I've been painting wildlife and a few other subjects in oil for about 40 years now. I started about the age of 8. When I was a young adult in the early 1990's I always assumed being an artist was just a pipe dream for me because I didn't go to college and didn't want to go. All of the years I spent in grade school and high school were a little different for me because I found myself day dreaming about other things I actually wanted to be doing while the teacher was teaching or giving us the home work assignment. I couldn't focus because I was bored out of my mind unless the teacher was teaching something that interested me like the solar system or dinosaurs. Subjects like these actually made me want to learn because it made my mind start to imagine what outer space or the prehistoric world must have looked like.
Being a creative person means your a little weird but throw in the fact that you have a hard time focusing on things you just don't give a crap about and then you have the makings of an uneducated idiot doomed to dig ditches for the rest of his life! Or do you? I did just enough school work to squeak by but was fairly good at sports in high school so I obtained a scholarship to go to a 2 year college in Highland Kansas to play football and run track. I loaded up all of my belongings and moved into one of the dorm rooms they had for me. I went to the first day of football practice which was them giving me a drug test and testing everyone's vertical leap and weight lifting strength. When I got back to the dorm room I looked around and said to myself "Self, I don't want to be hear!" So I packed up everything I owned and left without telling anyone because I was little selfish when I was younger and had no ability at the time to focus on the future. I worked a few jobs the next couple of years until I finally landed a position as a rod man on a land surveying crew for an engineering firm. That was in 1992 and I've worked as a land surveyor ever since then. I've actually made great money doing it and even have owned my own company in this field. I do enjoy getting out of the house and working out doors because I enjoy being outside but my passion is still creating art work.
So now with the age of the internet and social media I can actually figure out ways of making an income doing what I love to do. Lucky for me my wife is good with the computer so she taught me a few things. So I can now take photos of my art work and put it in photo shop to crop and send it off to have prints made of my work. If you're an artist starting out, definitely consider the print market because you can sell your image hundreds or even thousands of times over at a lower price than the original. Not everyone can afford a painting that you charge $500 to $10,000 for depending on the caliber of artist you are but a whole lot of people can afford $50 to $80 for a print. Another way of making money is by teaching what you know to other people. I teach private lessons and charge $25 per session.
I've recently started making youtube videos. They are a little amateur at the moment because I need to get some better video equipment and develop a personality when it comes to the camera but I'm not going to let that stop me. I'm even putting together a story and I'm doing my own Illustrations. I'm going to try my hand at self publishing this book on Amazon. My art business is slowly beginning to pick up but I'm enjoying the process of getting it going. I'm still working as a surveyor but I know the Lord will start giving me provision as an artist as long as I keep using the gift he gave me! Only you yourself can know what God put in you as far as talents for your career so don't let the outside world talk you out of pursuing a career using those talents.