Kirsty Herrington reviews Neil Gaiman’s book on why art is so important to inspire those young and old.
In a world where focus seems to be on new technology and social media, sometimes it’s easy to forget one of the more simple pleasures in life: art. Thankfully, Art Matters, the latest collaboration between renowned author Neil Gaiman and talented illustrator Chris Riddell is on hand to provide an effective reminder of the importance of imagination and creativity.
Art Matters is a collection of Neil Gaiman’s previously published manifestos, poems and speeches about art, creativity and more. Written as both a creative call to arms and a love letter to art in all of its forms, this compact, clever book is packed full of positive and motivational messages, insightful tales and helpful advice, all accompanied by skilful illustrations. It explores the importance of ideas, how people’s imaginations can change the world, how reading for pleasure can build empathy, and why the future depends on people reading and daydreaming. The key to life is to, essentially in Neil Gaiman’s words, MAKE GOOD ART.
Art Matters is a timely publication, what with latest news headlines about library closures, and reflects on the importance of libraries; how they provide a window to the past and were an essential part of Gaiman’s own childhood; and why it’s essential to protest any closures. The book also draws on Gaiman’s own past experiences; how he started out in journalism, dealt with both success and imposter syndrome, and why he believes mistakes can actually be useful.
Art Matters is an essential and motivating read for anyone with a love of books and the arts, and proves yet again that Gaiman and Riddell are a force to be reckoned with. Packed full of wise tips and hilarious anecdotes and illustrations, this magical book is sure to inspire you to switch off from social media and start work on your own masterpiece, or head straight to the library to lose yourself in the world of books.
By Kirsty Herrington
Art Matters is published by Headline and is out now.