Getzels and Csikszentmihaly (1976) found that most artists were drawn to painting because it allowed social isolation. However, aspiring painters have to promote social relations with art critics, art dealers and buyers to gain notoriety, increase the demand for their art and generate sufficient sales for full-time artistic activity. Failure to do so forced many of the best artists to take another job unrelated to painting.From "The Role of Deliberate Practice" in The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance (link to PDF file at Freakonomics review). The reference is to The creative vision: a longitudinal study of problem finding in art, by J.W. Getzels and M. Csikszentmihaly (must find this book).