I'm currently working a 9-5, and I try to dedicate the majority of my free time to reading, researching, sketching, designing, but am not making much progress. I'm hoping at some point down the road to transition to a career in product design -- I truly enjoy it.
I've read all of the most commonly suggested books on product design, follow the works of many talented designers, and have "designed" many products myself, but I'm not seeing any progress. I feel I'm missing some huge components -- frameworks of thought, education in graphic design history, developing the right level of discretion -- and more and more I feel I can't really go far without having a formal design education, or at least years of work experience in a design role. And yet, I see many of these young and super talented product designers who've not been formally educated, and I question whether I'm cut out for this. I hope I am.
How do I get better at this? How do I lay solid groundwork for myself to build upon? Are there any step-by-step courses or books you recommend? Are there other design fields I should invest heavily in learning (e.g. graphic design & history)? Is there a curriculum I can follow? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.