So let me tell you how I created my own Pokemon Art Contest(s)

Hi there, this will be a long thread that I will divide in three separate posts, so I hope at least someone will find it interesting! Before I start, I want to apologize for my english, Ill try to write it as clear as possible but it’s not my first language so probably I’ll commit some grammar mistakes. That being said let’s begin.

My love for Pokemon started as soon as the game arrived in Europe, first with the games, then the anime, and finally the TCG. I remember buying the Pokemon TCG for GBC and also a deck to try to understand the game in both virtual and physical form. Long story short, I ended up playing and collecting for almost two years, until my passion for video games grow up and I stick to that, leaving the cards aside (didn’t help that the local I went to play stopped the league and tournaments so the community just vanished). We can jump to 2020, when Logan Paul did that stream and a YouTuber from Spain called ElRubiusOMG copied him and did a Team Rocket box opening a few months later.

When I watched both events, the nostalgia combined with me still having my childhood binder with me just clicked and I started collecting again. To this day. I tried to learn as much as I can, as I’ve been out of the hobby for so long, so I checked info about the sets, the cards, and everything. I found channels like @Smpratte specially useful because they have a lot of knowledge and helped me to enjoy more niche stuff, like artists styles, promos, differences between japanese and western releases, and so on. I dont know if he was the responsable for the next phase or I just found an article on Bulbapedia, but at some point I wanted to do something more than just collect for myself.

The First Art Contest

Around mid 2021, I discovered Illusion’s Zorua (L-P Promo). And I just LOVED the concept. So after realizing that Europe was not eligible for the official Pokemon Art Contest, I created mine. I rely on my community, after the reception of me opening some booster packs and some of them enjoying the nostalgia trip collection again with the TCG. With more than 130k subscribers on YT, a few thousands more around Twitter, Twitch and other social media accounts, I announced that I wanted to helm an art contest based on that Zorua’s one. And here are the results.

Rules & Concept

  1. They were basically the same as the Zorua Illusion, but I picked Psyduck as the main pokemon because it’s my favourite one and I thought my community would enjoy more the contest if we do something with him. I’m not good at drawing, but I did my best trying to create a cool one to be used as a basis for the card.


(Top right, drawn on paper, left painted over the lines in Photoshop (but with my mouse, as I dont have a tablet or anything to drawn. And the final drawing, after some time trying to do something decent)

  1. Participants needed to print my Psyduck in a DINA4 format, and do the rest of the artwork as they wanted. Materials, style… everything was allowed, they only needed to keep the Psyduck on the same spot and fill the blank space. Oh, digital art was not allowed for this contest, I wanted to keep it as much ‘traditional’ as I could, like a summer afternoon entertainment.

  2. The contest was active for one week since its announcement and around 40 participants sent their work. My channel it’s not about art, illustration or anything else related so I think the number was actually pretty amazing, as I didnt promote it outside my community (on the next contest this went much higher, but we will get to that later).

  1. So we had the concept, the community delivered and everything worked pretty good.

Participants

As I said, around 40 sent an illustration. I’m not going to upload every picture here but you can check all of them in this gallery. This is a few selections of some of the drawings. Id love to know what your favourites are as well!






Jury and Winners

I wanted this to be something special, not just a random contest, so for the sake of objectivity (since I love Psyduck and I know my community, so they probably will think I would choose the ones I prefer and not the betters) I tried to have a jury to pick some of the winners. The Jury was composed by six people, five of them related to the Pokemon Community in Spain (two VGC players, one voice actress & streamer , and a journalist from a big media outlet that also runs a Pokemon Podcast), also, the the icing on the cake was Conrad Roset, the most international of them all as he designed and created Gris, an stunning video game that won some international awards, including an Annie for best animation.



(An example of Conrad’s art, all for the game Gris)

The contest had six winners in total

  • Two based on the popular vote (the drawings was numbered and the artists didng signed them, just to make it fair), so an Audience Winner and 2nd Place.
  • Jury Award, both with a Winner and a Runner-up
  • Caith’s Award -yep, that’s me- with two I wanted to save as I feel it was actually amazing.

Results

So these were the results of the art contest, six illustrations turned into Pokemon cards that I designed on live stream, always with the community backing everything and being part of the process. Only 18 of each design was printed (and they are numbered), and 10 copies were sent to the winners (I save the rest for raffles, my collection, etc). All of them have the Winner text in Gold and an sparkly ‘holo reverse’, or something similar to that!


