“A creator needs only one enthusiast to justify him.” – Man Ray, Born Aug. 27, 1890.
You can start with a very small audience.
But if you don't have one, you're not justified in spending too much time creating anything.
Not if you want to create work people will connect with.
Note – I'm obviously excluding deliberate starving artist types here. I'm talking about those who want to make an actual living from their work.
That living comes from an audience.
Create the work FOR someone. To SERVE a particular kind of person's needs that are not being served elsewhere.
And when you start to collect enthusiasts, get to know them. Make it a mutual enthusiasm. Don't stay separate, but rather interact with your fans.
Use them. Strike a balance between what you both want together. That's where a patronage can develop. That's how you get a loyal fandom that supports your work long term.
That's how you justify doing this kind of thing for a living.
Seek the enthusiasts. Collect them. Cultivate them. Develop them. Feed them.
And profit for life.
Do you have enthusiasts yet? Or are you just someone else's?
If you're still more of a fan than a producer, what are you going to do about it? Start today.