Things to keep in mind as an independent artist
Have a mindset of "the first project I make is going to be different from the second one, the third one, the fourth one, etc" If you do a project on a certain style, it doesn't mean you're going to be stuck in that style... No need to feel pressured and worried about doing your dream project straight away. In the beginning it's essential to just finish projects, finish something and move to the next. You have heard it before "finished is better than perfect". You are going to change, your art at 20 years old is not as good as your art at 40, assuming you keep working at it. If you think about it, the great art masters, did their best work later in life...so your best work, the artwork you might be remembered by is going to be done years from now, no need to put pressure on yourself.
But the question is what should you do in the mean time?
Making a living
Be open to creating many kinds of products.
Some artists just want to do that "one" thing with their art, for example, they just want to do comics. Okay, that's fine to a certain extent, but it's like they say "putting all your eggs in one basket" If you're going to be an artist, especially an independent artist you need to diversify yourself, be flexible, try different things. It's better to do as many kinds of art and products like stickers, shirt, prints, icon, blog, books, video, youtube, patreon, etc. You can create all these things and make passive income over time. I say digital is the best to do this because you can make one piece of art and sell it on multiple products, and to many people. (you can definitely do it with traditional medium too, but it's more work)
Extract the most from every project.
Let's use a Manga for example, it's your main project, what you really want to do. You can make shirt designs based on that world or characters. Someone might see one of those shirts they look for more things from you and become a fan of the manga, or the other way around... You can use the process itself as something to sell, so many people want to learn how you do things. You can record all the steps, planning the manga,writing, sketching, designing characters, environments, etc, then sell all that as a video course, or book about how to make a manga. Turn that one project into multiple products.
This is something I've been thinking about lately, It's something for myself but maybe some people will find it useful.