I'm a traditional, realism artist and I'm looking to branch out and explore concept art. I absolutely LOVE the imagination of it and the fact that I'm not limited to what I see in photos or models.

I can draw what I see just fine (portraits are still a tad challenging). Here's some samples of my work for reference - http://www.aubreycampbell.weebly.com

But I have a slight problem in that I have issues when I try to draw from my imagination. As much as I would reeeeeeally love to do concept art, I feel like I can't do it because I MUST have a reference picture to work from. I HATE using the word "can't". I always want to scribble it out and challenge myself to get it out of my sight, specifically when it comes to art. I don't want to limit myself.

So how do I get started into concept art? How do I break free from using what I see in front of me, i.e. models, photographs, real life, etc. and start using my imagination without making everything look morphed, painfully amateurish and newbesque?

Thank you in advance!