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Neil Gaiman Offers Advice on How to be More Creative

What do you wish you knew when you were 19? Neil Gaiman, author of Sandman, Coraline and American Gods, answers that question in this commencement address last weekend at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. It’s a must-see for every creative person. Gaiman has produced a body of creative work – via comic books and long-form fiction – that make him a voice worth listening to. His most recent work is the novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which has garnered rave reviews and quickly earned bestseller status.  Gaiman is married to rock and roll indie superstar Amanda Palmer.

Our thanks to Cultural Weekly readers Irene Borger and Susan Dane for bringing this to our attention.


  • Garner Simmons

    Having spent a life walking on the wire without a net, it's always good to hear from another who's done the same. Neil Gaiman's speech should be archived and re-visited and passed along to all who stare into the fire and wonder if they dare describe what they find there. Choosing to create art of any sort is to make an irrational bet on yourself — one that, against all odds, will pay off if you have the courage to follow your heart. Never work for money. Money is simply a byproduct of what you do when something seems so important you can't imagine doing anything else.

  • lidia shaddow

    this is soooooo beautiful and inspiring! thank you! what a wonderful and wise person! never heard of him before. just when i needed! some spark plugs to restart the engine! you rock neil. i will check you out on my Audible.

  • Barbara

    Truly the best commencement speech I've ever heard.