Hello, and welcome to my new art blog.
Oripoke, or オリポケ is the Japanese word for Fakemon — it’s short for “Original Pokemon”. Since Pokemon is itself short for “Pocket Monster”, it’s a sort of recursive acronym. I’ve adopted it as a handle because it’s concise, memorable and describes what I do best. However, you may also know me as Involuntary Twitch, or even Zephyr+ (from my old days on the PokeCommunity). Feel free to call me either Oripoke or Twitch — either one is fine with me.
First, a little about me: I got started doing pixel art around 8~9 years ago, when I was just discovering internet forums. I started out doing edits and “splices” but soon moved on to drawing pixel art from scratch. My tools of the trade are: Microsoft Paint, GraphicsGale, and Paint.net. I’m of the firm belief that you don’t need anything else, or any sort of paid program, in order to create pixel art. You can find a vast majority of my artwork on my DeviantART gallery, and you can see it in action if you play my game, Pokemon Uranium.
I will freely admit that I am not the best in the world at what I do. There are better fakemon designers, better pixel artists, and any number of talented and prolific people who do amazing work which puts mine to shame. I’ll name some of my influences, and you are welcome to view their work and draw inspiration from them as I do. What I hope to do with this blog is to shed some light on the process at work behind my design, and hopefully inspire and provoke some thought.
Some of my biggest artistic inspirations include:
There are many, many more, I’ve just listed a few. 🙂
It’s kind of strange, I know, putting this much value in something as seemingly unimportant as unofficial Pokemon. After all, there is exactly zero chance of ever having my designs immortalized in the official games, despite the dreams of my 9-year-old self who planned to “design a game and send it in to GameFreak so that they could make it”. However, I didn’t let that get in the way of my childhood dream of making my own Pokemon game. I’d seen Rom Hacks like Pokemon Quartz, which, despite the so-bad-it’s-good quality, I actually hold in high esteem because it’s one of the few 100% completed fan-made games with entirely original Pokemon that exists to this day.
Let me put it this way: Pokemon is one of the most successful video game franchises in the world. It has a universal appeal, to both children and adults, due to, I think, its unique idea of “catch ’em all”. My favorite aspect of the Pokemon games is completing the Pokedex, a project that is far from easy now that there are 718+ Pokemon out there at the time of writing. I also love the way that every adventure is unique, and each journey is your own personal narrative. It may be linear, and have a somewhat predictable plot, but no two Pokemon journeys are exactly alike. This personal story is what gives it such a wide appeal, and what compelled me to make a Pokemon game of my own.
I make fake Pokemon because I love Pokemon. I think there is infinite creative potential, and so many sources of inspiration for new creatures, but we only get a new generation of Pokemon every 5 years or so. I make fake Pokemon because I love to create, and Pokemon provides a template of sorts, where you can choose types, abilities, and moves that already exist. I also do design other kinds of creatures, including Digimon and original species, but I always return to Pokemon in the end. There’s no place like home, after all.
This post is risking getting a little long so I think I’ll end it here for today. In the future I plan to post about my design process, my techniques, tips and tricks when making pixel art, more information about Pokemon Uranium, what I think makes a strong or weak design, and much, much more. I hope you’ll get something out of this blog, whether it’s inspiration to make your own Fakemon or a better appreciation for the art of creature design. I invite feedback, comments, and criticism if you have anything to say. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you!