Toy Tech: Cultivating A Strategic Mindset (Part 2)



Modern digital tools still produce emotionally impactful images. Thor, 2016 © Marvel Studios, Inc.


Continuing from last week, cultivating a strategic mindset is very important to growing your level of personal and corporate success. The following guidelines will help students bring their work to the next level, and also serve to build streamlined workflows for professional design teams:

Adaptable Mindset:

You can only be adaptable if you are open to change. Adaptability allows your creativity to work under any condition, system or media. For example, if you're unable to adapt to living in the computer age and can only produce conventional, paper and pencil ideation, you’re limiting your career growth because you are not able to take advantage of digital tools.

People who fall into this category have a much slower process and their work most often looks dated in visual esthetics compared to those employing digital tools—you just can't ignore the amazing advances taking place in the design community. 

On the other hand, if you only have basic computer training, it’s a pretty safe bet your work will look a bit cold and mechanical, because the knowledge of conventional rendering techniques adds emotional impact and personalization to the design esthetic—the modern day professional needs to have both in play.

The idea of employing new technologies should also be forefront in the toy industry, especially in streamlining factory workflow, but you need an adaptable mindset to allow this progress to happen. If not, you'll surrender to Status Quo and nothing makes him more happy than to steal your lunch and pop the bag.

So, the process of learning and streamlining your personal technique and corporate workflow will never end—humble yourself so you are free to find new ways to update your process to make your work stronger, more powerful and keep your career up to date.

Learned Mindset:

Creating concept art is a learned skill. No one wakes up in the morning knowing how to ideate, draw and render an image. You learn by doing and you continue learning from idea to idea and from sketch to sketch, starting where you left off the last time and moving forward to the next.

If you lose your love for learning you are done—it’s that simple!

I was never a big fan of the 1980’s and if you choose to remain in that era I bid you well, but understand the current modern day global economy demands your very best effort. If you are not willing to be fully engaged, you can bet the bank your competition will, and you may not be able to update your skills fast enough to stay in the game.

Positive Mindset:

Life isn’t fair and there are many obstacles to overcome. From coming up with the big idea to visualizing it through concept art and seeing it through the production pipeline all the way to the retail shelf—the overall process can be downright grueling.

You will need to work hard to be successful and even harder to maintain that level of success as the puppies nip your heals. A positive mindset will help you weather the good and bad, allowing you to successfully adapt to the many challenges life throws your way.

The quality of your work speaks volumes to your mindset and personal commitment. A person’s portfolio instantly reveals their level of engagement—you just can’t hide that sort of thing.

You may have a benefactor high up on the food chain, but that covering won't be able to protect you forever, and your limited skill set will reveal your career stagnation and status quo attitude. In this business, your ability and attitude go hand in hand, determining what doors open and close for you along the way. 

In referring to a person's attitude, the meaning is more than being positive or negative, but also being teachable, fully engaged and possessing the unique ability to embrace new opportunities and technologies. 

Yes, yes, I know politics are involved and some people are handed a golden ticket, but you can break through those glass ceilings if you are positive and work hard—really hard. By doing so, I think you’ll be surprised how many people will actually be willing to give you a break.

Low energy people fail to embrace opportunities that come from change! Free your imagination from the confines of the status quo to think outside the box—that’s where you’ll find innovation and limitless creativity.

So, make sure you cultivate an organized, strategic mindset, empowering you to be creative and efficient under any condition or situation. Once you are comfortable using digital tools to produce ideation art, you’ll learn more streamlined methods along with additional styles to expand your visual communication.


Leave a Reply