This one is a little tricky to answer. It’s always hard to pinpoint exactly how the concepts for my illustrations from. I would have to say that my illustrations are both of a mix of references as well as things that I draw purely from imagination. Things I pull up references for are mainly for angles, poses, facial features, etc. I find myself preferring certain poses and compositions, practicing them, and mastering them so that, eventually, I canjust draw them without having to use a reference at all. Maybe you shouldn’t focus on wanting to just “draw something cool” and concentrate on the things you like. After all, when you actually enjoy drawing a certain thing, chances are that it’ll turn out better.
For example, I like drawing girls (duh), flowers, and smoke. Those are some of my go-to things that I’ll draw when in doubt, and usually it’ll turn out good just due to the fact that I like to draw them.
We’re also privileged with having the internet at our disposal. Follow the right blogs or the right people on Instagram, and you’re just bombarded with endless images. Embrace inspiration from those sources. I see something I like and I’ll screen shot it for reference/inspiration later. Collect photos, typography, quotes, prints, shapes—anything that strikes a cord in you. After all, that’s why we’re taught to make “mood boards” in fashion school right?
There’s nothing wrong with referring to other work when you’re stuck on your own - just don’t let it become your work. The more used to this kind of creative process you become, the more natural it feels, and the easier it is to conjure up something “cool” for your drawings! :)