I could start by talking about the basics, perspective and all that stuff but that's pretty much something you have to learn or know already, either in a school or self-taught.
One thing most people don't talk about nor understand is the answer to this question.
Do you blow through an image or do you draw, stop think, draw, stop think...etc?
Most of you already seen a professional working and he just blows through a white canvas and in 2 to 4 hours creates something original.
Obviously we aren't talking about fanart here. Because that is just copying someones else design/idea and you wouldn't have any problem, because the brain work is already there for you to go around, even if you gave it your personal touch, like I've done in some Macross stuff, it's just not that hard.
Fanart is a great area but for example I've done 3D work for games, I obviously didn't include my Macross fanart in the portfolio I sent to the hiring companies because that is a big no no.
One reason why fanart is so popular is because it's easier on the artist, brain wise. A white canvas screaming for original designs/characters scares a lot of people.
So why can't you just create on the go? The main reason is lack of visual information in your brain. In terms of shapes, lines and colors. It's not lack of fundamentals, you can know all about perspective etc.. But if you haven't put in your brain enough information that you can have fast access to then your new designs won't look cool.
Most professionals draw by instinct. One easy step to improve, if you need improvement, is to increase your visual sources stored in your brain. It's a really easy step to take.
Read books, letters aren't visual designs right?... Wrong, when you read a book you create designs in your head of what the author is describing, they are based on descriptions but are 100% original interpretations. Watch TV but shows that matter, nature and mechanical shows are amazing to increase your visuals. See the world, outside you can find amazing shapes screaming for you to use them and change them into something new. Patterns, nature holds the most amazing patterns that you can use on your own designs.
If you think you can't create something original and only do fanart maybe that's the reason... while doing fanart is cool and all you need to know that when doing fanart you are never creating a new design nor character. Even if you do a spin off and kind of create a new character it's never 100% of your brain usage on that piece. So you are restricting your own visual library in that process.
Bare in mind tho that I love fanart, specially Macross! But if you're still new to art and find your self in dead ends maybe fanart can become a savior in the short term but an enemy to your progress in the long term.
!!! To prove I adore fanart I'll even feature fanart bellow!
Also check the art I feature from talented deviants in the Extra Box, my fav 4 male anime characters ever, wanna be featured? Let me know.
And that's that, cya next post!