Make Good Art

I came across the speech given by Neil Gaiman at The University of Arts 2012 graduation ceremony. It is definitely inspiring and really worth a look at. It made me realise that I have been sitting on my behind for far too long now and really need to shift into a higher gear if I want to achieve everything that I have planned for my life. Some of these things are small like paying off my debts, writing more regular posts on here, losing the ‘quake’ weight, but otherwise more life changing – I want to travel more, live in another country – several countries, learn new languages, be happier.

I have always been a rather impulsive person. It didn’t seem like a big deal to up and leave somewhere and completely change my life – for example when I was living in London working for 20th Centruy Fox and decided one day I’d had enough of the long hours and the stress of London life. So I decided to go and teach English in South Korea. I investigated, found a job and was on a plane within a week of coming up with the idea much to the amusement of my best friend Sara. I used to come up with hair brained schemes a lot – about 40% of them I would follow through with, but I would follow through with them and it wasn’t just all talk and no action.

Over the last few years however, I seem to have got stuck in a rut. I’m don’t think it that I’m getting older. At least I hope it’s not. I have a feeling it’s more that the kiwi way of life is rubbing off on me. As much as I love New Zealand and it will always be home and the place that I was born, there are a lot of things that annoy me about this country too. There is an overwhelming desire instilled by many insitutions and the government itself, to shy away from success or striving for more. Even in schools there are no grades as such, just pass or fail – and you have to be REALLY bad to actually fail at all. It feels sometimes that I’m being told and expected to be ok with not wanting more, not wanting to strive for better things, or even to want to change my life completely. People reading this may be thinking WTF? as many kiwis overseas are totally different to this, they are hardworking and strive for more. I have a feeling though that that is one of the reasons they are no longer living in New Zealand! They got out and wanted to see what the rest of the world had to offer and I suspect unfortunately, that a lot have found the grass is greener on the other side.

So I’m taking a stand. I’m bucking the trend. I’m saying no to just plodding along with life. I want more. And I need to get out of this bad mojo I’ve been having too. Life is too damn unlucky when you’re not enjoying it! It doesn’t help when you live in a city that has had over 10,000 earthquakes in the last year and a half. That doesn’t help anyone’s psyche or mental state of mind in the slightest believe me. So I am now on a mission to get my ducks in a row so to speak. It will take some time as there are a few ducks to sort out but at the end of the day it’s all about the journey and I need to remember that. Have fun along the way and the rest will eventually fall into place.

Below is an excerpt from a cartoon on Zen Pencils about the Neil Gaiman speech – you can see the rest of it here – but it’s a good lesson to remember. When things get tough and you don’t know what to do – MAKE GOOD ART!



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