I'd like to thank a commenter named Raff who pointed me to this Patton Oswalt speech given at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal in 2012.
I envy stand-up comedians for two reasons. First, they get to deliver their work in real time, as opposed to animators who work for weeks, months or years before it reaches an audience. Second, there is nothing separating a comedian and the audience. Artists who work on features can sit in a theatre and view their work with an audience, but artists who work in TV or games don't get that chance. They only get an abstracted version of the audience in for form of ratings or financial grosses. Those are pretty cold compared to seeing and feeling people respond in person.
Oswalt's speech covers many of the same points as this series of articles. As Oswalt is better known and more successful than me, maybe his words will carry more weight than mine. The point is that creative people in many fields are realizing that the old structure is obsolete and that there are opportunities out there for anyone who chooses to pursue them.
(And there's one more addendum.)