Today, if you are a photographer, you can on the used market buy a great camera and lens (much better than anything many of the “masters” used in the film days) for less than $500. Today for $10 a month (no I don’t work for Adobe) you can have an incredibly powerful artistic work station on any computer sold in the last five years. My point is that even those with very modest budgets can have “professional tools”. It is now a time of where skills count more than equipment – once again. Don’t fall into the trap that you see on the gear focused forums, it is your skill, knowledge, and desire that will take your art to the next level. I urge you to focus on the act of creating and not dreaming about the “next best thing”. Improve your skills and your knowledge and you will succeed as an artist, chase the next best thing and you will forever be caught in an unproductive cycle of upgrading equipment.