Part of Friday was spent reading Art Matters by Neil Gaiman. It is delightfully illustrated by Chris Riddell to add an extra, perfectly counterpointed, visual element to the words.
Is counterpointed a word? It should be. It is now.
The book is a short collection including the full transcript of his "Make Good Art" commencement speech so can be easily polished off in one sitting. It takes a lot longer, however, to fully digest.
It is one of those little, constant reminders we need to give ourselves to keep on creating things, be they words, images, music, whatever.
Gaiman has an unmatched way with words and story, one that has transfixed me ever since I first discovered the Sandman comics so many years ago. Despite being set in the most fantastical scenarios his stories contain so many truths that you can't help but be changed by them, they stay with you in ways that other's tales can't.
Art Matters also feels like it will stay with me and will sink deeper each time I re-read it. It lets you know that anything can be art. It is the act of creating something that didn't previously exist, an act of intent to interpret, translate or transpose, to show how we see things that others might understand. Art doesn't have to be paintings or poems or songs, it can be anything as long as the intent is there.
It can be a blog, the swing of a bat or racquet, a way of making tea, the devotion shown when using a broom just so. Art is the intrinsic act of creating beauty where none existed or in making it accessible when prevhidden.
Art gives us life, gives us hope, it connects in ways other things can't.
Art. Definitely. Matters.