I spent a very long time trying to make my own art more realistic (never got close to realism, but there was an attempt) but then I realized I didn't even like realistic art and the only reason I was trying to achieve it was because others had told me that's what I should strive for.
It's not that I think realistic art is bad or that other people are wrong for liking it. I can most certainly see the appeal of it. It's simply that I'm personally not that interested in it. When I see realistic art I tend to not notice the work put into it. It's more like a photo to me, even if it includes a lot of fantastical elements. Again, that's what a lot of people like about it, and that's great. I just happen to like when a drawing is unapologetic about being a drawing, like the styles of Bjørn Wiinblad and Tove Jansson.
There are only two things I personally think are important to learn when drawing: Body proportions (how long are arms compared to the body, how long are legs when folded up, how far are eyes from each other and so on) and perspective (how much smaller does an object get the further it moves away and so on).
Those things will help your art look more balanced, even when you develop your own style and maybe decides that you like your characters to have short legs and arms. Subconsciously you'll keep those things in mind and know how to make it all work together. Then you can decide for yourself what you think is important to your art, like light and shadow, or how fabric works, or whatever you want.
Again, just my personal philosophy on the subject of art. I like to keep the rules simple and let people do their own thing. We get more interesting styles that way.