I have been making art for most of my 60+ years, although at wildly inconsistent rates. I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Art Academy of Cincinnati for a year in 1974-75, and I worked in graphic arts, design,and printing production for 7 or 8 years, until I got bored with it.
I returned to university at age 28, earned a general bachelor's degree in philosophy and computing (U. of Ky), and then a master of science in geography (Penn State), specializing in remote sensing and computer mapping. For over thirty years I made my living as a software developer, programming GPS and mapping products, including a 21-year run on a small, expert team building one of the world’s finest spacecraft ground control and test systems (ASIST) for NASA in Greenbelt, MD. Through most of my career, as time and family commitments allowed, I continued to develop my drawing and painting skills.
Strangely, it was during the most boring three or four years of my programming career that I gained self-assurance as an artist. With added responsibilities, I had to attend more and more long, tedious meetings, to "show our commitment to our customer." I remained sane by taking my sketchbook to every mind-numbing meeting and filling four 120-page volumes with doodles, drawings, and candid portraits. In meetings, I was a note-taking machine. Nobody could match me for sheer endurance and concentration.
With my friends, I shared the joke... and the sketches. In any case, I retired a few years ago.