When I embark on my costume making, the first thing I do is come up with a concept. Which is what I do for licensing. What art will I make? Of course my kids are involved in what they want to be, but essentially we spend time deciding what will be the most fun. As an artist to license art I think more about what has a broad appeal, and what is a fun concept that I feel I can do a good job exploring visually.
Second step is devising a plan. For costume making I create detailed sketches and take measurements of my kids to ensure I create something that is wearable. As an artist creating artwork for licensing, I sketch my ideas and start to create a library of icons and images that will be good to play with in a multiple of compositions. I consider color palettes and whether the art is seasonal or everyday. But essentially both share the careful consideration of usefulness. Be it to wear to show.
Third execution. Costume making is easy, figure out the pieces and start creating. Art licensing is similar. Take all those sketches and pieces and begin creating.
The final step is bask in the awesomeness of the finished piece. Ok, maybe not, but once the work is complete both will be set out to the world. While the costume will go door to door and will receive a reward at each knock, art for licensing will require knocking on many doors, but only select ones open to reward.
Often I send out my samples, I call back and get no response. I am not alone. Many of us artists create, submit, follow-up and wait. But can you think of anything else you would rather do? I cannot. And honestly when the right door opens and gives me that king sized candy bar, there is no better feeling in the world.