Yeah, I relate to that pain all too well. I live in Chicago and do not as of yet have the means to gt to LA. I am in the illustration program in my current college, and I work on the principles of design as much as I can by reading books, observing others works, and doing works of my own. I have taken on a few free lance concept design jobs in the city for smaller comapnies, mostly small game studios and animatin studios. When I graduate from here I hope I can make my way out west and hit Art Center for graduate school in industrial design.
The cowards never started and the weak died along the way.