It took a long time for me to get to the point that I was making art this way. I have long been a fan of gritty, grungy work, but also work with elegance- a DIY quality coupled with, perhaps, formal education, or just technical prowess. However, I did not go to art school, initially. My high school art teacher was incredibly unsupportive, and highly conservative. Unclothed figures were taboo (I drew a partial female torso in my sketchbook once, based on an a study in an art book, and I did not even include the nipple… but she wrote a stern “No!” beside it), as were monsters, violence, and anything “satanic” or “demonic.” My primary interests. So, I did not go to art school afterwards because I did not think I could draw, and I did not know much about art.
Eventually, I took up animation, using Flash, but the vector-based tools were never really aesthetically satisfying. Animation, though, is totally magical. After doing that for a while, I decided to take some art courses, to better my technical skills and improve my animation. Taking some art courses turned into enrolling in an illustration program which, four years later, brought me back to gritty, inky, collage-based work. All of the things I developed an interest in and attraction to ultimately met up, and gave me what I wanted- it just took awhile.
The question of whether or not going to art school is worth it is an old one. Personally, I wouldn’t be making the work I am making now without it, and the work I am making now is the work I always wanted to make- so, for me, it was worth it. Years of foundation art classes, whether they were directly related to how I work now, all brought something to my skill set. Hours and hours of observational and figure drawing, weeks spent painting, and late nights cursing woodblocks, clay, and wire frames brought me to where I am now. It won’t be the same for everyone, and the schools won’t all be the same- there are a lot of factors to consider, but for me, pursuing a BFA was entirely worth it.