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David Byrne’s Speech to Columbia Graduates of 2013 (Video)


Byrne, among nerves and dispersions, finished his speech by speaking of the world of art and the promise of the future.

Following the acclaimed American custom of inviting important characters to give a speech during a university’s graduation ceremony, this year, the University of Columbia, in New York, invited the multifaceted artist David Byrne. His speech, unlike some others that have similarly gone viral online, does not have the agile and inspiring tone the others have, but in turn, it remains one of the most real and encouraging ones any young person aspiring to work in the world of art could hope to listen to.

Byrne begins by reminding them that the art sector is not what they expect it to be. That very few people end up doing what they studied to do and that the indexes are incredibly discouraging for filmmakers and writers. And, that the one thing they must avoid at all costs is absolutism. Perhaps you will end up doing something very different to what you imagine doing now, and perhaps the money will not be so great, he said, but what is truly important is that happiness and satisfaction are spread out everywhere. “Happiness is not reflected in schemes.”

Undoubtedly, these words become all the more valuable if we consider who they come from. Byrne is a man who has explored several sectored of art and he looks happy. Lastly, the artist concludes his speech by saying a memorable and lucid phrase “Just remember that if you’re being creative, you are being successful.”


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