Make good art

One of the joys of YouTube is the access to brilliant speeches and presentations. As well as TED Talks and conference keynotes, I enjoy watching and listening to great commencement speeches, too. In twenty to thirty minutes I regularly come away feeling enlightened, motivated – and a whole lot smarter than I did before!

One of my favourite speeches is Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address. Although this isn’t a particularly original choice (at the last count the video had nearly 15 million views) it’s nevertheless a wonderful speech that captivates and inspires in equal measure.

I recently stumbled across another great commencement address, this time from the writer Neil Gaiman at the University of the Arts.

Whilst I’ve never read any of Gaiman’s work, I am familiar with what he’s done and I’ve watched a couple of film adaptations of his stories – Coraline and Stardust.

Gaiman’s commencement address is understandably different to Jobs’ yet it’s similar in its tone and insight.

Whilst Jobs encouraged us to trust in something, follow our hearts and intuition and stay hungry and foolish, Gaiman encourages us to enjoy the moment, make mistakes, break the rules… and make good art.

Neil Gaiman and Steve Jobs may have been poles apart in terms of who they are and what they’ve done. But they are frighteningly similar in their ability to inspire, move and motivate us with their stories and wisdom.