WOTC responsibility on artwork and card design

Hey everyone,
I need clarification on WOTC’s actual influence on design and artwork choices.

There’s something I see all the time, especially in regards to the e-Series: people saying things like ‘WOTC really went all out for the artwork in their final sets’ or ‘WOTC really set them up well and allowed them to have more creative liberties’.

But did WOTC have anything to do with the artworks ever? Wasn’t the Japanese Media Factory (or Nintendo?) responsible for the choice of artworks all along?

The way I understand it, WOTC just happened to have the rights to print the translated versions of the original Japanese cards for the western world.
Which would mean they didn’t intentionally made their last sets as great as they are, but it’s rather just a neat coincidence that the last set they were allowed to print happened to have fantastic artwork. (Not to mention that WOTC often merged multiple smaller JP sets into one larger Eng set)

Tl;dr: Did WOTC have any influence on the artworks?

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You are right. Most people are just ignorant about the cards origin. What annoys me the most is when people refer to “Japanese WotC cards”. WotC had something to do with the Dark Raichu secret rare, but it is still a Japanese design. A couple of black star promos had unique English artwork (Mewtwo 12, Pokemon Center, Lucky stadium and Snorlax 49). Might be a few other cards as well.