As an Artist myself i might have an opinion and probably a preference, but i believe there is not one way, but always many ways to make something come alive. When i work for others I better like to find the vision for their sound together with them. This is why i like to listen to all states of a project and also listen to music together.
The Gear to achieve professional sounding results has become achievable to everyone. Everything that counts these days is the expertise how to use it. You can do your own demos in a quality that a lot of old records didn't reach. It is the knowledge to evoke the magic that other records have that counts.
To become an expert in all the fields that are required today from an artist, just takes to long to really master during a single career. No online course can replace decades of Experience. The tools to manipulate audio are at the hands of many, but to learn how to listen and what to listen for, is a lifelong process. Taste has to be developed as much as understanding the taste of someone else.
An artist should have the possibility to focus on their main craft, creating and performing music. Every artist should have someone to help them translate their vision into recordings, as much as he needs someone to transfer his performance from a live stage down to an audience.