(Nº1/18 of each design slabed by CGS as I just wanted to keep them protected in my collection)






The ‘spark’ effect


Final words

If you are still here, thank you. This was my first art contest, it was an amazing experience and the response was so, so good, that I didn’t want to stop there. So after a few months (Psyduck art contest was held on July 2021) and inspired by the Celebrations set, I started a second one in november 2021. This time, the theme was the 25th anniversary, all the 850+ pokemon eligible and… well, check the next post :slight_smile:

P.S If there is something that it’s not well written or do you have any doubts, feel free to ask!

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The Second Art Contest: 25th Anniversary

So after the success of the first contest, I got A LOT of requests for another one and some artist contacted me and told me they didn’t know about the first one but after seeing the results, they want to participate in the next. I had a great time so I decided to go much, much bigger. And this is where the things got really interesting

Rules & Concept

  1. Celebrations was announced as a 25th anniversary set. I found it pretty amazing, a reprint of the cards that I used to collect? the Pikachu cool stamp? I thought the concept was rad so I adapted it to my own community sensibilities.

  2. I changed the Pikachu stamp for a Psyduck stamp, with the 2 & 5 numbers inside his peak. It had to be simple and recognizable. It took some time but with the help of a member of my community, this was the result.

PsyduckLogo

  1. This time the artists could use anything they wanted. From traditional art to digital, even clay, paper or whatever material they wanted, as long as it was not licenced (so for example, a photograph of a Funko Pop was not eligible, BUT if they created the figure even with an original 3D model with a printer, it was fine)

  2. They could choose between every official pokemon in existence, so more than 850+ options, including forms (as Galar or Kanto variants) or non-official creatures from the games but available in the anime or manga, as the Crystal Onix. The only excluded forms were megaevolutions, dynamax, gigantamax OR shinies, with the exception of the red shining gyarados as this is a story-related creature into the canon of the games.

  3. From the announcement to the final day to send the drawings, they had 12 days. I ended up receiving almost 90 pictures (too bad some of them was not eligible as did not follow the rules and selecting them wouldn’t be fair for the rest of the artists)

Participants
As before, I’m not going to upload every picture here but you can check all of them in this gallery. This is a few selections of some of the drawings. Id love to know your favourites if you have some time to check all of them!












Jury Members

This time, I wanted to do something even better, more international. Some of the people I contacted didn’t reply, unfortunately, but I had 10 amazing jury members. Here is the full list

  • Gabi Rodea & Lilly-Chan: winners of the official Art Academy contest organized by the Pokémon Company. Gabi is working now for Disney, and Lilly it’s still working as an illustrator.
  • Conrad Roset, creator of GRIS, the acclaimed video game from Nomada Studio and Devolver Digital, winner of the Annie and BAFTA for best animation
  • Toni Infante, regular illustrator for Marvel, DC and GTM Magazine
  • Sergio González, director of the Conexión Pokémon podcast and journalist
  • Lyra-Gamer, youtuber, voice actress and illustrator
  • Blessur, Pokémon VCG player and streamer
  • Sekiam, winner of multiple competitive Pokémon tournaments and streamer
  • Dr. Lava’s Lost Pokemon, Pokémon research and documentation expert and regular contributor to Did You Know Gaming?
  • Gomi Kuzu Tarou, artist

(Examples of Toni’s art)

(Gabi & Lilly’s cards)

All of them send me videos or documents with their choices. and it surprised me a lot to see Gomi and Gabi take it really seriously! (Lilly was with me live streaming to pick her choices)

Winners
This time, there was five winners, but six cards produced (18 copies of each, again; and the same distribution as the first contest)

  • Two audience awards, voted by the community (one of them in two versions: regular and alternative full art)
  • One Jury Award
  • One winner from Gabi
  • One winner from Lilly
    (This was a secret for both of them and also the audience! it was a surprise, so they didn’t have extra pressure for selecting one or another!)

BUT the art the community sent was so unreal, amazing and with a lot of variety that I decided to go a little crazy and I selected a mixture of the most voted artworks and my favourites to do a subset of monthly promos, similar to the Final Fantasy TCG ones. These were printed without being numbered (still the copies were limited, due to budget), and there are 13 in total. Yes, I know a year has twelve months lol but for February (the birth of Mewtwo) I decided to do a double promo! (pics a little later!)

Fun fact, all the attacks, numbers, pokedex description and everything is based on the first pokemon card TPCi have translated into spanish. So Charizard has his Base Set stuff, and the same for the rest. This also applies to the promos. This was part of the anniversary dna that I wanted to preserve from the Celebrations concept!

