As an Art student I was taught how to observe the whole and then focus on the details and represent and interpret what I saw in 2D or 3D forms. I was taught some technicalities and mechanics of working with various artistic mediums and was made aware of successes and failures.
We were taught to only base our work from sketches made from life. To work directly from a photo was forbidden as the tutors knew that this would be likely to reduce the work to a mechanical and technical “copying” exercise. Copying is not a true Art, as it is usually too literal, too mechanical, too technical and does not show emotion or artistic expression.
It is quite similar learning how to train a horse. Learn your craft – discover the the technicalities and bio mechanics and dedicate many hours practicing with your horse, accept that mistakes and failures will happen, keep studying, think outside the box, stick to your own ethics, be sensitive and inward looking rather than blaming, and become ego-less and remaining open to stay a life long student.
Be an Artist.