;A; I really want to visit but alas I am completely broke. Plus you’re way north and I usually visit So Cal. We will make it happen some day!
I really like photoshop,sai and illustrator. I’ve also seen some awesome things done with Corel Painter. There are a few things I do by hand as well. For those I just use a pencil and paper mostly but sometimes I’ll also use my brush tip inking pens. I absolutely fell in love with those things!
As for advice? hmm. It sucks to hear it but just keep practicing. Draw everyday if you can. I’ve been trying to use photo reference a lot while doing anatomy practice and with painting scenery. It helps a lot if you can see how something actually is and not how your mind chooses to perceive it. This way you can draw it correctly and then create a style of your own based on the correct structure of whatever it is that you’re trying to draw. I really love using http://artists.pixelovely.com/ for anatomy!
I hope that helps. ^^; If you have any more questions, I’ll be more than happy to answer as best I can.
Thanks for stopping by! :)