Odds are if you're reading this, Pokemon has been a huge part of your life for a long time. Perhaps for as much as 25 years of it as last year, Pokemon celebrated its 25th anniversary. The Pokemon Company marked the occasion in a number of ways, including new games and even a collaboration with Oreo. Its trading card division was a big part of the celebrations too, and though the TCG has never dropped in popularity too much, it has had a brighter spotlight than usual shone on it as of late.
So much so that last year, it was revealed Pokemon would be bringing back its TCG illustration contest. Left by the wayside since 2015, the contest gives Pokemon fans the chance to create their very own Pokemon card. The contest was open to artists in the US and Japan between October 2021 and the end of January 2022. Now The Pokemon Company has revealed a shortlist of what it believes to be the very best 300 entries.
There were some parameters artists needed to consider before submitting their entries. They only had eight Pokemon to choose from. Bulbasaur, Charizard, Arcanine, Cramorant, Pikachu, Galarian Rapidash, Scizor, and Greninja. They also needed to try and depict one of those Pokemon in its daily life. Artists were allowed to submit up to three entries, picking the same Pokemon all three times or trying their hand at a few different ones from the list of eight.
The Pokemon Company received almost 11,000 entries, and has managed to whittle them down to just 300, all of which you can check out via the official gallery. They included Arcanine curled up with an Oddish, Galarian Rapidash drinking from a crystal clear pool of water, and two Bulbasaur using their vines to form a heart around the sunset. The Pokemon Company now needs to narrow the field down even further, and the three deemed to be the best will be turned into real-life Pokemon cards.
The artist behind the winning design will also receive $5,000 as well as seeing their Pokemon picture immortalized as a Pokemon card. The two runner-ups, one from the US and one from Japan, will also have their art turned into Pokemon cards and receive $3,000 each. Two more runner-ups will get $1,000 each, and 15 others selected by the judges will get a $500 prize. The winners will be announced in June.
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