Welcome to the right side of my brain! I KNOW THE LEFT SIDE OF THE ILLUSTRATED BRAIN IS LIT UP - that's because it's facing you... Anyway, I am constantly playing ping pong between my right and left brain. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??
Here is the process
I start on the left side of the brain with research, re-writing briefs/strategies, thinking of concepts, and trying to understand the goals of the project in all ways, shapes, and forms.
Then the right side of my brain charges in at any point afterward and translates all of these thoughts into visual metaphors. During this process there is a ton of exploration, failure, experimentation, childhood nostalgia, random wormholes, and other fun stuff. I let this side take over until society reminds me that I'm not just doing this for fun.
Then I go back to the left side and see if I have anything that meets the goals of the project. Usually it needs refinement and a little less experimentation but it's back to the right side. From there it's ping pong until both sides of my brain are equally satisfied (or the client takes the ball). Then I find another one...