So that I don't just stagnate, it's a good idea to examine the work of other practictioners; even those from different practices to your own.
Following that mantra, here are some artists I've been watching recently and what I'd like to think I've learned by looking at their work.
Freelance illustrator from an eastern europe descent with tight and vibrant 'cut-out' style work.
What I like most about Kolavic is the energy he draws from his work by cramming as much as he can into his compositions; everything is so busy yet simply designed and it reads very easily. There is a 'flat' feel to his pieces but thanks to their expressive poses and playful look, this never becomes a problem. Whats also interesting is how he makes simple shapes into characters just by tweaking corners and adding a few marks to them; giving a laborious feel without actually being anywhere near overworked.
Finally, the artist's eye for colours which work well together is near flawless; every piece a russian graphic design throwback dream.
A pair of new zealand comic book artists, Tiny Kittenteeth have brought Mary Blair-style aesthetics to the web comic. Again, these two are very colour-focused but unlike Kolakovic, use alot of contrasting and dark colours to slice against their lights, making for an almost neon eye-ball fest. I don't appreciate their character design as much as Stuarts because they seem somewhat disjointed at times; their individual limbs and features appearing to slide away from the rest of their forms but their poses and expressions more than make up for it.
What I could learn most from these two again is to consider designs of shots as simply as they need be; don't over complicate a message and to be experimental about what kinds of colours and shades actually tell certain moods.
And Finally, a concept artist who uses photoshop, canvas 4 and 3d studio max to make his art. He might be older than me but already his expertise and somewhat broad skill base is worrying to me. Dashow produces top quality work with a speedy response time that I can't yet picture myself matching.
His work has a 'cartoon baroque' feel to it. Very dramatic but conversely, doesn't take itself too seriously.
It would be wise of me to join cgsociety so that I could watch, talk to and learn from artists like him; if I want to forge a career in the games industry, it might be necessary to pick up skills like modelling and giving a high finish to my work in order to get anywhere.
Tutorials like this could also be helpful. Several of them appear to be duds such as 'how to draw conventional and boring looking manga characters' but there are some decent modelling and colouring articles that I will report on soon.
EDIT: One of the comic-style tutorials is actually pretty decent at describing how to achieve a strong finish with your drawings. See it here.