I can draw anything... as long as I get to look at it.
There is a great myth that drawing is a memory exercise. That if you can draw entirely from memory it makes you a better artist who deserves more kudos.
Of course the study of drawing will lead to a good memory of the things you've already studied how to draw, humans, animals, whatever it is that you love to draw. But the downfall of this is that you can restrict yourself to only drawing what it is you have studied how to draw, ie what you've memorised.
Using reference is not a weakness! It is a strength and almost all top level artists use a lot of reference. Using reference means you're not trapped one person's life experiences and can draw upon a wealth of extra knowledge. How can that be a weakness?
A lot of people seem to assume that the reference should come first. They go out and they scour the dA stock etc to find th