Oh yes, it definitely can. On the one hand, it can be easier to work with someone else's idea - you have it all ready. On the other, you practically have to get inside the other person's head to get it exactly the way they want it.
Exactly. I can't just make it something really cool like a Dragon riding a meteor away from an explosion, because it means nothing! It has to be something that fits him, not just cool. That and I can't draw anything that well, except rocks I guess, so unless his cutiemark is Tom I am out of luck in creating it.
Tom as a cutie mark. Heheh, now that'd make one interesting pony. Say, if I can ever lend you a hand with some idea, do let me know. I still feel more capable with items and symbols than anything else, so that'd actually make a more enjoyable type of work.
If you want to that would be great! So far it is just based off his name, Jewel, so I recolored Rarity's cutiemark orange. I was thinking based around questions, discussion, or philosophy. Which being rather non physical is hard to create an image for.
Yes, a good question - how to visually represent that which is fundamentally abstract? Maybe one thing you could try if you need inspiration is entering the relevant terms into Google Images; see what kind of results pop up and create some concept from what you see there. Then that'll be something we can work on.