In my experience, I've found that I best learn/acquire languages and elements of a language if it has direct significance to me. Let me explain.
Let us break down language into a system by which certain sets of vocal sounds and/or symbols have specific meaning. In Japanese, the word for "chair" is pronounced "isu" and written "椅子”. When I'm first exposed to that, my brain subconsciously registers it as a lie - because my entire life, I have associated different symbols and sounds with that object/meaning.
So, although one way of internalising that word may be conventional study methods, I find that a far more effective method is if my own personal experience reinforces the meaning of the given sounds and/or symbols. For example, if I was to go chair shopping in Japan, and intentionally conveyed that meaning by using/hearing that sound or writing/reading those symbols. In fact, your method of using images is also one way of reinforcing the meaning of the target word and to make it easier for your brain to accept.
I speak 4 languages. And I find that the biggest and fastest improvements I make in any of them are when I'm in an environment where I'm actually using the language. And the times when I regress or pleateau in any of those languages are when I go for long periods of limited use.