The Challenges That Artists Face (feat. Why The Heck Not)



We introduced you to Why The Heck Not two weeks ago. While asking him some questions for that post, he revealed some interesting insight into the challenges of being a new artist trying to enter the scene. Instead of jam-packing it into the previous post, I’ve decided to share that transcript with you here.

Firstly, the competition. It is the general rule of thumb to be supportive of all artists and all the styles and techniques and general aesthetics that come out of it (and of course, it is not without reason – we should always strive to support our fellow artist companions).

But sometimes it’s just hard to remain as supportive, or positive as you are supposed to be. There will surely come a few times where some situations will challenge this mindset and make you feel negatively of the entire ordeal in general. One of the commonly seen examples is feeling jealous (or envious) of a mutual artist friend for whatever reason.


Artists strive to be recognised, and that is what makes it so tough. We may hide all this under our supportive exterior, but no doubt that some of these thoughts cross our mind, and cloud our rational thinking towards other individuals who are essentially striving to achieve the same goals as you are, because of our arrogant human nature.

This does not necessarily have to apply solely to artists – there are so many people out there in the world struggling with this exact same problem in whatever similar situation they find themselves in.

I will now recall a word of advice from a friend I have unfortunately lost contact with, but their words still ring true. They advised me that whatever crowd other people attract is the people that like the content their produce; in other words, their own crowd – whatever crowd you attract will be solely yours, the people that come to you and admire you for the content you produce.

Everyone has their own styles, their own sensibilities, their own viewpoints on things – and that is exactly why it is futile (and impossible) to appeal to everybody’s liking and interests. The best thing to do is to continue producing the content that appeals to you, and share it. People will find it, and you will gain a following. Whatever other people do to garner their own attention has nothing to do with you!

They also left me with this quote from Ira Glass, which is a very inspirational and positive one. I will not place the entire quote here, but even the specific anecdotes I have selected really don’t do it justice. I recommend you read the entire quote.


They also left me with this article written by Neil Gaiman on encouraging people who pursue the arts. It’s an article, so I can’t possibly quote everything I find inspiring here, but I also recommend it – they are great words of encouragement.

Secondly, the prospect of pursuing arts as a career. This may come off the heels of living in a… conservative “Asian” country (I heavily dislike using this comparison), but most people would tell you that pursuing a career in science is the safer and more reputable option. I don’t completely agree with these arguments, it’s easy to see where this mindset comes from.

From personal experience, a career in science, like being a doctor, dentist, scientist, etc., is certainly talked about as a safer bet as a career, because there is already a set path for you to walk along. The field of “arts” as a career – when people hear this, what is the range of optimal professions they have in mind?

The range dramatically decreases, and the mind settles on professions like law, accountancy, etc. that are still classified in the arts field, true, but they don’t have much to do with any actual artistry skills, and the like.

If I dare do so much as to imply the possible prospect of a career in a profession like graphic designer, or something like that, I will undoubtedly receive a few glances of worry and doubt being shot towards my way before their concerns are voiced to me – ‘Are you sure you want to pursue such an unstable career?’ ‘Will you be able to survive on such a low income?’

One of the more positive responses I usually see is “pursue advertising!”, but is that really the same thing?

I can’t possibly blame these people for thinking this way. After all, where are all the Animation Big Boys at? America, Canada, Europe… Artistic professions are actually a viable source of income there. However, the same cannot be said for our country.

Artistic creativity is looked down upon in our society, and isn’t treated with the same respect as comparatively ‘more stable’ and ‘reputable’ careers, like the ones involved in science. Art is better treated as a hobby, or at best, a side income.

Bearing this logic in mind, no doubt it would affect how aspiring artists think of arts as a future career as well. I myself even think that if I were to remain in this country, I’d best pursue something else as a major if I know what the safest path there is for me – therefore has caused my never-ending turmoil over my future.

When people display worry over an aspiring artist’s ambition, it certainly isn’t unwarranted – but it stems from a stigma that plagues the entire industry (in this country, or worldwide?) as a whole.

I sincerely hope a near future awaits where children can grow up loving art and won’t be shunned from wanting to pursue it as a viable option for a career – it’s very disheartening to watch people constantly underrate a field that serves as a source of inspiration for many people throughout the world.”

Why The Heck Not, as an artist, shares the same story as many other artists we’ve worked with in the past. They first found love for it when they were very young, realised that it wasn’t a fleeting interest, and now spend most of their time trying to make something out of it. Unfortunately, in a world that is governed by money, artists face more obstacles than professionals from any other field.

Coming from a community that is ruled by art, this is something we all have to realise. Every anime, comic, or game that we’ve ever loved came from the time and effort of someone who drew the art, wrote the story, recorded the audio.

Even if we cannot give them money, there are other ways to aid them on their journey. For instance, spread the news, change your mindset, send encouraging messages to those who need it! The day that our support stops, is the day that artists will go extinct.

Having said that, we’re always looking to collaborate with artists of every variety; from drawers artists like Why The Heck Not to cosplayers to musicians to game designers to story writers. If you feel like you have a story to share, or simply want to promote yourself, here is your invitation to do so.

Contact us at We’d love to work with you!


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