Getting work as an illustrator is an art in itself. I read this article today “Majority of illustrators don’t earn enough to live from, new survey shows” http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/news/creative-business/majority-of-illustrators-dont-earn-enough-live-from-new-survey-shows/
I realized this fact for myself back in the early 80’s when I made the switch to being an art director, all the while creating art for my job and my own pleasure. This went on for 2 decades until I left my job as Senior Creative Director and art department head at Warner Bros Syndicated TV. I banked enough money to pursue my goal of being an illustrator. However it still is not an easy task. I continue to struggle with this daily. Along the way I bought, renovated and sold homes in Los Angeles which ultimately led to becoming a real estate agent…albeit a creative one which now supports my artistic endeavors and frees me up to explore art and illustration deeply.
What I’ve come to terms with is there are very few illustrators who can support themselves on art alone, and there’s nothing bad about that. In fact it may even help them become more rounded as a business person and more social.