Use a single piece of reference

When exploring look and feel there can be only one. Okay, maybe there can be more than one but the point is this: Less is more. It’s more selective, it’s more empowering and it’s more efficient. Using fewer references forces you to select the most valuable starting point.

This doesn’t mean you should copy directly or be a clone. Just have a simple statement of your aesthetic goals and trust that the process of creation will result in something unique. 

For years everyone one of my projects had folders of reference matierial for character design, UI, typography, environments, etc. I wasted alot of time trying to synthethesize all those diverse elements. Now I force myself to be selective and choose the fewest reference points I need to get started. While working I allow myself to follow tangents so each piece can find its own identity.