At work, I have various projects in different stages of development which is the usual way the toy product development team has to work.
Basically it's a revolving process of getting an art request, coming up with different concepts (usually rough sketches), submitting that to our creative manager, doing some tweaking as needed after getting his feedback, then submitting it to the product line manager for approval.
While you're waiting to hear back from the specific product manager, generally one of 6, (depending on the urgency or availability of the PM, you may go directly to their office for feedback, send an email and hear back that afternoon, or send an email to China 'cause they're at one of the factories and get a reply the next day); you get to work on the other art requests that you're juggling in various stages of development - just started, got first set of comments and approval to go to final art, got first set of comments with a ton of changes, got 2nd set of comments and additional revisions, etc., etc..
And don't forget, there's frequently other requests from sales and/or marketing with vendor feedback on samples that were produced and changes that they would like to have in order for them to actually buy the product for their retail stores; or sometimes we'll get ideas from consumers or vendors about what they'd like to have us create for them specially. So we have exclusives for that kind of thing.
And hey, as product designers or toy designers, we even come up with some original ideas of our own which occasionally end up as actual products. :)
One of the reasons I get certain product requests instead of the other artists on my team is due in part to the illustration work I've done in the past. Which is why I found it rather fascinating to recently check out the online portfolio by Kinuko Y. Craft, featuring illustrations for children's books and fairy tales. My traditional technique has some similarities to her production process; although I've had to modify mine somewhat because I finish the art digitally for most of my clients these days.
I originally got to know about Ms. Craft and her art because of a poster she created for the Dallas Opera, Madame Butterfly of which I bought a print. She has also illustrated most of the recent covers for a long time favorite fantasy author of mine, Patricia McKillip. Craft's style is definitely very recognizable. I especially enjoyed reading the part about her art technique development time, "...Sometimes a two page painting can take up to a month". Ha! I am lucky when I get a week. So, these days the quality of the final product is not up to my usual standards. Disappointing. But, I'm still expected to maintain the high quality finished look. Faster, faster!!!
Ah, well. I'm doing my best to educate my clients and their expectations. And for the moment, I do the stuff I sincerely enjoy at my home studio for my own projects.