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Make Good Art Hardcover – May 14, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (May 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062266764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062266767
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Gaiman is, simply put, a treasure-house of story, and we are lucky to have him' Stephen King 'Gaiman has a rich imagination...and an ability to tackle large themes' Philip Pullman --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

In May 2012, bestselling author Neil Gaiman stood at a podium at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts to deliver the commencement address. For the next nineteen minutes he shared his thoughts about creativity, bravery, and strength: he encouraged the students before him to break rules and think outside the box. Most of all, he encouraged the fledgling painters, musicians, writers, and dreamers to make good art.

This book, designed by renowned graphic artist Chip Kidd, contains the full text of Gaiman’s inspiring speech. Whether bestowed upon a young artist beginning his or her creative journey, or given as a token of gratitude to an admired mentor, or acquired as a gift to oneself, this volume is a fitting offering for anyone who strives to make good art.


More About the Author

I make things up and write them down. Which takes us from comics (like SANDMAN) to novels (like ANANSI BOYS and AMERICAN GODS) to short stories (some are collected in SMOKE AND MIRRORS) and to occasionally movies (like Dave McKean's MIRRORMASK or the NEVERWHERE TV series, or my own short film A SHORT FILM ABOUT JOHN BOLTON).

In my spare time I read and sleep and eat and try to keep the blog at www.neilgaiman.com more or less up to date.

Customer Reviews

Quick, easy read to come back to over and over again.
T. sartain
No matter what creative field that you may be in, this is a must read!
Karen M Bell-Brege
I think Make Good Art will be replacing Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Alyssa Marie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Tiffany Leigh on May 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is the transcript of a commencement speech that Neil Gaiman gave in May 2012 to the graduating class of the University of Arts in Philadelphia. His speech (which you can find easily on Youtube) is moving, personal, and his charge to the future artists of the world to stay creative and make good art is both useful and inspirational, and has been oft-quoted and requoted since.

That said, this hardcover book's presentation of that seminal speech is mediocre, slight, and diminishes Gaiman's wisdom (no mean feat). It's clearly tied in for impulse-purchasing during Graduation Season - a slight trifle of a stocking stuffer that loved ones buy for the legions of new grads that finish school each spring.

What makes this sadder is that the book is designed by Chip Kidd, who is a legend of graphic design for print and book covers. [Google image him for a sampling]. Everything about Kidd's graphics screams self-indulgence here, and not style borne from content. It's hard to look at Kidd's visual representations of Gaiman's speech and not think it's an amalgam of Kidd b-sides or unfinished drafts from his ideas scrapbook.

Kidd's graphics for the book is a rare misfire in his ouvre. The graphic design employed is like seeing a 3D movie without 3D glasses on. It distracts from Gaiman's simple and strong message. It's as if the book's publisher (or Kidd) didn't trust Gaiman's strong clear words on their own - which is a mistake, and not one of the 'interesting, amazing, glorious and fantastic mistakes" that Gaiman champions artists to make on purpose in his stirring speech.

The book hides under a canopy of fonts for fonts' stake in different colors for different's sake.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Kristen Weber on May 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book after reading an excerpt of Gaiman's speech. I was hoping that I'd like it enough to give to a new (high school) graduate as an inspirational message.

While I do love the speech, and think it has applicability beyond the arts, the presentation of the message is simply terrible. The colors and fonts used for the text are distracting at best and impossible to read at the worst. Major failures are white font on a light blue background, or layered red/aqua font which is like trying to read 3D without 3D glasses.

I definitely will not be purchasing a second as a gift, and I may actually return my current copy. I cannot at all recommend this book. It's a shame, as the message the speech conveys is an important one for anyone embarking on a new beginning (whether career, personal, or educational).
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Anastasia Duro on May 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Length: 2:11 Mins
This book is so beautifully designed I figured it's better to show you rather than tell you. Every page is gorgeous and unique!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lazarus on May 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There probably never was, and never will be, an immortal graduation speech. Most are quickly forgotten. Neil Gaiman delivered a pretty good one, now recorded in this book. If the text of the speech had been typeset in normal fashion, the speech could have been printed as a pamphlet, so perhaps the thought was to "add value." At any rate, the text has been spread out across a number of pages, each more nearly illegible than the last. White type on light blue, red type, etc., in various sizes and configurations. The chief accomplishment of this approach is to distract from Gaiman's text and to reveal designer Chip Kidd as bereft of design sense. I don't know if the sort of e.e. cummings approach to the text is to be blamed on Gaiman or Kidd, but I suspect the latter. If you want to acquire this speech, I suggest waiting and hoping that Todd Klein will do it as a poster, perhaps with an illustration or two by other Gaiman collaborators such as McKean, Vess, or Russell. But in the meantime, save your money, avoid this book, and just listen to the speech on the internet. "Make good art." Maybe Kidd's design is intended as irony.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Meghan Sullivan on May 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I cried when I watched the video of Neil Gaiman's commencement address to the Philadelphia University of the Arts last year. Naturally, I immediately pre-ordered this book so I could go back to parts of that speech over and over whenever I needed inspiration.

I was thrilled when I herd Chip Kidd was designing the book. It seemed a wonderful way to merge the ideas of the speech into reality. Unfortunately, the design does not work for me. There are pages that are truly wonderful and fit with the text beautifully. Then there are other pages.

Some of the pages actually hurt and strained my eyes as I tried to read them. I actually was left wondering if and how people who are color blind could read the book. Just one example - red text against light blue backgrounds, especially when intermixed with other design features is incredibly straining on the eyes. Also there are areas where a magnifying glass is almost need to read the text.

I will treasure this book and what it means to me, but sadly I probably will not be re-reading it as often as I had hoped. At least not without taking some headache medication prior to reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JLoud on October 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Huge Gaiman fan so I love having this on my shelf or coffee table.
However, one could simply watch the speech online.
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