Usually, when people think of an artist, they think of either of a hippie like person who's on the verge of being a starving artist or a glamorous person who is constantly going to black tie events and schmoozing with the rich and famous. That may be true for some people in the past and present, but both of these are two extremes. One side being the emerging artist and the other being the established artist. I am going to discuss the emerging artist side because I'm sure as hell not an established artist.
How I know I'm an Emerging Artist
Easy. I have a day job. Don't get me wrong. I love my day job and would still continue to work if I was an established artist. Problem is that if I did not have my day job, I couldn't afford my studio rent, art supplies, accountant and even this website domain. Fact is I don't make any money off my art...hardly. There's a sale here and there but not substantial nor consistent enough to pay for all I just mentioned.
That being said, the day job keeps me from being a "starving artist". In my opinion, every emerging artist should have a day job and/or a side gig to finance an art lifestyle AND have a roof over their head. This involves learning a practical skill that is in the market to get them hired for a consistent period of time. These days that means you need a higher level education such as college or tech school.
When I graduated high school, I wanted to go to college for art but my mom most likely wouldn't have funded me going to school solely for art. I needed a skill that promised that I could support myself, pay for my art ventures and live comfortably. My answer was software engineering.