How can I make progress from practicing?

I saw your website on Instagram and immediately fell in love with the concept! I was looking for a place where I could get feedback on my work because my resources are very limited in Maryland.
My name is Kasra Kaviani and I am majoring in animation. I have been drawing for 2 years and so far I was able to build a portfolio that is acceptable for a lot of art colleges around the US including MICA, SAIC. However last month I finally build the confident to critique my work and think about it more critically. I realized that I lack the fundamentals and basics of drawing and I have used my cartoony style as a crutch for the last 2 years. My goal is to transfer to CalArts for fall 2018 (and if I get rejected I will apply again for spring 2018). I have talked with Jela Ingertila from CalArts admission for portfolio review and she told me that I need to only focus on figures, animals, and urban sketching from now on.
I have taken this semester off from my college because all of my classes were graphic design related and the only class that was teaching figure drawing was canceled because there are not enough students. So I decided to stay home and spend about 8-12 a day just practicing. I am also taking some online workshop classes like Schoolism to learn more about the fundamentals.
When I saw your animation I was very excited and inspired and I wanted to reach out to you and ask about practicing and how to make progress from practicing.
There are days that I feel like I am repeating the same mistakes over and over again, How can I stop my practicing from becoming the repetition of same mistakes? And what is the most effective to practice in your opinion?
Since I am not in school I am desperately looking for a mentor who I can work with in person and observe their work ethics and learn from them. However, there are not many animators and illustrators in Maryland that I can reach out to (almost none) What is the best way in your opinion to reach out to artists and ask them for mentorship and help?
Sorry if this letter got very long but I have so many questions 
Here is my website:
I have not yet uploaded my gesture drawings anywhere because it is not where I want it to be yet and I was hoping if I can start posting them here to get feedbacks and try to improve.
Thank you very much for taking your time and reading my letter and of course for creating this website!
Kasra Kaviani on August 30 at 05:47 PM in Drawing
Wow! I just checked your instagram & I am really amazed! I really wish I can reach anywhere close to that level! Its really great that you have this amount of self motivation to decide to dedicate your semester off to build your skills with a big goal in your mind! I congratulate you for this!!

I agree with Mario, I believe you are on the right track.. just keep practicing everyday! For me, I noticed the greatest transformation in my drawing since my (Animation Fundamentals III class) where...  more
on September 01 at 07:14 PM
1 Answer(s)
Hi Kasra, like I mentioned in our chat before, I think many students are in your situation and can relate to you!  Trying to link up with a mentor or coach that can help accelerate your learning curve is not easy but fortunately, because of the internet, things that were once impossible are becoming more accessible to everyone who is trying to learn.  This website was created for students like yourself mainly because I wished I had something like this when i was growing up.  I never knew where to go or what to do. Fortunately I ended up going to Calarts which cleared the way for me to get access to industry professionals which were critical to my development as an aspiring animator.  But I'm feeling like Art schools like Calarts are increasingly becoming out of reach for most people in the world because of the cost of tuition.  If you don't have issues affording the tuition, then I would recommend going to Calarts or any other great Art School. But if you can't spend that much money on your education, what are the options?   

The point of this website ultimately, is to give students all over the world a chance to link up with other like minded members in the community along with industry professionals who are actually working in the business either storyboarding, animating, or designing environments or characters.  The site is still a work in progress but essentially, you'll have the option to pay these pros for their time whenever you need it.  It's going to be a great way to access the talent you'll need to make the jump to the next level.  Also, you won't be obligated to sign up for an entire semester or any program at all.  Whenever you need help, you can simply come here and choose the Coach you want to give you feedback. There will be very reasonable prices for this so stay tuned while we finish development on the upcoming features.  

Along with access to industry professionals, you'll be able to be part of this community which should help inspire and lift you up as well.  Hope that all makes sense!  I just need more time to finish up our new features but in the mean time, please feel free to post your artwork and our members will have a look to see how to help.  So far, judging by your instagram page, you're doing really well!  So I think you're on your way to becoming a pro and I hope this site will help!
Mario Furmanczyk on August 30 at 06:03 PM
Thank you, Mario! I now have one more question about student loans. I will post it on the Q&A section.
on August 30 at 06:29 PM