Making money in the creative industry is hard. It really is. You gotta get through a lot of shit, and you don’t know whether everyone likes it or not, because art is “subjective”. Just because you got the talent, and you got the skills, doesn’t mean everyone will jump on board to hiring you.
What really needs to be considered as a “starving artists” out in the world, is getting your name out there. If you’re past the stage where you’re familiar with all the techniques, and you have got your own style down pat, start creating social media profiles and start getting yourself out there! The best artists can be found on Instagram, Behance, Deviantart, and Dribble (these are just a few of the places you should be advertising yourself).
You should consider starting your own blog, and sharing your own ideas about the industry. Of course, having your own website is a given.
But after all that, if you have good work, people will come to you rather than you go to them. Keep produce work — the first few years are never going to be amazing, but if you keep going at it, you’ll be found by news sites everywhere. People will repost your stuff, and you should probably leave watermarks on them, and ask for credit.
When you’ve reached that point, you gotta charge them thousands for a single piece of work. The more creativity they have for you, the better.
Value yourself as someone great and they will value you as well. Be original, stand out from the crowd, and charge what you believe you deserve.
That’s the best advice there is. If you undercharge your services — an expected minimum should be $50-75 an hour — then you’re downvaluing the rest of the artists as well. It is a job to be creative, and remember that it’s one of the few things that can’t be taken over by automation.