In the early stages of my career back in 2008, I struggled for 2 years trying to figure things out on my own. I was on the edge and almost quitted, but fortunately, I gave myself the last chance to be in this industry.
I started by making relationships with lots of professional 3D Artists, which in return gets me lots of advice from them. I didn’t ask for the techniques, but instead, they taught me that there are no special techniques. Everything is done through a process, a journey to make images.
I found that they have in common with Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why The Golden Circle” that you need to know the reason, the “why” that's keeping you going and fighting in this industry. So the 3 things that I learned from those 3D pros are: 1. Start with a story Why is that? It's because when you have a story you have a goal, the goal is to create the image. Not just any image but an image that could deliver the story, the message behind the image. Doing this you have to understand and consider every part of the story such as the time, the atmosphere, the lighting, etc. (pro tip: find references you can use to help inspire you).
They all have a solid and similar framework, but with their own unique style. What’s similar to most of the pros is that they never skip any steps, sometimes they even want to add more steps to improve the details. They start with the typical modeling and texturing, and after the framework is done, they start adding more and more to the framework.
3. Take action
What really is admirable about them is they take action, whenever they read or watch a tutorial they don’t only watch they try it. Doing it even though you can make errors is part of the journey, it is how you can get better. Their mindset is “You’ll never know until you try” and that is why their practice gives results.
So those are the things that I learned which have helped me become a professional 3D Artist.
I hope it helps, and as always I wish you good luck!