You can't achieve the level of influence that Smith has without hitting a few bumps in the road first. She promises the crowd, however, that the struggles we go through are worth it in the end. “To be an artist—actually, to be a human being in these times—it’s all difficult,” she says. “What matters is to know what you want and pursue it.” It won't be easy, because life is never easy, but it's all “part of the package.” She ended off her speech by reminding the crowd that the people have the power. “Technology has really democratized self-expression,” she says; we have the ability to speak our minds, have our message heard, and come together to enact change. Through it all, Smith always goes back to the advice of William S. Burroughs: “Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises, don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful—be concerned with doing good work.” And, perhaps most importantly, don't forget to have some fun along the way.
Patti Smith is a renowned artist, writer, and musician. Her keynotes draw from years of experience in the arts, and the gifted orator shares her unique insight on what it takes to be an artist—and how you can achieve your passions in life. No matter what you strive for in life, Smith encourages you to blaze a path for yourself. A natural storyteller, Smith's keynotes inspire and transform audiences of all ages. To book Patti Smith as a speaker, contact The Lavin Agency.