I'm what most other artists would call a traditional artist, because most of my works are done with graphite pencil, acrylics, and oils rather than created in front of a computer. I started working in colored pencil and acrylics as a teenager, but took a break to pursue a career and raise a family.
For me, returning to art was finally coming around to accept that I wasn't like other people. Early in my other career, I thought my creativity would be welcomed by Corporate America, but soon realized otherwise. While I won't say I haven't been blessed, the “day job” just doesn't scratch the creative itch. I spent years trying to suppress this obsession with creating things, or diverting it into other activities (electronics, woodworking, brewing, etc...), and have finally admitted that my calling was art.
As far as training, I've taken two drawing courses, one as a teenager, and one at the junior college level, but beyond that, I'm entirely self-taught.
When an artist creates, they bring into existence something new, that has never existed before - a literal changing of the universe. Art communicates, it challenges, it makes us feel, and gives us a vision of what could be. Art influences everything - from culture and religion to architecture, technology, entertainment, and even politics. Art changes everything.