The images generated on my own feel different to me than commissioned work. Sure they can sometimes lack the specificity that paid illustrations inherently have. Plenty of times the images can just fail... BUT the freedom to make my own changes and improvements is nice.
Flipping through my sketchbooks, I started selecting drawings to tighten up or use as inspiration to create fresh work. Sometimes I don't really know what the sketches are about. Is that important? Maybe not.
For instance the sketch below, "Night Of the Crocodile," is close to an image I did for a college assignment a long time ago. I think it was for an imaginary cuban restaurant menu. I had a big Studebaker driving toward a crocodile.
The cover was supposed to be cut paper and I completely missed the concept of cut paper and delivered a horrible image that was mostly glue and dirt. I may have failed...but the composition wasn't bad. And although I have changed it considerably, I still dig it. Looks like a mystery Novel cover. It needs work but the seed is planted.