“I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth”–‘Substitute,’ The Who
There are the trope and the truism that are often used by parents who are concerned that their kids might go in a direction that potentially describes a future that is without hope or at the very least a recipe for continued residency.
The first is the “starving artist.” This is generally associated with some suffering individual who is in a garret, working at their art and not making a sufficient amount of money in order to buy something to eat. Of course, the starving artist could be out in the world, busking, hoping that there will be a sufficient number of tips tossed into the open instrument case to buy a set of strings and possibly a cellophane-wrapped sandwich of some undifferentiated substance for sustenance.
The starving artist is cautionary, although not as potentially off-putting as “artists only make money after they are dead.” This is somewhat more difficult to understand given that the individual is dead and consequently incapable of (a) taking it with them to say nothing of (b) making more of it.
However, the message seems to be that the artist will create works that will, the starvation occurring while that creation is going on notwithstanding, make bank for someone else after the artist is pushing daisies. Although it is known that artists ranging from da Vinci to Warhol, to name two who are dead, made money while they were alive from their undertaking, it is also true that post-mortal coil those works made a heck of a lot of more money than either could have possibly imagined.
The point is, while the odds are better making something as a musician than they are for someone who thinks they’re going to get rich playing the lottery, the odds are even better that a job as an actuarial or forklift driver is more likely to provide income consistency.
It is a good thing for the rest of us that there are those who ignore those warnings and go out and create, whether they are visual or musical artists.
But it doesn’t necessarily make their lots in life any better if there are only a few of us who are supportive of the undertakings of any of these individuals and groupings of like-minded.