Sorry I rambled so long. Lunatique, thank you very much for your patient reply. You are obviously a natural teacher.
I am under pressure to relocate, so I cannot begin any more online courses at this time.
It has felt like I’ve been bashing my head against walls, stumbling in the dark, yes. But I have tried to use the best educational materials recommended, so for example I own every Glen Vilppu DVD.
At the beginning I posted a few drawings, and didn’t get any real criticism of the drawing itself, but just suggestions to keep drawing and to keep doing the exercises I was doing. I have no idea who any of these people were really, it was all just on the internet.
But I trust in my own taste, and I could see that the major flaw in my drawings was a combination of mindset and manual dexterity; the lines were just very confusing and very clumsy. Loose and confusing, the finished drawings are inartistic, like the doodles of an adolescent.
I can surmise that this difficulty is probably due to my lack of real-world drawing from life, and a deficient understanding of anatomy. I hope I can address both problems at once, when I am in a class.
What really decided it for me was when I read in Richard Williams’ animation book an emotional appeal to aspiring animators that they first have a solid foundation in figurative art. I admit that I implemented the suggestion rashly, without asking my animation mentors.
I did rather well at animating, and I’ve learned much since then. The problem for me was that I knew I would want my own models, rigs and environments to work with, and as you say, these are all matters very different from animating.
Writing is my first love and I have made a thorough study of it, not only in novels and short stories but also in the fields of dramaturgy and film. As you say, you have seen many visual artists who are budding storytellers, who are skilled artists but weak authors; I would say that I am the inversion of that archetype, with strong story skills and poor artwork.
Art could never be just a hobby for me. Even if I am always terrible at creating it, I love it too much ever to stop trying to make it my career.
I will just keep looking for some kind of school, that I can move near. I wish I could find a real “program” in which to enroll, though, rather than just taking random studio sessions.