Did you learn mostly from being taught by a family member? From reading cookbooks and experimenting with recipes? From watching cooking shows on tv? Something else? Have you ever been to culinary school or taken cooking classes?
I learned some from my family. My mom cooked a bit but it was really her mom, my grandma, who was the good cook in the family. I don't think I'll ever be as good as my grandma but I'm already better than my mom! My mom didn't like to cook so she didn't try too hard.
My mom liked to watch cooking shows while my sister and I were growing up, things like Julia Child, the Galloping Gourmet, Justin Wilson, etc. I continued watching cooking shows as I was learning to cook. I live in Florida but most of our cooking shows were on Georgia Public Television. I watched Yan Can Cook, Great Chefs of the West, Natalie Dupree, all of the cooking shows at that time. Years later when Food Network started, it became one of my favorite channels!
My mom collected cookbooks and I have a pretty good collection myself. I also like to look up recipes online and experiment with ideas I come up with. I wanted to try making a caramal pear cheesecake once so I looked online for similar recipes and used that as a guide to creating my recipe. It came out ok but I think I used the wrong type of pears.
I don't know that I'd ever want to go to a cooking academy but I wouldn't mind taking some local cooking classes, like at Publix. I have co-workers that have gone to a cake-decorating class. They really enjoyed it and found it useful so I might try that sometime.
I'd say my cooking skills are 25% family-learned, 25% cookbook/cooking show learned, and 50% experimentation.