Sketch, Concept and Storyboarding
Continual self progression
Pencil to paper
For me sketching is a skill set that sets a designer apart from the rest. As a 3D designer it gives me the space to get the idea out of my head, rework it and feed it back in to the idea mill.
Flicking between speedy storyboards and fine art is also key, given various timescales to deploy an idea.