I've worked the same way for years now. I sketch. I tighten sketch. I scan sketch. I place sketch in illustrator and digitally trace node to node, add colors and textures until finish. While I love working in illustrator, I missed the nuances you get with physical pencil or pen to paper. So, I've been experimenting.
I've been using a sweet brush pen in my sketchbooks for about a year now. Learning how to us it, how to hold it, how much pressure to apply. I'm no master, but I'm getting the hang of it. In my free time I work on a little graphic novel idea. I've been inking it with my brush pen, and using black colored pencil to add shading.
So, lately I'm taking what I'm learning from my little graphic novel and combining that with my typical illustrator/texture style. It's exciting to discover new techniques. And even more exciting using those new techniques for paying jobs!