Since 99% of people who draw/paint will never sell a single piece of work, I think most people can chil out about AI art. For those who DO plan to become professional, my bet is that they're going to have to embrace the technology to some degree but I'd ALSO bet that TRADITIONAL art is going to suddenly shoot up in both appreciation and price - so I'd definitely focus on that if I were young again. Personally, I like to use AI for reference photos since I know they'll be unique and copyright free.
Great idea, Jedidiah! :) I'm new to the community but a long-time Proko (Show/Guests) & Stan fan. I'm probably a lot older than most members here and I've found that my art style has had to change a lot. I'd gone 100% digital for a while but now I'm freehanding traditional work, teaching myself to embrace working in styles and mediums that allow for.. .well, being older. lol My hands aren't steady and I don't see well, which is why I found digital a lot easier. But I MISSED traditional so much, so now I do both. :) Anyway, I use lots and lots of mediums and I do lots of styles because that's what makes me happy. Nice to meet eveyrone!
You'll be amazed at how much your traditional work will help your digital... and vice versa. I spent a long time doing only digital work because my eyesight is so bad but I missed traditional so much I've gone back to it but I have to make some accommodations. I'm "older" and my hands aren't steady - so I can't do pretty linework anymore. I don't see detail very well - so my paintings are more" painterly." Point is, as much as I love digital, there's no replacing putting pencil/pen/brush to paper!
I think a lot of us do the same, especially if we're working through a course. One thing you can do to "cleanse your palate" is to use a completely different medium in another sketchbook. Do an eye. A piece of fruit. A loose landscape. ANYTHING that is not what you're studying. This will help reset your brain, keep you from burning out AND you may be surprised by how much you like what you create when you don't hold yourself "accountable" and just let yourself have fun. Good luck. :)