The game of War Dragons hosts some pretty adept artists, as evinced by previous contests and art threads. While arts and crafts are nice skills to have, I feel there should be more opportunities here to put them to good use, especially for those who already actively publish their work to this platform for the community to see.
For instance, I was thinking that one of possibly many other ways this could be established would be to incorporate some sort of recognition system into the game; what I mean by this is that an artist publishes their original work to the forums or another War Dragons medium, and possibly gets recognized by a member of any of the various developer teams.
Following recognition, a meeting would be organized, preferably involving all or as much of the art/design team as possible, and a discussion would be held upon the selected work; the purpose of the discussion would be to assess the work and come to a consensus on whether or not it would be viable enough to become an official War Dragons rider, dragon, or whatever the piece is depicted to be (within the bounds of this game and/or the gaming industry at large). If it’s determined to be viable, the original artist would be credited everywhere the design appears in-game once it officially launches as a product, and the artist would be granted a prize for their talent.
This would not invalidate the art/design team because they would still be the ones bringing the creations to the game; they also wouldn’t necessarily have to rely on community work all the time, and aren’t at all obligated to pay it any attention, but it would be a good source of inspiration, and a really nice incentive for those who aim to express their gratitude for the game.
Keep in mind that this is only one idea, and I merely offered an example; the primary goal of this suggestion is to allow for more opportunities, as a plural unit, for War Dragons artists to shine.
Edited to add the following point:
Actually, I was thinking artists could have self-created portrait designs incorporated into the Temple Raid rotation. This way, there’s something new in the system and a constant flux of ideas is maintained. This is also even less harmful to the relevance of the design team, since Temple Raid is a less-important matter than an entire season layout. Again, this is just one of possibly many opportunities.