Most artists start out their career in art with a dream. They have a vision of spending each day in their studio making art and then selling their works to provide themselves with a good income and life style. I mean, after all, there are plenty of examples of successful artists who have made a breakthrough, have become well known and get six figure incomes. If they can do it why not you.
However most of the time what they discover rather quickly is that this is a tough road to follow as no one begins their art career fully accomplished and mature in style, able to sell their works easily and consistently to support themselves. An art career is like a roller coaster going up and down, sometimes feast and then other times famine.
Now many people talk about "the starving artist" but that is more dramatic than actual. Artists don't starve. Sure sometimes they are a bit short on money for food and short on having enough to pay the rent or have the means to buy art materials. But most artists are also practical and find incomes to get themselves buy. In New York City over the years many artists have traditionally waited tables to make a living, and still do. Or sometimes artists take on graphic design jobs or find other temporary employment to help get by in lean times. But really, artists don't go without food, not in the same way that pockets of poor people in rural areas actually have periods of nothing to eat.
But artists already suspected this would be the case so they have branched out to find other jobs to earn a living while they toil evenings and weekends to produce work and develop a voice and style. And they also enter art shows, participate in art fair, take workshops to help expand their skills, attend art conferences to meet other artists, and travel unusual places to get inspiration and sometimes materials for their work.