Pokemon appeared on telly when I was about 10 and the cards were banned from my school due the frenzy they stirred to collect them all. Now they are back, and how.
I think they are successful because all those cute little creatures taps into that curiosity of what lives in the wilderness, but unlike bird watching or looking at bugs, pokemon is branded cool. It’s cool in part because the illustrations are crisp, bright and memorable.
Very different from the gentle, detailed illustrations in my bird books , but this style has also influenced me. Not just Pokemon but various animations from Cartoon saloon “The secret of Kells” to My little Pony. Not to mention Ghibli and anime.
The more I draw animals the more I see abstract shapes and subtle colours in things. They are a guide to draw them and also clues to how they live.
“It’s not what a horse looks like, but it’s what a horse is.” Those words have echoed in my brain ever since I read them in a Terry Pratchett book. It’s how a wise witch describes a chalk horse. It gets me thinking how shapes can make us see an animal?
Right now I’m furiously painting all sorts of crazy creatures (will update you on this soon I promise!) but when I have 10 minutes I whipped up some rough pokemon.
I learnt to draw through copying and I can still learn a lot from the work of others.
The colours really are mesmerising. I avoided doing carbon copies, and tried blending in my own style. I also experimented with outlining in a colour that wasn’t black for a change. I like it but I definitely need a new brush! Or at least stop being so messy ( I am so messy!)