All custom builds start with a conversation. Then more conversations, emails, phone calls, etc to find out what you like, what you want and what you look for in a guitar or bass.
If you know exactly what you are looking for that's fine. We can fine tune the details, do a few mock-up sketches and get to work.
Or you can tell me what you like, send some photos of your favourite guitars, however varied and diverse, or even your favourite car/painting/furniture/whatever. We can throw a few ideas back and forth and come up with something unique. Again, a few sketches, trying variations on shape, pick-guards, colour, etc, etc and we are on our way. In this scenario I like to work in the same way a good record producer would work - You can throw all the ideas you like at me and I'll find a way to make the good ones work together.
Changes, new ideas, etc are inevitable as the build progresses so a regular dialogue is maintained to make sure everyone is happy.