If animation is what you want to do, Id recommend spending some time with Blender. Its free and there is plenty of free learning resources and assets. Do the boring tutorials. There is so much to learn but you just pick something and run with it. Just focus on what pertains to your interest.
If storyboarding is what you want to do and you don't have money for expensive software for drawing on the compy, even a pad of paper and pen will do (while sipping coffee + music that's how i did previs dummies 2).
Whatever it is you want to do, learn what people do to make it happen. Sometimes you just have to go down a rabbit hole of research. Sometimes people keep their creative secrets within walls. Some tell of how they had to figure it out by experimenting. Sometimes you hit deadends. But dont stop.
I understand that sometimes limitations get in the way too, whether it be money, location, resources, even physically and mental. But if you are passionate about it, just do your best with what you have, within your limitations.
As for "copying", I just mean, be observant. Watching other people's work can inspire new ideas. If youre trying to learn a method of how something works, sure copy it for practice. You could try to recreate someone's scene and learn a lot in the process if you wanted. Ultimately while learning/studying, youre trying to get good enough at it to make your own amazing works and ideas. Observation is a powerful tool to develop. You can even use it while playing video games. Pay attention to how things move, how cameras are setup and stuff like that.
You may always struggle with understanding, but you dont always have to fully understand it to have fun making something cool.
I think i might just be rambling on now, but hopefully this is answering something
haha. yea you did kind of answer. But yea don't be affraid to reference things. We do this to learn. Even in martial arts training one could argue we are referencing the instructor to learn how to re apply it to our own body motions. There are lots of tutorials out there for learning stuff so I won't get into it. But I will say, wanting to learn is the first step. Making the choice to start is the next. And so on. Even if you learn and practice a tiny bit any time you get a moment of free time, that is moving you in the right direction. Don't get hung up on the little things. Learning is a journey into the unknown. Lots of ups and downs, but youre growing as go. But more on the topic of referencing things. The more familiar you become with motion, the more it will just flow from you. Same with camera angles, poses, etc. It really all just comes down to practice practice practice.