I've been looking at the tutorials for book cover illustrations. They are all done with very elaborate drawings, I believe. Someone said that drawings were especially helpful and necessary when working with a client and under a dead line. A Swedish illustrator said that in Europe clients rarely expect elaborate drawings, and this is my experience too. At art schools over here, there is (or was) this whole idea that you loose your "creativity" when you work like that, so we basically learned very little professional technique (which is a shame).
I was wondering if you guys could talk a bit about the process with and without preparatory drawing, technically and "philosophically". One question that comes to my mind is: how do you manage to not loose the initial drawing, or initial "freshness"?