John Milton wrote in a letter to his contemporary that he wanted to reach "an immortality of fame." Vincent van Gogh was not critically acclaimed until after his death. The English writer continued to write his epic poem Paradise Lost despite going blind and the Dutch painter depended on his brother Theo's support during his personal breakdowns; the first the cutting off of his left ear and the second a gunshot to the chest in a wheat field. These artists have amassed a portfolio and braved their hardships while they worked or rather starved.
Creative pursuits are not always met with open arms but those who want their love give their love and hold on each time they do. Artists are seen as egotistical, woe-is-me, basket cases with a stubbornness that borders on pompous desperation. How they are known is never quite understood and the person that knows a person best is the very person himself. Some artists might have pity parties, but the public would not have any founded inkling of it. The cynical artist might say to those people that they put the "ass" in the "masses" or "assumption." The more optimistic would consider it true; who hasn't had doubts or hesitations?
As long as people eat, they will hunger. The artist is on a journey, and his destination has many different routes for him to discover and take. Limitations are determined by the artist; determination is either limited or extended by the artist. Of course, it is not fun being spiritually and intellectually starved, but when you are faced with quality over quantity, time over deadline, you know neither can be done without intentions of the heart. If their is no love in what you do, if you do not care for the craft or the process, find the place where love is. Whether people care or not is not up to you, but what is in your control is how you approach your creativity.
Art is more than an economically viable endeavor, it is a way of life. It is protest, it is a lesson, it is what puts you in motion. You create like only you can. The moment your art becomes devotion is the moment art becomes a responsibility. Sharing and creating stories for yourself is always the first step and the leap of faith is your patrons. You want to know that you have a supportive audience who says "you're okay," that enjoys what you do as much as you do. Surround yourself with people who care or even the ones who did not care to begin with; you can be their reason to care now.
Rejections are just piecemeal, it is a setup for your acceptance. Start with the basics, know who you are, what you do, and where you are going. Ask and answer "Why," recite your ABCs: action, belief, courage, determination, edification, failure, gain. Recognize the process, what works and does not work, subvert the naysayers by saying "Yes." Yes, I am an artist. Yes, I do starve. Yes, I enjoy the taste of canvas. The starving artist is not "stubborn stupid" but "stubborn smart" about his taste. The artist is only starving if his taste buds have gone dry and numb for the processed, the bland, the "extra ordinary." The artist is one who is rich in spirit, who digests the ordinary, and makes his own recipes so that others may know the rich soul of his taste.
The starving artist makes a living with rich taste. You do not jeopardize yourself for anything less than who you are: an artist. You make art for a living. Money comes and goes, and so does your life, so make it a series of masterpieces.