For someone who is just starting out in design, and art in general (I've never been to school for it, can't draw for toffee, although I'm learning and I've never painted). Basically I'm relatively new in every sense to all this awesome stuff on Learned Squared. I say 'relatively' because I've been studying from online and books for 7 months or so.
I've been learning the tools; so now I feel confident in Illustrator, After Effects and Cinema4D (Photoshop is next up!), so that's all great but I'm a novice when it comes to design theory... it's something I working hard on improving. My balance between using software and reading books has been uneven and I've favoured making half assed work in order to practice with the programs. Because of this I have a bunch of unfinished or 'amateurish' work that I have no intention of putting in my reel.
I know as I develop my understanding of design the quality of my work should improve. I'm seeing it as a patience thing and that's not something I'm usually great at, especially as I'm desperate to get out of my soul destroying job and into the creative fields. But anyway, I'm kinda feeling in the coming months I need to be producing solid, fully developed pieces of work which I can include in my reel and attract potential employers. I'm hopeful that the courses here will help me do that. I'm currently enrolled in the Motion Design course and will be joining others in the future!
Any advice for someone who is doing this without the structure/guidance of the education system? Building a portfolio of entirely personal projects, is it still possible to attract employers?
I know these are vague questions and I'm not looking to open up the 'do you really need school?' debate but I'm just curious to hear of any other people in a similar situation to mine or just the discussion of staying disciplined to build your own education structure.