Yes, you are right, I am an artist. But I am also a designer in many other fields. In all areas the imagination is employed, but the imagination grows from understanding and analyzing the reality around us. Observation is an integral part of course. I also try to tell stories with the images, they are woven complexity of ideas, and yes, that can be all learned. But it takes a huge amount of time.
Have you tried to look at other works to actually find the thought process behind them? That is where you might open doors for your own creativity, by knowing that process creativity appears. It is not magic, only insight.
You might be surprised though, when I code I start actually with the coding, not the designing per se. I grow things in tandem.
I hope that we have not hijacked this thread too much.