This is a question that I've asked myself no end of times....and I still do. In fact, if I gave myself a pound for every time that I asked myself this then I'd have a lovely stash of cash by now and possibly be on a golden tropical beach somewhere sunning myself with a cocktail in hand (and a sketchbook in the other of course!)
In my opinion and I suspect many others, you don't need degrees and all that shebang to create art. There are no qualifications that make you any more 'worthy' than anyone else of putting pen or paint to paper.
I have struggled with this concept for many years and if I have to be honest, it recently resulted in me not making any art at all for two years! Yes, I studied Art at college and so learnt the foundations of my passion but I didn't then pursue this any further to degree level. Don't get me wrong, If circumstances in my life at that time had been different then I may possibly have gone further BUT this doesn't mean that my style or capability would be that much more different to now. Art comes from inside. We all have a creative spark hidden somewhere. It just needs teasing out.
Please know that I'm in no way knocking or snubbing those who have taken their creative education as far as they can. I greatly admire those who have...but as long as you have a drive and PASSION for what you do then that's all that you need. Granted, if you want a career within a particular company or Design House in a specific field, then you will need certain accreditations but if just want to do 'you' and what comes from inside of you naturally, then that's not a necessity.
Art classes are fabulous for learning new skills and mediums. I do them now and again when I can to keep my ideas fresh and the motivation there, but it would be very boring if we all made art in the same way. Classes tend to dictate a certain way or style in which things should be done or should be used....but we all do this in our own unique way. Most of us are self taught and that's no bad thing.
Try something you haven't done before. You may love it, you may totally bomb...but you tried it and that's what counts. The most important thing is that you will learn something from it.
I tried a Lino printing class recently and loved it! It will definitely be something that I make time to do again this year.
Finally, I met with a friend yesterday who is a fab artist and illustrator. We spent hours chatting about art and life and how we both do what we do. It was such valuable time for me (and her too I hope). I started today so fired up to try something new and I know that she was the same. In fact our next art date may be spent swapping styles. She'll try 'Sarah' style and I'll try 'Maisie' style. You can bet your bottom dollar that we'll both have something completely different and unique from our normal way of working when we're finished.
This is what makes you an artist.....just doing it......being you....having that fire in your belly to do it every day. Being excited to pick up your book, paper, canvas, whatever it is and do something. Even if it comes out all wrong....oh wait! There is no wrong as ART HAS NO RULES!
So go and create something......do it now!