You already have some good suggestions from the other advisors. So I will instead focus on your use of the word 'artist.' You have to ask yourself why you want to be an artist. Are you seeking fame? Or money? (There is nothing wrong with money; we all need to pay the bills.)
Or do you have a deep-seated need to create in order to feel alive? Being an artist means that you have a vision that you need to express; you have a desire to create, to explore, to understand the world around you. Like a poet, you have a need to play with an idea and add form to it with the use of language in order to express something we may have always known but weren't able to find the essense of it in words. You have a unique way of seeing or thinking that could inspire those around you or maybe even one day those who go to the museum to look at your work in order to feel alive.
If you feel this need, it is important to seek some solitude and start working on your art. Pay close attention to what your tendencies are, what subjects interest you. You should also try to explore new ideas that push you to see things from a new perspective.
Once you have enough drawings, sketches, etc. to fill a portfolio try to get advice from artists, local art instructors, art galleries. Show them your work. And ask to see their work.
In the end, you may realize that a formal education may be the right decision, but you may also realize that you already have the raw talent or interests that you need to start exploring on your own. Whatever you decide, always try to keep the need to create alive in your daily rituals. Also, try to keep a journal of ideas that you will want to explore later.