bookworm can deny the love for books and libraries. Reminded me of the librarian who shaped the younger me's reading and pointedly pushed a Hardy Boys reading roly-poly kid towards Alistair Maclean and Michael Crichton.

As a fe
...more
Rod Brown
One of those little overpriced gift books (thank goodness for the library!) that takes about 15 minutes to read. Chris Riddell provides lots of nice spot illustrations for quotes and excerpts from Neil Gaiman about the value of books, reading, libraries, librarians, creativity, and freedom of speech. These are all sentiments I can get behind.
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