The other day I had a strong realization. I was watching yet another Kickstarter campaign video with an adorable human or three skipping up and on to their bikes (which were waiting for them in front of a gorgeous two-story brownstone, blissfully unlocked) and then riding off to a design meeting to finalize some amazing new environmentally friendly product. Everyone in the video looked ten times more happy than anyone I have ever met in my entire life (I’m working on my fifth decade.) The team assembled inside, large ceramic mugs in hand. The early morning sunlight beamed through a giant window at the perfect angle to bathe an over-sized re-purposed wooden table (probably made from a treasured old barn door) and the white painted brick loftice (loft + office) walls. And damn it if it didn’t look like everyone was getting along and letting each other have their respective say as they shared their extremely creative ideas.
Neil Gaiman is a creative force as an author of novels, comic books, and film. His unique creative expression has won fans from around the world. I first came across Neil in his ground breaking work in the Sandman graphic novel series.
In 2012 Neil Gaiman gave a commencement address to Philadelphia’s University of the Arts graduating class. You may have run across the central theme of his speech somewhere else on the web. It is simply and beautifully, “Make Good Art.” That’s it. Make good art. Just three words. Simple, right? Yes and no. What is “good?” Hell, what is “art?” There are many definitions that provide insight to the artist and to those who experience the art.
I believe that art is an evolving dance of expression of personal truths between others where everyone has a chance to take the lead. Pretentious? Probably. Corny? Absolutely!
But it doesn’t matter, because while art is potentially universal, it is more importantly personal because somewhere it impacts at least an audience of one, even if that “one” is the artist himself.
Neil underscores his idea that art is in the doing; in the making. The making is the message, if you will. In the quote below, Neil humorously focuses on personal tragedy as a catalyst to “good art.”
Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art.
The main thought that I’ve had as I have started to build out CuriousCity.com and it’s content is that, “Who is going to give a rip?” There are so many talented people in this world creating and sharing so much cool content, why would anyone stop by my little corner of the web and take a look around. But then I remembered that I have had some success sharing my content in the past. I’ve made a few short movies, I’ve been interviewed on the radio after one of my movies had a short run on local cable in Dubuque, Iowa. (It’s called Saddled in case you are interested.) I’ve produced an online commercial, with the help of a lot of very talented people for Microsoft’s Zune (insert joke here), and I made a documentary about Clarksville, Missouri; a town that has had multiple “100 Year Floods” in the span of a decade. I’ve got a few friends in the movie business and have aspirations about completing my first feature some day soon. So it is here, at CuriousCity.com where I will create some more content and share it with whoever pokes their head in the door. Thank you for stopping by and please let me know what you think by sending me note on the contact page.
Lou Coty – August 15, 2014 @ 9:03 PM