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I am self-taught and never attended art school. Would that be a problem becoming a professional illustrator?

I have never been asked to show my resume or diploma upon a client assigning me a job. Illustrators get work because of our portfolio and not because of our resume.

It doesn’t matter if you have PhD or you are a high school drop out. What matters are your work.

A few years ago I was asked to judge Art Directors Club annual competition, one of the most prestigious in design industry. Chuck Anderson who judged with me that year was 19 with full of experience already. Does he ever need to go back to an art school? The answer is obvious.

Having said that, I myself did go back to school and got formal art education. And I did that more than 10 years after finishing my business degree. It was because I didn’t have confidence in my work at the time. Whenever I met someone who went to art school I felt inferior. The only way for me to overcome my fear was to go back to art school. I learned so much. I loved it. It is because of this experience now I can be working as a freelance illustrator. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Whether you think you need a formal art education or not; the answer is up to you.