I get a lot of questions about how to quit your day job and become an artist. The answer depends entirely on each situation. Some of us have more responsibilities than others. For example, if you have dependents that depend on you financially I wouldn’t suggest quitting your day job. First and foremost we are responsible for our obligations. However, I am NOT saying don’t do your art.
Instead, sometimes we should stop making jobs our enemy and make them work for us. Find a job that feeds your creativity. I have used slow paced office jobs to get a paycheck while working on my art career. During the down time of the office job, I update my website, work on marketing, and sketch ideas for future paintings. There are lots of jobs that you can find that will surround you with other creatives, or offers the opportunity to network with a lot of people.
When my parents moved in while my dad was going through cancer treatment, the art income was no longer enough. I used my marketing skills to get an office job temporarily. I was able to use my down time at the office to research contacts, write proposals, and work on art marketing while still making money to pay the bills.
As a result, my art business ramped up and my art income began to surpass my office job income. It made sense at that poaint to go back to my art.
I won’t say it was easy. I took the office job with a heavy heart. I painted at night after everyone went to bed. In the long run it benefited me.
I don’t know many artists personally that only do their art without support or supplemental income. The trick is to find work that supports your art. Teach workshops, work temp jobs, sell cards and prints, work in an art store. Work doesn’t have to be your enemy, make it work for you.