Lack of stability or a ‘reliable’ stream of income is one of the main ideas turning people away from work in the creative industry. Despite these claims, not only is it possible to be stably employed in the creative industry, you can also make a fairly reliable living if you have many different potential sources of pay. In my opinion, working under a company certainly can stifle your own creative input, but if you combine it with other styles of work it can provide a nice balance between stability and creativity.
Another way you may generate income is from consumer sales of your content. This involves finding an audience and can be very difficult as an independent content creator. Although somewhat difficult, current distribution platforms which exist on the internet are extremely efficient and easy to get involved with. Once you have an audience who are interested in your content, all you need to worry about is keeping your content relevant and consistent, as well as pricing accordingly. Releasing creative media via digital means is a great way to keep overhead costs down, no manufacturing or physical distribution required. Digital platforms can also often give your content exposure for free if they think it will sell. Crowdfunding is a great way to gauge interest and can also give your work exposure, although it generally serves as a means to develop for those who have interest in their work but not the money to create it to the standard they would like to.
A day job is something that many creative media enthusiasts will need, at least for a certain amount of their career. Personally I think a job unrelated to your passion can be helpful in creating space in your creative mind, but it would nice to not rely on an alternate stream of income.
A portion of my own income is likely to come from commissions, as it is a form of work I am already involved in and which largely suits my creative process.