I love this quote by James Victore:
"STUDYING, LEARNING, PRACTICING ANYTHING HELPS YOUR DESIGN SKILLS... EXCEPT STUDYING MORE DESIGN."
Here's the thing. Anyone can design. Anyone can take InDesign classes or buy a Wacom tablet. Anyone can learn design principles.
What takes you from feeling like a 'designer' or 'illustrator' to ARTIST are ideas.
Passionate, devastatingly interesting ideas that spark obsession and love. Questions and sometimes even hate.
IT'S ABOUT WHAT'S BEHIND THE PEN, THE LENS, THE COMPUTER — REAL LIFE.
Find what you care about, what really turns you on and gets you mad.
Feel affliction for something outside yourself, your career, your future. Fascinate. Get unruly. Be messy. Ask questions. Study. Burn it to the ground. Ask WHY, dammit.
There's something inside you and no one else, and if you let up and settle for speaking someone else's language then the world will miss out on what it is exactly you need to say and how you need to say it.