How two people see the same thing can vary quite drastically. Perception is how we interpret what we are looking at and experiencing. In the article Culture's influence on perception, culture and life experiences all play a role in how our brain interprets this information.
So when it comes to creating art, it's no surprise individual artists interpret the same thing quite differently. When I recently visited the Vancouver Art Gallery with my sketch group, that's exactly what happened.
This is how I develop a lot of my ideas for children’s illustration. They come from drawing an initial shape. Once I have realistically sketched the form, I stop referencing the original object. I start to look at the image to see if there are things I can accentuate to make it my own. Many times this involves exaggerating an element that I find amusing or interesting, or adding something new.
By doing so, I am able to understand the personality of the character so I can draw them in any situation or mood. If I get stuck - I start to reference other artists or technical drawing books. One of my all-time favorite reference books is The Animators Survival Kit by Richard Williams.
If you have further questions on my illustration process, feel free to connect with me online.