Thanks so much for the info Jim
I'll keep some of the resources in mind and save my pennies. Looks like interships are the way to go.
Maybe I'll see about doing stuff on a volunteer basis for a local museum or historical society.
Glad to know I may still have some use for my skills aside from torturing my own eyes.
I've found I much prefer doing composites (insert angellic chorus here) and airbrushing in PS (to never again have to cut friskett film is mana from above, believe me).
The artistic/masochistic streak in me still likes getting down with my spotting brush and pencils. I must be all tactile or something
it just makes me feel more connected to the work to just get in that zone and spend the day doing brush work.