If you want it bad enough and are willing to work for it. It will happen- so age and discouragement must be thrown out the window :)
the big art school question.
Lots of cost, but lots of benefits. Personally, I don’t know where I would be, as an artist, without my art education. (but this differs from person to person)
As for benefits, sometimes I don’t really consider the actual education of art school but more so, for the environment. Art school offers a safe haven to do as you please and wish, with critical feed back- feedback that isn’t your best friend or parents saying “how fantastic!” but noting and having conversations about aspects of your work about what is, and is not working. These conversations expand into concepts, history, technicality, and theory. Art school offers a plethora of different humans with different skills and talents that I find to be truly mind blowing. Some of my favorite artists are my peers- which inspires me. There have been moments though where I have questioned what I’m doing here (in school) and do I really need it?
Looking back at my work pre art school, freshmen year up until now… I have impressed myself. (which is an incredible feeling- too see growth) I’m not sure how much of that is due to instructor/student relationship… but a high expectation of production and quality.
I attend an art school that values concept over skill. While researching schools I would consider if you would like a more traditional/technical skill training or a more abstract way of viewing and making work. Both have up and downsides.
Art school in no means “stifled” my creativity…(though I may have thought so at some points in my student career) but allowed many doors, windows, man holes, sink holes, cabinets, caves and everything else to open.
at the end of the day, create whatever you like no matter where you are or who is telling you right or wrong. If you have this attitude in or out of school, you’ll do great.