Make interesting mistakes. Make YOUR art.

Neil Gaiman

“If you have no idea what you are doing, this is great. People who know what they are doing know the rules and they know hat is possible and what is impossible. You do not, and you should not. The rules on what is possible and impossible in the arts are made by people who have not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them. If you don’t know it’s impossible it’s easier to do. If no one knows it’s impossible then there are no rules against it.”

“If you have an idea of what you want to make, what you were put here to do, then just go and do that. And that is much harder that it sounds and, sometimes, in the end, so much easier than you might imagine. Because, normally, there are things you have to do before you can get to the place you want to be.”

“Sometimes it is clear cut, other times not so much (you have to balance doing what you love with feeding yourself). What works is to imagine your dream as a distant mountain and keep your eyes on it. When you are not sure what to do, stop and ask yourself whether it takes you towards or away from the mountain.”

“When you start out you have to deal with the problems of failure. You need to be thick skinned, to know that not every project will survive. A freelance life, a life in the arts, is sometimes like putting messages in bottles, in a desert island, and hoping that someone will find one of your bottles and open it, and read it, and put something in the bottle that will wash its way back to you – appreciation, or a commission, or money, or love. And you have to accept that you may put out hundred of things for every bottle that winds up coming back.”

“Your first book may only buy you an electric typewriter instead of being a bestseller. Don’t do it just for the money – if you don’t get the money, at least you have the work. Doing it for the money is not really worth it, except as bitter experience. Sometimes you don’t get the money either.

“The things I did because I was excited and wanted to see them exist in reality have never let me down and I never regretted the time I spent on any of them.”

“Problems of failure are hard, problems of success are even harder – nobody warns you about them.”

“Impostor syndrome – you are getting away with something and that any moment you will be discovered.”

“The point when you stop saying yes to everything because the bottles you sent are now all coming back and you have to learn to say no.”

“Miserable peers because they have to earn a certain amount every month, so they could no longer just do what you like.”

“The world conspires to stop you doing what you do, because you are successful.”

“Make mistakes – if you make mistakes, it means you are out there doing something, and mistakes can be very useful (Coraline looks almost like a real name).

“Remember that whatever discipline you’re in, you have something that is unique – you have the ability to make art. No matter what happens, when things are tough: make good art.”

“No matter what happens and what people say, do your thing. Probably things will get better, eventually time will take the sting away (that does not even matter), do what only you can do best. Make it on the bad days, make it on the good days, too.”

“While you’re at it, make YOUR ART. Do the stuff that only you can do.”

“Copying is not a bad thing. Most of us find our own voices after we have sounded like a lot of other people.”

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you – your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. Do it as only you can.”

“The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and showing too much of yourself, that is the moment you may be starting to get it right.”

“The things I have done that worked the best are the things that I was the least certain about.”

“What would even be the fun in always making something you knew was going to work? (you need the struggle that comes with it, it brings the best out of you and it makes you grow)”

“Sometimes the things I did really did not work. I learned as much from them as I did from the things that work.”

“You get work however you get work. But you keep working because your work is good, you are easy to get along with and you deliver your work on time. Two out of three is fine.”

“This is really great. You should enjoy it!”
– Steven King

“I did not. Instead I worried. Never stopped to look around and say “this is really fun”. I wish I had enjoyed it more. It has been an amazing ride, but there are parts of it I missed because I was too worried (about things going wrong, about what came next) to enjoy the bit that I was on.”

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

“Luck is useful. Often you will discover that the harder and the more wisely you work, the luckier you get. But there is luck, and it helps.”

“The world is changing, The old rules are crumbling and nobody knows what the new rules are. So make your own rules.”

“When you think you don’t know how to do something you think is difficult, pretend you are someone who could do it.”

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

“Make interesting mistakes. Make amazing mistakes. Make the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.”

Neil Gaiman