Haha, it happens. Honestly, any artist can receive flack for anything someone doesn’t agree with. S’just how things go. :)
As for figure drawing, I don’t really do a lot of it. No time to these days, unlike my earlier ones. That’s baddd, if you’re looking at it from textbook-tinted glasses. But instead of figure drawing over and over, I taught (and I’m still teaching) myself to understand how the human body works, each part of it. Basically how it looks when it twists and turn certain ways, its limits, from different angles, etc. all by observation and then applying it in my work. That way, I’m able to come up with a pose (not always 100% accurate to how it actually works or even to how it looks in my head) that is believable.
That’s why I don’t use reference with my work, I just have this internal ‘encyclopedia’ I memorized (and still adding to), that way I can just go in there and grab the pieces I need and then put it on paper. For example, I know the basics of a realistic facial structure, so I’ll go in the “realistic facial structure section” in my ‘mind encyclopedia’ and remember that when I want a face stylization that bends more towards realism. But if I need an anime-ish or cartoon-ish face, I’ll walk over to that section in my mind and use that. That is pretty much the result of observation, and pretty much how almost every skilled artist work when they draw, especially without reference.