make good art

Today my dog is sick. My apartment smells like spearmint-scented cleaner and dog poop. And I can’t leave. Or I can but I won’t because I don’t want to clean up after a sick dog twice today. So here I sit on the couch, summoning olfactory fatigue.

Confined as I am, I decided to jumpstart my creative process with a little inspiration. Typically, I am wary of advice and I’ve long suspected that anything created with the sole purpose of being inspirational is, by definition, uninspiring. I’m thinking of the books we kept on our coffee table when I was kid: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (and it’s all small stuff) and All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. I may tend toward optimism at time, but even the titles of these books make me want to scream. All the stuff is not small! Some of it is big. And terrible.

You know what inspired me to become a more-relaxed person? The Big Lebowski. Oh man! I thought to myself the night I first watched the movie, I am so very un-dude. And then I put some real effort into doing something about it. It’s a beautiful example of something that is inspirational not by design, but by default.

Because I respect you, I will not post a youtube video of, brace yourself, All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: The Musical. But I will warn you: If you are curious enough to google it, wait for a day when your apartment does not smell like dog shit. One’s stomach can only bear so much.

Still, I was inspired while sitting on my couch today. And I thought it was worth sharing. It’s a long video, but if you have time–or if you are stuck on your own couch–one that’s worth watching. Yes, Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech was written with the intention of inspiring a room full of art students, but he never sacrifices honesty for simplification.

In case you’re on the fence about watching, here is, from my purple love seat, the bit I like best today:

Remember whatever discipline you’re in […] whatever you do, you have one thing that’s unique. You have the ability to make art. And for me, and so many of the people I’ve known, that’s been a lifesaver. The ultimate lifesaver. It gets you through good times and it gets you through the other ones. And when things get tough this is what you should do: Make good art.

Now I’m going to try to make some art. If it some of it is good, even better.

3 thoughts on “make good art

    • There were some real gems in that speech but honestly, Celita, I don’t think the internet is ready for it. (and that’s not a challenge. truly, the internet is not ready)

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