The reality is a lot more work-like, at least for successful artists. Some artists surely have gotten through careers like that first paragraph, but I guarantee they weren't having to hustle their own art business at the same time, nor run their own households. Working Artist isn't some kind of oxymoron.
The reality is I get up between 5 and 6 a.m. every morning and hit the ground running. My do-lists are miles long. I usually have 8-10 projects in progress at all times. I get a wild-eyed panicky sort of thing happening if someone asks me to do something on the spur of the moment. I have to set alarms so I will remember to get out of the studio and presentable before appointments and other contact with real people.
The reality is also that I love what I do, and would spend ALL my time doing it. But eating, sleeping, showering, keeping house (to a limited extent), maintaining interpersonal relationships, coddling my cats, and other tedious crap really interferes.* I actually am eyeballing the clock as I write this, because it is nearly 8am and I have a great deal to get accomplished today, and even three more paragraphs could throw off the whole rest of the day.
I have noticed when talking with other artist/maker folks of my acquaintance, that we talk about The Grind, exactly like people do with jobs they don't like. But I don't know any of us who would give it up for a regular job. We're all actually pretty damn grateful to be able to have this grind, the one we chose for ourselves.
*If you hadn't realized, I can be a sarcastic / dry humor kind of person. Everything on that list really is important, and I don't hate it. Even if it does drag me out of The Zone.