i've come to a bit of an awkward place. i'm a 29 year old college graduate (BA - Philosophy) from new york city who has been working as a professional dancer for the last ~8 years since graduating. i love my career. i'm working pretty constantly and hope to keep doing so for another couple of years at least, but there will come a time in the not-too-distant future when i'll have to move on from being a performer to a new career and a new path. i have no desire to choreograph, and, while i love teaching, it's not something i wish to pursue as a career. with that in mind, for the last few years, between gigs that have me traveling abroad, i've been building up my skills in other areas. i work as a dance photographer and have been working my way into doing more studio and product photography. i intern, when i can, with a small graphic design firm using the skills in photoshop, illustrator, indesign, and lightroom that i've picked up through my photography. during that internship i've started learning html/css coding so as to better understand the technical aspects of web design, and am continuing that learning process on my own. i feel confident that with more work, both on my own and collaborating with other artists i know, i'll be able to move on into any number of design-based fields when the time comes for me to move on.
and that's great.
but i want to be a 3D artist/animator. i've wanted to do it for years. i think my background in dance makes me fairly well-suited for it. but i have absolutely no idea where to start. my work makes it very difficult for me to take courses anywhere, even short-term continuing ed classes at places like SVA, Parsons, NYU, etc., but i have a good laptop (MBP) and a reasonable amount of free time, especially while on tour, so i can do lots of work on my own. however, unlike for web coding, graphic design work, and photography, the materials i've been able to find for absolute beginners to 3D art are pretty thin on the ground. so, having been a member (albeit a very quiet one) of the GB community for a number of years now, i know that this place is brimming with amazingly talented creative people, many of whom seem to have learned their skills without having gone to school for them.
so i ask of you (and here's for all of you TL;DR folks): where can a guy like me start to learn the skills required to move into a career in 3D art/animation/VFX for a (dream) job at places like Pixar, Dreamworks, Digic, ILM, etc. (or, at the very least, to have a really fun hobby doing that kind of stuff in my spare time)?
thanks all, i look forward to your responses and to seeing more of all of your talents here on GB.