I'd first like to start by saying I'm a new member to this forum.
Secondly, I'm here because I felt it would be the best place to find overall guidance (not negative opinions) for my situation.
I've been an artist my entire life, and my interests naturally landed in the field of digital arts/graphic design. I decided a little over a year ago I wanted to learn more about it and pursue some type of (business-like) career in it. I started by teaching myself adobe illustrator and photoshop and I've actually come a very long way. I like to draw tattoo-style designs, hand lettering, or abstract symmetrical patterns, or whatever... pretty much anything fun and colorful. I start with a base sketch (on paper or in art rage) hand trace the outlines in illustrator, and take the coloring process to photoshop. I'm super proud of how much l've learned in a year. My goal is to get my work to top notch level, keep promoting my work to gain a good following on social med, then start an online tee business (I've also spent loads of time learning business/marketing). I posted a photo of one of my recent projects to get some professional level critique on GDF, and the replies were eh.. kinda harsh... lol. I expected to receive good-fair feedback, but I was told I lacked proper education due to no school and knew little to nothing about the industry based on my apparent misconception for what graphic design is. It made me angry at first, but I realized they were right. I guess I've been misclassifying myself as a "graphic designer" or saying that i want to be a "graphic designer". I know it may be the wrong term, but the big question is, what's the right one? I have done many things involving graphic design (logos, flyers, hand lettering, etc) so I'm not just limited to drawing stuff. I really like to do both! What am I? and What steps should I take next to stay focused on the right career path for me?
Hope you all can help me clarify..