trying to learn how to program as an artist is actually rather hard... its' just a very different way of thinking and approaching a problem.
i studied/degreed in art, and later decided to pick up programming (sadly started with assembly, and now many years later working with C#).. so i think i can completely relate to the OP.
the odd thing about all of this, as a profession... i did NEITHER as a whole, i became a technical manager (the middle man of IT.. you know, sorta like the guy in this scene from "office space": ...)
does it hurt to understand how a part of your projects workflow functions to do what they do? nope. is it necessary to do it as well as they do? nope. but i think it can help to understand.
I honestly believe artists and programmers are very similar... creative, complex, and abstract thinkers.
so, to begin programming? I would say to NOT pick any particular language, but rather learn the concepts to build a good understanding.
Simon Allardice did a couple great training videos on Lynda.com that I took and found to be excellent starting places, "Foundations of Programming: Fundamentals, and Object-Oriented Design". They are mostly language independent, but show a few examples of concepts in different languages to show syntax differences, etc...
then i would say, pick a language that YOU want to learn.
it does, all the feedback just reassures me that i'm not alone and to keep working on it...
to put things in perspective, the last academic programming i did was with assembly, fortran, and pascal... (ya, that long ago), but professionally over the past 10 years, mostly web and scripting (html, xml, asp, and wsh). so, its' been a bit of challenge to "think" OOP, cause my foundation was so strong in procedural.
i'm getting through it though, and the practice will come.
(that was pretty damn funny)thanks for the feedback all... i'm going to keep at it, and agree FLeBlanc.. fundamental are important.it was just one of those /facepalm moments that i've often found myself in.. and as normal, regarding myself.