Brenda Hsuing, 25, is a fresh graduate who does illustrations on Instagram and Bigcartel (@child.hyung). She is passionate about using art to reach out to people who feel alone in the different things they may struggle with. She is also passionate about communities that are marginalised and discriminated against. She shares some lessons she’s learnt through her initiative.
I wouldn’t have been able to act on my passions and ideas if it weren’t for the many people who have given me encouragement, inspiration and guidance, helping me to dream beyond myself. I wouldn’t have known where to start and I’d be lost in self-doubt and comparing myself with others.
Find a solid group of people you trust who will sharpen you to be better. Likewise, contribute the same to their lives, because you’re all running this race together – not against each other.
In this journey, I’ve learnt to appreciate every individual who supported me. If it means handwriting a thank-you card to a thousand people, it’s worth it. I want them to feel valued.
When I look at the things happening around the world and even within Singapore, such as social injustice or poverty, I tend to feel a crippling sense of helplessness. But in moments where hope overcomes these dreadful feelings, I look at the little things in my hands and acknowledge that I too can play a part to help.
It may only make a difference to one person, but I believe that taking one step is better than doing nothing at all.
I think that I live life a little safe because of the fear of screwing up, the fear of rejection and even the fear of being useless. I’m learning that it’s okay to dream big. It’s okay to fail.
When nothing is on the line but your ego, I say go big or go home. You’ll learn and you’ll be able to laugh at yourself. You’ll feel better going to sleep at night knowing that you tried your best, without thoughts of what could have been.
Sometimes you might fail and fall hard on your face, but these could also be the wings that take you places, creating opportunities where you can pursue the things that matter to you.
I have to constantly remind myself to sit down and be humble. I find that when I look to fame and recognition, it directs my actions in a very different way. It can even be hindering and defeating when I don’t meet society’s “standards”.
I don’t ever want to think that I’m amazing because I’m changing the world or creating life-changing things, because I’m not. There’s so much more to do and see and be, and conceitedness will rob me of these humble pleasures.
Sometimes I do something I find meaningful and feel good about myself! But when that’s done, I find myself sitting back, relaxing, and if I don’t catch myself, I go back to living for myself and I miss out on being able to do more and reach out to more people.
Of course, don’t drive yourself to the point of burning out. But if you’re like me, it’s good to learn to push yourself beyond your comfort zone.