It is very heartening to hear that there are people in this industry that do not have any art degrees, yet can still make a living off their art. Not everyone can go to art school.
I have been drawing most of my life. My aunt still has work hung in her house that I did when I was seven. In high school I took as many art courses and read as many art books as I could get my hands on, and submitted my art to galleries and contests. I kept a sketchbooks and pretty much all of my presents where art-related from my friends and family.
When I began looking for collages my parents made it quite clear that they would not financially support me or co-sign loans if I majored in art. Even though I had a scholarship, I knew that i would not be able to pay fees, boarding, food, and school supplies with a part-time student job.
Five years latter I am graduating with a Masters in Bioengineering from Rice University. Don't get me wrong- I love my major, but bioengineering isn't like art- I don't need to do it to be happy and sane. I've continued drawing, taking art classes, and submitting to galleries in that time (I've recently, in a burst of what must be madness, started to try learning digital art), but I feel that I would be a better artist and happier with my work if I had majored in art. It's nice to know that I might have to option to do art latter in my life even if i don't have a degree in it. It's also nice to see kids with parents that support their goals in life.