My creative process is about letting go, trusting and not over-thinking. Getting out of the way of my intuition.
With that said, I do a fair amount of thinking, playing, and planning before I begin to work. Much of that happens in a sketchbook. It helps me to start small, to play with composition, color, shape.
The pages of my sketchbook are a combination of getting visual snapshots of my memories on paper, writing notes, thoughts, words, and playing with composition, size, and materials.
Rarely do my paintings exactly follow a sketch - rather, the entries serve as a jumping off point. But then once I start to paint, I follow whatever happens in the moment.
I use a lot of mixed media when I paint. I combine, mix, and layer media in my paintings: pencil, pastel, collage, textiles, sand, plaster, photographic transfer, etc, in addition to paint. I prefer to work mostly on wooden boards that I build which can be between 2" to 4" deep, allowing the painting to continue around the edges, and eliminating the need for a frame. There is a quality and texture about wood that I can't get with canvas.
I also enjoy working on paper. My favorite surface is handmade cotton or linen from India with a deckled (uncut) edge. I work with a natural frame around each painting so it can be framed without the need for a mat. Each painting is sealed with my hanko, or unique seal, and signed and dated on the back (or front if it's paper.)
The space in which I create is important. Then again, making can happen anywhere! In my studio, you'll always find a wall of inspiration, piles of clippings to refer to, boxes filled withe materials and colorful things that I may want to use, books, photos, and a variety of tools.
I've had several studios over the years... from my parents' garage, to a loft and factory in Boston, to a corner of small room in Tokyo, to a studio in Jordan with marble floors and an outdoor garden, to a tiny cement "cell" in NYC. My current Brooklyn studio is still on the small side, but has a floor to ceiling window of Manhattan and a lot of natural light.