Will I make it? I suppose it depends on how one defines "making it." I won't ever be famous, nor do I desire to be, but I believe in some sense just having the freedom to pursue a creative career is a form of success. I've had opportunities presented without seeking them, even before finishing my education. I feel fortunate to have met folks who have pointed out opportunities, or advised me to stay away from a certain venue. These relationships are invaluable, especially for a creative person who basically spends her time alone in a 10x12 room, trying to formulate a visual representation of ideas that often want to come out in words rather than pictures.
Recently, I had a meltdown at my neighbors' house. I'd gone over to drop something off and ended up crying in their dining room because they asked how everything was going. "I don't know if I can do this," came blubbering out of my mouth, which was followed by an apology for having a breakdown for seemingly no reason. The reality is, being an artist isn't easy. No one can tell me that I'm doing it right or wrong. The individual may like or not like a particular piece, but that doesn't make it bad (okay, sometimes it does mean it's bad - but not always). Unlike my former occupation(s), there isn't necessarily a right or wrong answer, there isn't a singular way to pursue this career, and there is no formula to determine the correct path. There may even be multiple paths - at the same time - and no one can say with certainty what is waiting at the end of each of those forks in the road. In many ways, that is the beauty of this sort of career. I have the opportunity to check out a multitude of various paths and see where they take me. It's also the scary part of this career because there may be more paths to failure than success.
Although I'm tentative about what is to come, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to finish out this degree that was a long time in the making. I may not feel ready to be out on my own, or believe that the world is my oyster as I did in my early 20s, but there is hope for my future in this field - at least in some form. Like my writing, my artwork certainly isn't the best, and no one is beating down my door to see what I will come up with for my next project, but I have nothing but time - and unlike a "real" job, it's all just practice. And the best part... I can't be fired. I wait with excitement and anticipation for what is to come.