There is not exception to practice. You can read books and take classes and do figure drawing, but it’s all just practice. Sketchbooks should be filled with drawings, 1000’s of them.
When I was young, I had to make 50 free throws a night. At first it would take me a 100 to get 50. Soon, after 1000’s of shots, it would take me 50 to hit 50. You practice and build your skill set. It takes time but it will happen.
On finding your own style. Don’t worry, it will find you if you draw enough. In the beginning we don’t have enough experience drawing so we use someone else’s style as our base. Sooner or later, after years and 1000’s of pages of sketchbooks filled, the influences will start fall off and the way YOU draw will be there underneath.
I don’t know if we FIND our own style as much as we let go of the styles we’re trying to use from others.
Skottie Young. Listen to this man. Every artist you love has practiced like CRAZY for YEARS to do what they do. Keep sketching, keep trying new things, draw things you love, draw things you’ve never drawn before, keep pushing and your own unique voice WILL show itself. There are no shortcuts, no tricks, no easy paths. Practice practice practice.