But I linked to this TED speech after reading Gaiman’s book.
In this talk, Palmer talks about asking for things and how it’s hard to ask, to beg., but how it makes for a real connection, especially between musicians and fans.
And she talks about crowdfunding–she’s going to give away all of her music but she’s asking for help from fans along the way.
It’s a pretty inspirational talk–how asking for things helps you connect with people. It also made me feel a lot better about Palmer, who I’d heard negative things about.
Check it out here.
[READ: June 5, 2013] Make Good Art
As with David Foster Wallace’s This is Water, this book is a short speech padded out to 80 some pages. The difference is that while This is Water is a rather boring-looking book, this title was designed by Chip Kidd, fabulous designer extraordinaire. So every page looks interesting. It’s not so much illustration as design—with shapes and text twirling and twisting upside down and what have you.
As with most inspirational works, this book is indeed inspirational. But it is especially so if you are an artist or an aspiring artist. Because this speech was given to the graduating class of Philadelphia’s University of the Arts in May 2012. You can watch the whole speech here as well. http://vimeo.com/42372767
Gaiman explains how he never went to college and never even really had a career, he just had a list of things that he wanted to do: write an adult novel, a children’s novel, a comic, a movie record an audiobook, write an episode of Doctor Who. And how he set about achieving these things is pretty great.
So some advice from Gaiman:
1. It’s better not to know the rules so that you’re not afraid to go beyond them. If you don’t know something is impossible, it’s easier to do.
2. If you have an idea of what you want to make, what you were put on earth to do, then just go and do it. That’s harder than it sounds and much easier than you might imagine.
3. Deal with failure. Failure is hard but success can be harder—prepare for the feeling that you are getting away with something.
4. Make mistakes. Mistakes mean you are doing something, and the mistakes can be useful. He explains that the name Coraline came from a misspelling of Caroline, simple as that.
5. Know that the ability to make art can be a lifesaver. In a nutshell: When things get tough Make good Art.
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 things what you do is stupid or evil r it’s all been done before? — Make good art!
Make it on the good days too.
6. Make your art—the stuff that only you can do—when you feel you are exposing too much of yourself—that’s the moment you are starting to get it right.
The final piece of advice is for freelancers (an ever-increasing number of artists): you need two of these three things to succeed: make good work; be easy to get along with and deliver work on time. Any two of those three things will get you more work.
The advice that he ignored but wished he hadn’t was from Stephen King: Enjoy it. But Gaiman worried too much and now he wished he had taken the time to enjoy his early success more.
The most inspirational thing for me though was this interesting little suggestion:
When asked how to do something, he suggested: “Pretend that you are someone who can do it.” Don’t pretend to do it, pretend to be someone who can.
The design of the book is fun—Kidd is really a wizard with text. Of course, I am curious to see if it sounds better than it reads, but I enjoyed reading it so much that I’m going to put off watching the video for a bit.