...I would create stock artwork. Now I know this is not real revelation but here is what I would do different. I would give publishers options if they wanted to use my art. The first option would be instead of paying me for my artwork, I would take a percentage of the total sales amount of the product (at least 10% to make it worth my wild) and I would be able to sell the artwork as stock art. The publisher basically gets FREE artwork (They only pay for it AFTER they make a sale); you get two steady sources of income (The product sales and the stock art sales) that you don't have to do any additional work for. It is a "Win - Win". I don't know any publisher who would not take this deal. If you want to offer me this one, email me right now at email@example.com!!!
Another thing I would do is spilt the artwork by color or grayscale and B&W. I would sell a publisher the rights to the color versions, while I would keep and the rights and sell the grayscale and B&W version as stock art. Another “Win - Win".
Something else I would do would focus on cover or half page location and environments artwork only. Most stock artwork is single pieces that focus on character design work and not a lot of cover or environment work. Most people charge a HUGE amount for covers, like $400 and up. If you could undercut your competitors by 50% to 85% of the cost of doing a cover, you have a got chance of getting that money over some other artist. Plus it gets your name out there for other people to see the work you are doing. The more popular you become the more money you make. Simple and easy.
These are three good ideas that any artist could start using today and help place more money in their pockets. The sad part is most artists won't do this. The reason, I don’t know, maybe they are just lazy. But you could and best of all, you don't have to work harder to do this. Talk to you later...