This is how I learned to draw. I was seven, and wanted to be a gymnast. My mom was like hell no here’s a notebook instead, and I’m guessing she never foresaw that I would run with it 😂
My parents were super strict and were never really into the idea of me pursuing art, so I had to learn on my own. My cousins (who were also my neighbors) had a huge collection of archie comics at their house, and that’s where I was able to borrow issues of comic books until I was able to buy my own.
I’d learn by copying the figures, positions, hand gestures, scenes.. and then I’d fill notebooks up with my own archie-esque comic strips which I’d then share ‘issue’ by ‘issue’ to friends and classmates for feedback (I even drew fake ads and pin up pages and subscription pages and everything!)
In school, anime was the predominant drawing style. And being in such a sheltered school, and coming from a non-artistic family, I never had much exposure to the arts. For the longest time I felt pressured to follow and try to draw in that manga style because at the time that was the idea of 'good’ art. I was seemingly the lone non-anime artist.
I think it was later in high school, when I was art editor for the school paper, that I really embraced my darker, non-anime style, and I really made it a point during my editorship to highlight other art styles that weren’t anime/manga. It doesn’t seem like a big deal now, but back then it felt like some sort of rebellion.