For me it is a continuous cycle of discovering some new technique and gobbling that up and hen it becomes part of the creative process. There wasn't any one "aha" moment when suddenly I shifted from a camera user to an artist. I suppose the art interest was always there; the gear part just masks that sometimes.
I recommend looking into Minor White's [unusual] teaching methods, and perhaps read the little book he gave to his students, Zen in the Art of Archery. That was quite interesting to me, and a very quick read, although I found myself re-reading some chapters and puzzling about the message. I also enjoyed the book Rites and Passages which presents both sides of the argument for White's methods. Both of these gave me some ideas about liberating the inner art. Some people recoil from the Zen stuff though! The bottom line is that the art is there and it is yours. It always was there, waiting to be discovered. You have to do that patiently so that you don't force it, i.e. let it happen as naturally as possible.