Okay, so basically, I graduated from college with a degree in digital media, which is somewhat art based, but hardly as much art schooling as I'd like. Unfortunately I have hardly the money to go take classes like I want. So basically where I'm at is 'always draws a lot, some grounding in fundamentals, two classes of anatomy'. This upcoming semester I have three days a week of open space so I want to use that for some hard-focus art improvement. Looking back at my art, I'm heavily influenced by japanese cartoons (can't help it, I just like the way they look) but the issue is... I don't WANT to be.
As grudgy as it sounds, I feel like 'anime' art is almost cancerous. People do it without even trying to learn anatomy and just develop styles based on aping some other artist. The problem is I've been drawing 'that way' for so long, even my sketching has certain manga-y influences to it since I've 'flavored' my art that way since I was a little kid (hey, when you're 7 you don't think "maybe I should get a grounding in fundamentals"). It's hard though because I honestly like that style of art and, as they say, you do best at what you love. But at the very least, even if I don't get fully out of this rut, I have to do something to make my work more uniquely mine.
Basically I'm wondering if anyone else has ever gone through this phase/transition and has any advice or maybe artists to look at for trying to avoid becoming part of the endless see of western wannabe anime artists. I'm not gonna lie and say a lot of this desire to change is from all the amazing stuff you guys post here. So far the only change I've made that I've liked is taking a more painterly approach to rendering instead of cel shading.