Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Make Up Your Own Rules"

It's graduation season and I am enjoying watching a variety of graduation addresses. Here's one from author Neil Gaiman, who is one of my favorite writers and who is modeling a new way of living as an artist and writer... on social media and the web.



Here's a part of the speech I found very interesting. It comes at the end when he has already given advice about akin art and living as an artist.
We're in a transitional world right now, if you're in any kind of artistic field, because the nature of distribution is changing, the models by which creators got their work out into the world, and got to keep a roof over their heads and buy sandwiches while they did that, are all changing. I've talked to people at the top of the food chain in publishing, in bookselling, in all those areas, and nobody knows what the landscape will look like two years from now, let alone a decade away. The distribution channels that people had built over the last century or so are in flux for print, for visual artists, for musicians, for creative people of all kinds.
Which is, on the one hand, intimidating, and on the other, immensely liberating. The rules, the assumptions, the now-we're supposed to's of how you get your work seen, and what you do then, are breaking down. The gatekeepers are leaving their gates. You can be as creative as you need to be to get your work seen. YouTube and the web (and whatever comes after YouTube and the web) can give you more people watching than television ever did. The old rules are crumbling and nobody knows what the new rules are. 
So make up your own rules.

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