I used to think I'd missed my calling by pursuing a business instead of a creative degree. I even contemplated going back to school a few years ago. I decided I would take my learning seriously but not spend the time and expense on an art degree, it's just not me and I've figured out why.
My friends who've gone to art school are the most stuck and self-critical of the creators I know. They are also caught up in the whole gallery thing and worrying about what the "art world" thinks of them. So they don't paint much and are paralyzed artistically. Not to mention the horror stories of art professors telling students they weren't any good and that artists can't make money. I'm sure there are encouraging professors out there too.
By contrast, the independent artists I follow are killing it both artistically and from a business point of view. We are not hampered by critics, judges, awards, or gallery trends. We create what we love and find clever (mostly online) ways to sell it to people who love our work. It's really that simple.
Now, it isn't easy or straightforward. I've had to learn (and learn more daily) a ton about how to make an art business work but I love it all. I love connecting directly with people who feel what I'm saying in my paintings. I love the business aspects too, I've always been entrepreneurial so it's a good fit.
Here's the thing. My art journey has been mostly about battling fears so I know if I'd gone to art school and been subjected to all the "experts," I would have decided I wasn't really an artist and given up.
So for any of you who may be thinking "it's too late," or "I missed my chance," I say hogwash and go for it! I think that's why I designed my online class to be very encouraging and for people who don't "think they aren't creative." I needed TONS of encouragement in the beginning, to get past my fears and I hope my journey helps or inspires you in some way.