Anime creator and director Yoshiyuki Tomino responds on Global Voices Online to a query by an 11th grader who is an aspiring illustrator. Miyuri wants to know if Yoshiyuki has any advice for how to become a professional illustrator, and he does: Quit this dream and go be an office lady. Here's an excerpt:
... If after reading this you find yourself saying "but I still want to do it," that isn't desire. You need to know IN YOUR BONES that you are willing to STRUGGLE to do this, that you're willing to starve before taking another kind of job. Desire alone isn't enough for a job that requires you to have the facility in a wide range of styles to draw hundreds of illustrations of a certain quality within a certain timeframe. As a freelancer there's the fear of never knowing when the next job is coming in, meaning you have to put your all into whatever comes your way, meaning you don't have any real control over what you're working on. You can always take a job at a studio, but only those with the drive and physical strength to do the same thing in the same place over and over again for a decade or more on end can make it there. This is why I'm telling you you're better off going to school and becoming an office lady.
It's an interesting and provocative post, and the full translation can be found here via Matt Alt's blog.