Yes I'm still very much alive. And very happily now located in Valencia. I finished a sketchbook in the first week I was down here and am now very happy with how I'm drawing. However, two days ago, I was drawing and it all looked like crap. I couldn't figure out why.
When someone pointed out to me (Prez if you know him first year CalArts) that I circle all the joints and the head which kind of makes every drawing cookie cutter. Taking his advice, I started drawing shapes I saw for the quick gesture and not circles.
I personally am much happier with my artwork now that I'm out of that rut.