Everyone working in the arts will experience internal and external forces that cause them to doubt the wisdom of their choices from time to time.

Understand this: There will always be pressure.

Pressure to justify your choices to others

Pressure to meet the expectations of others, including parents and family

Pressure to attain (or to maintain) a certain “lifestyle”

Pressure to equal or surpass the accomplishments of others

Pressure to earn the respect of peers.

Pressure to be cool, to be contemporary, to be new.

Pressure to choose an easier way when you think the harder way is better, but no one but you will ever be able to tell the difference.

Pressure to do your best when no one seems to care.


Pressure to not disappoint your mentors.

Pressure to meet goals that seem impossible

Pressure to keep up a good front when you are scared or worried or anxious.

Pressure to not feel that you are leaving friends behind if you are successful and pressure to not feel left behind if they attain success before you.

The pressure that comes from the fear that you made the wrong choice.

The pressure to not go backwards.

The pressure to meet your own standards when the standards of others seems lower.

The pressure to rationalize bad decisions.

The pressure to appear uneffected by the anxieties experienced by your colleagues.


Understand this: You are not alone.

Resist the pressure.

You can even make pressure  work for you, but you have to be careful not to become addicted to pressure- an addiction that many of us in the illustration community must eventually come to terms with, myself included.  Remember that you are doing a good and worthwhile thing, be strong and keep going forward.

Stand up for yourself, be a good person, be true to your vision and work as hard as you can, and you may be surprised how far you go.