I spend a lot of time thinking about how to make my drawings better and I always love sharing insight on my blog. My latest revelation is the fact that learning positively impacts my work and following negatively impacts my work. When studying drawing or painting, it's an absolute necessity to learn certain things. For instance, you must learn about the materials and how they operate. But, learning is not the same as following which is confusing because we often follow or copy teachers in order to succeed. I know I'll never succeed as an artist or illustrator by copying.
The tricky part comes into play when I discovered artists who influenced me. I discovered artist like Bouguereau and Miyazaki and I believed that if I followed them closely enough, they would lead me to salvation. That's not the way it works. I realized that I must learn to draw, which requires thought and awareness. And that's the difference between learning and following. Learning involves active thought and following doesn't.