Done with school forever.
I'm going to draw for myself for a bit now.
I know what you mean. It's pretty rare that anything I visualize becomes exactly that on paper (computer, whatever), but I don't necessarily consider that to be a bad thing. Sometimes, it works out even better than I expected. I find it helpful to make smaller sketches of the thing in mind beforehand, in order to figure out what works and what doesn't before going to the finished piece, and then further warm-up sketches.
I mainly use av.com, since it has a pretty decent image search. www.sxc.hu is excellent for hi-res images, and corbis.com does well, too, but since their images are mainly aimed for publication use and reuse, most of them are, well… boring. Hope that covers it. :3
Well, I usually practice the things I want to do in a particular piece. For instance, I don't normally do interiors or detailed environments, so I'm practicing that right now. I also use straight-on camera angles a lot, so I've been trying to break out of that, as the latest piece demonstrates. Basically, whatever I'm having trouble with, I work to figure out ways to make them less troublesome, if that makes sense.
Cars blocking my driveway when I'm already running late for work.
People interrupting me to ask about a crap product when I'm clearly helping someone else
Being chumped by girls
Customers that don't understand the concept of 'buy 1, get 1 free' (I once had a customer that complained that she was being charged for the item of greater value, to which I then pointed out that all ads clearly read 'of equal or lesser value'. When has any store ever given away the crap that would make them the most profit? She clearly didn't major in business in her college days…)
Being asked to stay beyond my shift at work
Bill collectors calling me every hour on the hour like it's the 'in' thing to do, further compounded when said bill collectors have accents too thick for me to understand what they're saying.
+Only being able to take classes part-time this semester
+Dog crap in my yard (I don't own a dog)