It's all well and good to say that "follow your heart/dream wherever it leads you" stuff, but it kind of seems to me that in the same way that a person will never become a better artist (writer, poet, etc) if he/she can't take a critique and do some examination of their process as a result, doing something way more important like deciding on an entire career path should be subject to the same rigorous critical process with others involved.
If you can't explain to your parents in some detail how you're going to get a foot in the door in what's a very crowded field, their concern for your future could be fully justified. They are professionals, after all, and they do have insight into how the real world works, as opposed to how we'd all like it to work.
Long story short, if your career plan looks like this old South Park meme...
- Go to art school
- Build a portfolio
...And you can't explain to yourself (much less your parents) what "???" is, it's time to think things through...asking some hard questions now is better than having to endure a bankruptcy or an eviction for non-payment of rent later, I can tell you.
Day jobs are neither the end of the world nor the end of an artistic career. Maybe your parents aren't just mean...maybe they just care about you.
On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.
- George Orwell
By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
- Richard Dawkins