You're thinking of going to art school, you're going to art school, or you went to art school...or you didn't go to school but because of your dedication you're teaching yourself. I'll bet you've spent most of your time working on your craft - more so than your creativity - right? I've talked about this subject before but this time I want to convince you of something I've been thinking about lately.
With the proliferation of the internet I've noticed as I'm sure you have that information is shared and spread much faster than ever before. So when there is a new piece of hardware released we all find out about it overnight. Even if someone isn't addicted to facebook or twitter chances are one of their friends will let em in on the secret.
When a group of award winning illustrators announce a master class, video series, conference, or tutorial - you hear or read about it. When a blogger offers advice, tips, demos, reviews, etc - you find out about it because someone shared it, liked it, retweeted it, emailed it, re-blogged it and on and on. We're all benefiting from the generosity and enthusiasm of each other.
Check out this amazing new little tool that I would have died to have in my early illustration days (brought to me via email from a friend) - and it's FREE!!! This is what I'm talking about! So much goodness out there to learn the craft of illustration. Handy - an artist's reference tool - FREE - app store - android.
SO, my conclusion is that learning the craft of illustration is getting easier and easier. It will still take an incredible amount of time and dedication but you don't necessarily have to have the means to go to school. And even if you're going to school you have way more resources, gadgets, and opportunities than ever before. My thought is that there is and will be more talented artists at an ever growing rate than there ever has been. Does this scare me? A little, but in the end I realize that it's going to be the creativity that is paired with the craft that will sell a product. So if you just want to make great pictures you're going to have a harder time earning a living than if you couple it with a creative idea and package it in a product that people can't live without.
Example: Mary Grandpre: Great stand alone art portfolio....combined with the Harry Potter manuscript = big$$$
So work on your creative ideas, stories, products etc...it's your originality that will keep you in the game.