It's where it all begins. It's what was once called commercial art.
The key word here is "art".
Not software but art. So this is where I begin.
My sketchbook is THE most important part of my work and is always with me. Well the many sketchbooks. As over the years they just mount up.
My favourite sketchbook is here: (link to journal entry for sketchbooks with pictures.
So design kicks off from ideas and then making those ideas happen within a challenging framework of budget, deadline and possibilities.
You see in a sketchbook anything is possible.