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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 17 July 2013
Make Good Art is the transcript of Neil Gaiman's commencement speech at the University of the Arts, Class of 2012. It's an inspiring message of encouragement to artists everywhere to keep doing what you want to do, no matter what, and contains some nice ideas and quirks that only Gaiman could conjure up to make it a memorable talk.

The whole thing is worth reading as its kind of an instructional manual to creativity by being anti-instructional. If you don't know it's impossible, it's easier to do, he says at one point, which is both strangely poetic and true. He tells you how he became the successful writer he is today - by writing. If you want to be a writer, be a writer, and keep writing. It's a simple message, one that many writers have stated before, but it's worth hearing again for anyone not doing it but still wishing they could become writers.

He talks about the lessons learned through the years, of dealing with failure, and to never do anything for money. His first book (I think it was on Duran Duran) was written because he thought it would be a commercial success, and was anything but. At least when you make something you love, even if you don't get paid, you've still got the art left. I also really liked the story he told about someone asking him for advice on doing something (I forget the particulars) and the solution was to tell her to pretend she was the kind of person who could do that. That's pretty brilliant. There's also a poignant moment when he reveals the best advice he ever received (from Stephen King no less) - but I'll let you discover that gem for yourselves.

A quick note about the presentation of this book - I generally like Chip Kidd's designs but the way he's formatted the speech in this book makes it less readable than it would be if it were simply straight text, which I would've preferred. Instead it's got varying fonts, colours, and sizes that I suppose takes the message of creativity on board but makes reading it a less pleasant experience. Alternatively, if you haven't the cash for this book, the speech is also on Youtube and Vimeo for free so you can watch Gaiman give the speech instead (recommended).

Make Good Art is a short but delightful message of art, choices, and the courage to do both - whatever happens, an artist makes art, whatever happens, you should make art too: so do it. Well worth a read for anyone really but especially for those who might need a good kick up the bum to get creating, whatever form that takes.

Keep going towards that mountain.
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on 20 July 2013
When I saw that Neil Gaiman's Make Good ArtMake Good Art speech was available in book form I clicked on Buy with 1-click without thinking. I was so excited to see that a transcript of this wonderful speech was available to buy that I didn't bother reading any of the reviews, and although I didn't especially like the cover of the book, it was the content I was after.

I have never been so disappointed by a book in my life. Completely over-designed in a colour pallet that makes the whole thing not only difficult to read, but also an unpleasant experience. Pale blue out of white simply doesn't work. Blue on red vibrates. Words printed on top of other words make them illegible. Doesn't anyone teach graphic artists these basics?

I would recommend that instead of buying this book you watch the original speech on [...] and find a copy of the transcript online.

As I said this book makes me want to cry. The words made me cry when I watched the speech and I want to cry again because this ghastly graphic design nightmare detracts so severely from the message.
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on 4 July 2013
A written transcript of a speech Gaiman delivered in 2012 (and which is easily found online, but I wanted a copy over of it). The speech is a glorious thing, about courage, and choices, and art. Everybody should read it. The book? It's basically an attempt to practice what Gaiman preaches, a exercise in visual design. It fails on every front to impress, or even just to FUNCTION, because it makes reading the actual speech extraordinarily difficult. It gets in the way. It's a barrier, where if it were to work it would have to be a complement. Deeply, deeply annoying.
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on 10 September 2015
I liked this delightfully presented speech. I bought and gifted it to inspire a great friend, who carried it about her person for a while.
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on 28 March 2016
Great gift for any graduate; it's an amazing speech in book form that every young person should hear :)
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on 16 June 2013
This is a book that I know is going to live on my iPad so I can drop back into it when ever I need something to pick me up,and share with those around me.
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on 8 April 2015
Bought as a gift, came in good condition. Perfect for any Neil Gaiman fan.
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on 26 July 2013
I'm sorry – I really like Chip Kidd but this looks like a bad undergraduate typographic exercise. All window-dressing, vague aspirational content.
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on 5 August 2014
Such a nice and inspiring book
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on 2 August 2015
Inspirational.
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