I've had 5+ years of formal education in fine arts. I won "Best in Show by an Amateur" during my first art show, beating out more than 200 other artists. Amateur was defined as art sales providing less than half your annual income.
I attended Visual and Performing Arts middle and high schools, where I minored in fine arts. (I'd been bitten by the acting bug)
I took a variety of fine arts classes at the St. Louis Community Colleges. I chose to learn new skills rather than get a degree.
Most of my work experience has been for charitable organizations.