Separate the Art From the Artist

Aashi Dhaniya
6 min readMar 7, 2019
Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash

Reading “Art Matters” by Neil Gaiman (illustrated by Chris Ridell) recently made me realize something. Something about why I loved it as much as I did even though it was nothing I hadn’t already read before.

Some much-required background here.

I’ve seen Neil Gaiman’s famously titled “make good art” commencement address enough times to be able to regularly quote it in conversation. I’ve also read many of his books including Norse Mythology, American Gods, and Ocean at the end of the Lane. I’ve heard some of the audiobooks voiced by Neil Gaiman himself.

Indeed, I followed along with the paperback of American Gods against the backdrop of Neil Gaiman’s dulcet British accent.

Each successive book I read by Neil Gaiman, I liked it more and more. Ironically, that says much less about the objective “goodness” of Neil Gaiman’s writing and much more about my experience of a Neil Gaiman product. I did not read his books in the order that they were released. It is natural for an author to evolve his style and improve the nuances of his writing with every next undertaking, but it was clearly not a factor here. The consumption of every book or speech or interview enhanced the experience of the next. In fact, reading “Art Matters” was somewhat of a crescendo to this said experience. It was moving, enthralling, and inspiring. It inspired me to write this blog, after all.

Love for the artist means love for the art

Another example of such an enhanced experience of art includes one of my most favorite communities of the Internet. The Nerdfighteria. For those who don’t know, nerdfighteria is the community of people that follow Vlogbrothers, a YouTube channel jointly owned by John and Hank Green.

I’m not sure how many people realize that besides the massive amount of luck, being in the right place, and at the right time, the unnoticed component that made The Fault in our Stars a smashing hit it was, was Nerdfighteria.

People are invested in Vlogbrothers enough to love the next thing John (nerdfighteria and John and Hank are on first name basis) is ready to bring into the world. The same reason I knew…

Aashi Dhaniya

Stories. Sometimes of words, sometimes of people.