Neil Gaiman gets talked about a lot in our household. Our kids love Neil for his story Coraline, a story about a brave girl who discovers an alternate world. Her curiosity leads her on many adventures, with many twists and turns. I believe it’s a story crafted by Neil to say to people, get out of your comfort zone, see things, do things, explore. Here are some of Neil’s ideas worthy of some serious thought…
-Approach your creative labor with joy, or else it becomes work.
-Say “no” to projects that take you further from rather than closer to your own creative goals, however flattering or lucrative.
–Embrace your fear of failure. Make peace with the impostor syndrome that comes with success. Don’t be afraid of being wrong.
-Make your art, tell your story, find your voice—even if you begin by copying others.
-You can get work because of the story you tell about yourself, even if it means embellishing, but you keep working because you’re good.
-Enjoy your work and your small victories; don’t get swept up into the next thing before being fully present with the joys of this one.
-This is an era in which the creative landscape is in constant flux. The rules are being broken down, the gatekeepers are being replaced and displaced. Now is the time to make up your own rules.
-When things get tough, make good art
–Sometimes life is hard. Things go wrong- and in life, and in love, and in business, and in friendship, and in health, and in all the other ways in which life can go wrong. 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 a mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Someone on the internet thinks what you’re doing is stupid, or evil, or it’s all been done before? Make good art.
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.