Once a licensing artist gets a feel for what a good portfolio includes, staying in the creative zone with new work becomes the next goal. Art Directors and Product Development Managers rely on the talent of the artist pool for new product, and this is where an artist can really bring value to a new release. How do you do that without selling your soul to the retail devil?
I always tell my artists to follow the energy. Wherever the most creative excitement is, that's where I want them to work next. It's where the best art comes from. Once we've decided what categories they will be focusing on for the next several months, I turn them loose to just follow their instincts. It's the creative spark that's inside every talent that leads to new and fresh concepts, great new trends and, ultimately, retail products that are worth the shelf space they take up.
The best art comes from passion and drive to create. There's a reason why as an artist you want to create--it's a vision you want to share with the world. Couple that passion with a good understanding of your industry and your work becomes becomes much more meaningful.