The following is the full text and summary of the commencement speech “Make Good Art” delivered by Neil Gaiman to the University of the Arts Class of 2012 on May 17, 2012. [Edited version]
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Neil Gaiman – Author
Thank you. I never really expected to find myself giving advice to people graduating from an establishment of higher education. I never graduated from any such establishment. I never even started at one. I escaped from school as soon as I could, when the prospect of four more years of enforced learning before I could become the writer I wanted to be seemed stifling.
I got out into the world, I wrote, and I became a better writer the more I wrote, and I wrote some more, and nobody ever seemed to mind that I was making it all up as I went along, they just read what I wrote and they paid me for it, or they didn’t, and often they commissioned me to write something else for them. Which has left me with a healthy respect and fondness for higher education that those of my friends and family, who attended Universities, were cured of long ago.