Winners Gallery
From left to right: Grand Prize (both Audience & Jury Winner), 2nd Jury Prize, 2nd Audience Award



Gabi’s Winner and his tweet about it


Lilly’s Winner and her tweet about it


The extra winner card, a full alt-art that I just couldnt resist to print due to the time, dedication and overall amazing work the artist did. I swear, in person it looks even better

Original photo / Card


Comparison to Komiya’s Scream Promo (I recreated all the text, layout and everything to be as similar as possible to the original)

Some behind the scene pictures



Promos Gallery
(Right mouse click for bigger images!)



Final words

Again, thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell this story! and to Scott for inviting me to this amazing forum. Early 2022, with the announcement of the Gen 9 and the Hisuian forms from Pokemon Legends Arceus I created my third and last contest. I will update as soon as I can the next post with all the info about how it went!

But here is a sneak peak!

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Post reserved for an upcoming write up about the third (and last) art contest

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This is unreal, what an incredible thing to have organized. Thank you for such a detailed topic to read. I loved seeing everything you shared, I had never heard of your contest or seen these cards before you posted about it just now.

Really the kind of dream scenario for any collector, right? Running something like this? Truly wonderful.

I can’t wait to see the results of your third contest.

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Wow - I am speechless. Really incredible job running these contests and bringing together artists from different disciplines/mediums. :heart_eyes_cat:

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Love this contest idea! I really wish Pokémon would do more illustration contests. Honestly should be an annual event, there is no downside, they are always a breath of fresh air! And thanks again for sending some of the cards! :pray:

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Art contest, that sounds cool! I like art contests!

Pokemon company should give you a medal or something for doing such a amazing job! For some reason EU is almost always the red headed stepchild when it comes to contests but thankfully there are people like you and the E4 art organizers.

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Wow, it looks like a lot of work and time was put into this. It just shows you how humongous this hobby is today because this is the first time I’ve heard of your contests but they seem to be operating at a large scale.

Love the Ninetails one! Such a unique art style

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Wow that is an awesome idea and it looks like a lot of fun! I’d love to participate if you decide to do another contest!

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This is awesome. The quality for all the artworks is insane. Makes me want to try to learn how to draw and print out my own cards.

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I echo what others have said and think this is simply incredible! :slight_smile: It’s always such a pleasure to see art and other people’s illustrations, but I think it becomes a little more special when it is organized by fans who are just extremely passionate about the hobby and enjoy things like this. Wish there were more! And yeah, the Pokemon Company should increase the art contests. But until then, it’s awesome to see what the community can produce. Great job! You’re doing amazing work!

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Thank you all for the kind words! Held all this contests was surely time-consuming, as I not just to organised the event but also design the cards, choose the attacks, send them to the print facilites… but honestly, Ill do it again every single time. The moment the first drawings starts to appear on the mail and the moment of sharing everything with the community it’s a very unique and special feeling! Also I wanted to make the cards as accurate as possible in terms of size, colors and feeling as the originals so I expend a lot of time with trial-and-error, but in the end it worked, so im pretty happy with it! I will update the post with the third contest info in a few days :smiley:

@smpratte my pleasure! I knew you will enjoy the cards and artworks, regarding if this are official stuff or not. The most important thing it’s the artwork and I agree, Pokémon Company should do this each year, there are a lot of amazing artist that deserve an opportunity…

@pfm fun fact about that Ninetales: it was drawn by an artist called Krometion and the style was inspired by a great japanese artist, Yoshitaka Amano, known mostly for this Final Fantasy artwork (and The Sandman covers for Neil Gaiman). This illustration of Ninetales also has a reference to an Amano previous work, as the blanket that covers the little Vulpix it’s from a gorgeous animation masterpiece called Angel’s Egg (directed by Mamotu Oshii, the dude behind Ghost in the Shell)


tehshi-no-tamago-anime

@stagecoach I never did a lot or promotion outside my community’s reach, I had latin american and spanish artists mainly (as my channel it’s in that language) but who knows, maybe in a future contest (around christmas, centered on the Scarlett & Violet original creatures)… :sweat_smile: The thing is I dont like to make spam or anything that can bother other people (in fact I asked Scott If I should do this threads some weeks ago and I waited enough to try to be part of the community so I wont be like a random dude that just came here to do spam haha)

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This was really thoughtful of you. You’re definitely part of the e4 community!

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You have been a breathe of fresh air for E4! If/when you do another illustration contest feel free to message me and we can figure out how to integrate it here if you want! :smiling_face:

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