I wouldn't be able to help you, as I can't code worth crap, but I can give you a some advice. From personal experience, C++ coding is a pain, especially if you're making a game. You have to individually code each pixel in a game you're making, and you have to do it for just about every frame of that game. Hell, just making a still rainbow of colors took me a week when I started with C++. Tic Tac Toe took another 5 days. For what you want to do, you might want to use a different engine for your game, maybe Java, like minecraft. However, you should still learn C++, regardless of what you use to make your game. It's the basis of most languages, and you'll want to start from there as it's also one of the simplest languages.
Kind of edit: Lol I just re-read your post, and saw that you only wanted to do the artwork (fail on my part). Still, it'd be good to learn a language, even a simple one like C++, regardless of whether or not you'll ever use it.