It happens often. I will go to my inbox and see a journal post or reply from some poor artist here at DA, saying that their parents (most often) or other loved ones think that art is a waste of time and there will never be any money in it.
It always echoes what I heard growing up. And it always made me angry.
You don't have to work in a factory or mill, and you don't have to have a high rise office to make money. There are millions of other jobs in this world that do pay - and pay well. Someone designs ketchup commercials. Someone paints Christmas cards. Someone, somewhere, molds model horses. (Kathleen Moody, anyone?) And guess what? They get paid for it.
I won't waggle a finger at anyone's parents. It's not my place. But it is infinitely sad to see those that are responsible for nurturing and development stifle what could be a great and talented artist.
As I've said many times, non-art folks just don't seem to understand, for the most part. I won't say all. Some do. Most don't. How many times have you run in to this? You spend hours and hours working on a gift for someone and they open it, and they get that characteristic "eww, I don't like this" frown for a moment and you get the vapid "thank you" from between clenched teeth? Shame on them, and I'll tell you why.
I love history. I study it all the time. I love the history channel. Do you know what it taught me? It taught me what endures and stands the test of time. What do we have left, today, of the ancient great civilizations? Well, we'd have a lot more of their literature if it weren't for an ancient fire, but we do have their literature, their teachings, relics, architecture, and - guess what? Art. It teaches us about their value and their culture, and it teaches us how they viewed the world. Historians consider it extremely important. They can trace the entire history of art back to stone-aged man. Written language only goes back as far as the hieratic, cuneiform and hieroglyphics. This tells us that as human beings, as a world and as culture, that art is far, far more important than some would like to believe. Pity them. They may love you and want what is best for you, but they have a lack of perspective most likely resulting in a lack of higher education - or they weren't listening in college Western Civilization, which is a fascinating course in any school.
Art is important, fellow artists. It is very, very important. It defines us and our society. It tells others what we listen to, what we think like, how we grow and how we perceive. It is a higher calling of a higher nature. We bring true emotion to our world, and we bring beauty, perspective, and thought. If you can get one person to think about something with one of your pieces, then you have achieved your calling.
We should be the harbingers of humanity, treated with respect and appreciation. But, as you already know, most often we are not. Consider this, then... I can almost guarantee that every artist here on DeviantArt has gone through the same thing at some point. We all understand. Here then, we are among our true peers, and those that know what it means to be an artist in today's world. Find comfort here, and whatever you do, don't stop drawing.