To a large degree I think any who think they want to be artists when they grow up should be discouraged to avoid such a foolish life choice. A point has been made that lots of "artists" have no talent. This is true and in many cases they may have gotten naive encouragement to pursue their "passion". Kids may be passionate about stuff that garners praise. Natural talents garner praise in kids. I think many too easily confuse things like the ability to draw or carry a tune with being suited for the life of the artist. I feel like much of the commentary here is by those outside of "Art" who believe themselves to understand what art is and what being an artist "is", based on looking at art and reading art criticism. Of course I being human make the same assumption, that growing up mired in the arts I understand better than those who spend their lives outside the arts looking in. My naivete is not much different. One huge mistake I feel art viewers make is the assumption that the object for sale in the gallery or not for sale in the museum is the work of the artist. In society, the work of the artist is quite different from the side effect objects they sell or give away or even put in the trash. The mindset; the biases; the assumptions; the inability to see beyond our own narrow understanding of all we think we understand. Managing those things is the work of the artist, or of those artists who have talent. Art (at its best) changes people, frees up dogmas, guides societies, beheads bigotry, grows more heads on bigotry for all to see. The decorative remnants of the artists "work" are a tiny tip of the iceberg that is the arts. The reality for artists in the real world is actually exactly what you suggest is impossible. I've known many artists who worked in the trades as hobby and for income. The making of the product part of art is a trade. Many artists in the visual arts are vastly better tradespersons than most carpenters who build our homes. The foolishness about sports building teamwork etc etc better than the arts is an idea created by those who are simply not fully educated in the reality of the artists "work". During the '90s recession for example, if you needed some renovation done you ended up with artists in your NYC dwelling, because all the unions left for the South where there was money and construction due to tax breaks for business to fix the recession. Construction crews I worked on then were made up of painters, sculptors and musicians. Look into a long term artists dwelling and you'll find tools of "the trades". Artists go deep into stuff @JuneauMike attributed to school sports; things like as Mike said: "work ethic, delayed gratification, goal setting, constant self inventory and improvement, interpersonal cooperation, sacrifice for a shared goal" etc. The comment about "seeing more of a microcosm of life in a football team than in any art class" illustrates the failures of the arts. No point in attempting to flesh out my above statement about seeing. But art has successes as well. I have my biases and always seek doors through which to see beyond them. The best art opens such doors, and does so for free. Choosing the arts as career is a terrible idea, and every child should be discouraged from such. This way only the most devoted and driven will take that path, upon which they will need to work 80 hours a week instead of 40, and get 50% of the recognition for doing 200% as much work as the business professional who follows the easier road. Financial security is good, and we live in a system that effectively punishes those who do not devote their lives to financial security. So any kid encouraged to pursue the arts as career had better understand that when their school sports neighbor goes to bed for the night, they need to stay up and keep working. That will be life. Except for I suppose a few who stumble into the art lottery and gain random fame with only modest effort.