So often, young people who hope to carve out creative careers for themselves are told, "you can't make money from that". Well, that's plain wrong. There are people out there, plenty of people, who are making a living from art, design, music, performance, writing... well, every and any kind of artform you can think of.
What we should be telling young people is that yes, it is possible... but it is difficult. Difficult doesn't mean impossible. To make a living from a creative career you may need to be willing to do two things:
widen your outlook, and take on a support job.
When I say widen your outlook, I mean think about all of the varied aspects of your chosen artform. What goes into the creation of that industry as a whole? Art isn't only about selling paintings, and music isn't only about being on stage. Those are only the 'typical' end of the wedge, the tropes that get wheeled out time and again for movie and book characters because most of us recognise and understand them.
Going into every kind of job available for every kind of creative medium would take forever, so right now I'm going to focus on the support job. As I'm an artist by trade I'll focus on art, but the same principles apply to any unpaid or as-yet-unestablished vocation - for example, I have friends who've become full-time religious missionaries using the same principles.