Since 1999 and Going Strong...I am a self-taught webdesigner, I've been designing since the tender age of 13. I'm largely self-taught, I've never taken a formal class on webdesign although I've participated in workshops and worked directly with a mentor for several years. I've taught myself to write accessible, standards-compliant code and create unique, aesthetically stunning designs.
I've still got a bit to learn, but I'm already working as a freelance designer and professionally as part of a webdesign collective.
I never thought, when I was doing it all through high school, that webdesign would become such a large part of my life, and my personality, but now that it is, I'm kind of glad! It's a great skill/talent to have!