I get asked how I learned what I do a lot. There are a few general answers when I don't feel too chatty (which isn't too often), "trial and error" "self taught" "just figuring out as I go" "books". But the truth is, determination, and all the other stuff too.
My first year was all thinking I knew what I was doing and then learning I was doing it all wrong. (This still happens, just not as often, haha.) I started out watching a lot of videos on Youtube. But in 2012, there was not much info out there, mostly just teaser videos of folks showing off their work.
A couple shout outs that really helped me along back then is to Ian Atkins with Leodis Leather. Ian was, and still is, putting out some great how to videos on Youtube. Another great source at the time was Tandy Leather How-tos, mostly advertisement videos on how to use their tools, but they did offer some basic skills for a beginner, without having to pay for their "premium" videos.
Today there are a ton of great how to videos out there, both free and premium paid videos. One of my favorites, is Don Gonzales, his videos are very informative and his patterns and templates are affordable. One more is Maker's Leather Supply, Arron is offering some great how to videos as well.
The next great resource for myself was books. I have a small collection of how to books on leather craft, here is where Tandy became another great source for learning. They have a pretty good selection of how to books on the craft.
The next big step was acquiring tooling. Its easy to learn something, but when it comes to the tools and materials being in hand, that's another story with a lot of dollar signs at the end. I have just about bought every hand tool I own for leather work twice. First time, because I found a cheap one, and second because I learned that Quality cost more and works better. (Buy once, cry once)
Learning what good, quality leather is, was another trial and error journey. Whew, I'm still figuring out that learning curve on certain finishes.
At the end of the day, as in so many other endeavors, you get what you put into it. I have spent near 6 years accumulating tools and skills to make what I do. And guess what? There are still a ton of tools and skills I need and want! I set my goals so that I do not lose sight of what those skills are, and I practice and study them to prepare myself. As for the tools, that's y'all's job, you all have to buy my stuff so I can buy more tools! Haha!
If you have any questions on how I do what I do, or where you can learn more in the way of leather craft, please shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org , or DM at either FB or IG we would be more than happy to help with what we can. We know that this is a community that thrives on one another as makers to be successful, and we want to do our parts as much as we can.