Sparx facial and emotional expression
As previously mentioned in July, for me I can say that consistency is a key virtue in art, as well as the quality of the ideas you present as an artist. Sure diversity is a desirable quality of course, as is the ability to adapt to varied art styles for project needs, but that said having a consistency of style, and also in message really defines you as an artist... and on many levels as a Human being. It becomes our calling card, our claim to fame or that one thing that others associate us with. It's all part of our identity and reputation building.
Something that intrigues me in the modern gaming industry is a focussed and uncompromising push towards 'realism' or what is regarded as 'photo-realism'. Indeed in dealing with those outside the creative field (and even with some from within it) I have seen many instances in which a higher value has been placed on art where the style gravitates towards achieving photo-realism. For these individuals that judge the work, there is an uninformed assumption at play that decrees that because a work looks realistic, there must be a higher rigour involved... a higher ability; that the work is more deserving of praise and compliment than a heavily stylsed piece. This is simply not true.
I honestly say to those that judge (and with much respect to my Realist friends out there) that there is a great deal of craft and rigour in creating a style independent of the world around you from thin air; in creating values and rules for that style and in maintaining it through consistency. That in itself takes discipline informed by understanding... and this I feel deserves our respect. To those that would judge, I implore them to look deeper and seek an understanding that there is much to be gained by having a look that is stylised, taylored and unique... for a memorable look beyond what we come to expect can mean the difference between whether the audience remembers your product, your Vision... or not.