Art Matters is a little book written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Ridell, both whose work I really enjoy, and is drawn together from speeches, poems, and creative manifestos. The book explores art and shows how reading, imagining and creating can change the world.
One of the chapters was familiar to me – the one entitled Make Good Art, Gaiman’s famous and moving 2012 commencement address delivered at the Philadelphia University of the Arts. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. You should be able to find it on YouTube – I think that’s where I first saw it (I’ve watched it several times)
There is also an essay entitled “On Libraries,” which is a passionate argument for libraries that discusses their importance to our future and how they foster readers and daydreamers.
Now, this is a tiny book without a lot of words – one that you can probably read in about 20 minutes but one that you can spend weeks, months, years, a lifetime pondering. It is chock full of breathtaking illustrations and profound wisdom in short, concise to-the-point prose that celebrates art and outlines methods for artistic success. And not just monetary success but also personal fulfillment.
There are so many nuggets of wisdom spread in so few pages that I’m not going to say anything more, lest I take away someone’s enjoyment in reading it and discovering these gems for yourself. Let me just say that it’s inspiring and well worth the read.