It would simply be wrong for me NOT to mention the great site that I recently came across, Escape From Illustration Island.
Experienced illustrator Thomas James has posted an exhaustive list of resources of all kinds that I have no doubt will be of great use to me and to many others starting out. He also hosts a weekly podcast (of which I have only- so far- listened to two episodes, both excellent) in which he interviews various personalities of the illustration world.
As I may or may not have mentioned (whined about?) before, I am occasionally seized by the unpleasant suspicion that 'everyone else' knows something about the illustration game that I don't- that there is something obvious, perhaps, that I am missing, that is THE ANSWER! THE KEY! (to success) etc. etc. A site such as this helps in practical ways ( to point me in directions that it might otherwise have taken me much longer to discover!) as well as psychological. I am grateful to its helpful and generous author.
His most recent interview/podcast featured Holly DeWolf , a successful illustrator who has written a book that I will be ordering, Breaking into Freelance Illustration.
She describes it as 'all of the things that she wished she had learned in school, but had to learn in the real world'. Perfect! Again, for both practical reasons and reasons of reassurance- I wouldn't call it schadenfreude, exactly, but I DO find it comforting to know that I'm not the only one who didn't leave school (I didn't do an illustration programme, rather a 'fine arts' programme with no practical reference to the real world whatsoever) knowing everything that I needed to know. I'll let you know what I think once I've read it.