On the Art of Life, and a Life of [/for] Art

Most of the past semester had been preparation for what is to come during my last year in college. Nonetheless, I can say it had been a great academic year. A lot of times I was broken to bits, only to be forced to keep my pieces together just in time for the next requirement/project/event. It was a year of promises- both broken and kept; of accomplishments and shortcomings; of growing up and being a kid once more; of experiencing the happiest of happy, the saddest of sad, and the hurtest of hurt; of finding love in the most hopeless of places.

For everything, I am grateful.

I hope that the coming academic year will be a year of even greater happiness; of love; of comfort in sadness; of forgiveness; of finding what’s lost and accepting the loss of the things that may never be found; of fulfillment and grace; of simultaneously being and finding myself; of having an idea on what to do and where to go next, though I may not know everything; of entrusting myself to Him.


To officially cap off my junior year and set the trail for the next, (oh god I’m a Senior now…) I will be sharing one of my most favorite videos of one of my most favorite writers/people in general. Here is Neil Gaiman’s speech during the commencement exercises at the University of the Arts (I’m not exactly sure where) in 2012.

Following are some quotes from the speech, as well as some notes to myself. Here’s a post I’d like to go back to from time to time as I go through my last academic year in the university.


Keep writing. Keep singing. Keep listening. Keep dancing. Keep telling stories. Live.

“If you have an idea of what you want to make, what you were put here to do, then just go and do that.”

“Journalists are allowed to ask questions and to simply go out there and find out how the world works.”

“I learned to write by writing. I tended to do anything as long as it felt like an adventure, and to stop when it felt like work, which meant that life didn’t feel like work.”

Some points on work (Because Senior year…. plus it applies to other things, too.)

“You get work however you get work. But people keep working because (1) their work is good, (2) they’re easy to get along with,  and (3) they deliver the work on time.

“And you don’t even need all three. Two out of three is fine.

“People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on-time. People will forgive the lateness of your work if it’s good and they like you. And you don’t have to be as good as everyone else if you’re on-time, and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.”

Deal with uncertainty.

“Where would be the fun in making something you knew was going to work?”

Make mistakes.

“If you make mistakes, it means you’re out there doing something. And the mistakes themselves can be useful.”

Deal with failure.

“You want everything to happen, and you want it now, and things go wrong.”

“A life in the arts is sometimes like putting messages in bottles on a desert island and hoping that someone will find one of your bottles and open it and read it, and put something in a bottle that will wash it’s way back to you- appreciation, or a commission, or money, or love. And you have to accept that you may put out hundreds of things for every bottle that winds up coming back.”

Whatever happens, make good art.

“Sometimes life is hard. Things go wrong in life, and in love, and in business, and in friendship, and in health, and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art.

“Husband runs off with a politician, make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by a mutated boa constrictor, make good art. Cat exploded, 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.

“Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take this thing away, and that doesn’t even matter. Do what only you can do best- make good art.

“Make it on the bad days, make it on the good days, too.”

It’s your last year in college, but it’s just the beginning of greater things. Enjoy the ride.

“Be wise, because the world needs more wisdom. If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who’s wise, and then just behave like they would.”

“Let go and enjoy the ride. Because the ride takes you to some remarkable and unexpected places.”

“And now go and make interesting mistakes. Make amazing mistakes. Make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Make the world more interesting for your being here. Make. Good. Art.”

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