I have taught myself everything I know. I use books, tv shows, the internet. If there is something I can’t quite figure out I google it, there are likely tons of tutorials and videos out there for any technique you are looking to learn. Beyond that, practice! practice! practice! I always have practiced on real cakes. Small cakes that you can give away or let your family eat up when you are done are perfect. I have read that decorating/covering a dummy cake is not like decorating/covering a real cake so I have always stayed away from them unless I need an actual dummy cake.