What's the best way to go at a reference image or planning?

I’ve recently have been wanting to start going off of references for projects. Sometimes they turn out somewhat similar and sometimes that go to waste.

What are your techniques going off a reference image. Also, what do you use to start the planning process? An example would be a blueprint.

In basic terms: How do I start my building?

When building you should start with a very, very simple layout of what you’d like, kind of like blocking out shapes in art.

Here’s a quick example I whipped up in a minute:

One thing I use as inspiration is Pinterest because there’s lots of cool art and concepts there.

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What I do is draw out what I am envisioning. You can do this on paper or on a drawing app.
For example, for a map I’m building, I drew the basic layout of pathing and where buildings are going to be placed.

You can also build a simple layout on Roblox. A lot of mappers build the basic geometry of the map first with placeholder textures, and then fill in the details when they are finished with it: