When I am asked to design something, I ALWAYS start in my sketchbook. There is no point in designing something, without having a plan and a good idea first. In the beginning I empty my head and write down anything that comes into mind, no matter if it has something to do with colours, a specific idea, associations and so on. Anything goes. When I am completely empty, I keep thinking, writing and brainstorming for just a little bit longer. This is when I have to push myself and my "creativity".
Once I have spent more than enough time on this process, I start researching. I have to know who am designing for, what they want and how I am going to meet their needs and requirements. This is also very helpful as inspiration. While I am doing this, I keep the sketchbook open; I brainstorm and sketch fast ideas while I am working. The key is to never, ever close that book.
I have learned that you are supposed to use at least 20% of the time you are planning to spend on a project on just brainstorming and doing research, and this is a theory I completely agree with. A friend of mine once said "you have to be done with the project before you start it", and I also agree with this, haha!
When everything is planned out I start to work. In this case I created an A2-poster. First, I made a digital sketch based on my hand-drawn sketch. It is easier to keep the work organised and neat when I work digitally, and I absolutely suck at drawing, so I have developed this method of doing things.
I work on it and when I am comfortable with the way things look, I print it out. From here I redo all the work, but I hand draw everything now. I use my print as a guide to get everything the size and shape I am looking for.
When this feels okay, guess what I do? Yes, that is correct; I scan everything back into the Mac. From here I can really be nerdy and adjust all the tiniest details, until I am pleased with the result. I try out things, print it to see what works and what doesn't, and then try some more. I often (always) love getting feedback while I am working, therefore I usually send it to the client at the same time as I am working. When I am communicating with them along with designing, it is easier to get to the result they are looking for.
It isn't any more hocus pocus than that. I know I have simplified this very much right now, but this is the main way I work on hand drawn-projects. Creating a poster like this one is something I spend MANY hours on, and all you need is patience – which I don't have any of!