I’m self-taught on several subjects. Specifically bike maintenance and mechanics and videography/photography. The two areas that have essentially dominated my life for the past 20/30 years. I’ve turned both into successful professional careers at one point or another.
As a side note, I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from James Madison University.
It’s really a tough way to do it for many reasons, but mostly because you’re at the mercy of your own motivation and commitment. Freelancing is a tough road, but it can be rewarding. The one thing I’ve learned through my “travels” is that whatever the new technique is or whatever the new trend in the industry is, you gotta jump right in to stay current. Learn as you go, make mistakes and improve your craft. Whatever it is. Just go for it – head on.