Fakemon Designs: Alebri

alebri

Name: Alebri
Classification: The Dream Creature Pokemon
Type: Dark (/ Flying, Bug, Water)
Ability: Insomnia
Moves: Hypnosis, Shadow Sneak, Feint Attack, Dream Eater
Evolution: Alebri -(Alebrijite)-> Mega Alebri
Dex:
Its body is made of a pliable, wood-like substance. They come in many diverse forms, and are said to be able to travel through the world of dreams.

Hola, everybody, and saludos from Oaxaca, Mexico! It’s been about two months since I’ve posted here, and I feel a little guilty, since I did design this fakemon all the way back in January… but then, extenuating circumstances made me hold off on posting it until now. (Actually, not all that extenuating; I lost my mouse, so I couldn’t draw this guy’s Mega Evolution until I found it again. Then I found it. Yay.)

Being that I’ve spent the past 2 months of my life surrounded by beautiful Oaxacan art and vivacious culture, it’s only fitting that I create a tribute to my favorite style of art, in the way I know best: by making it into a fakemon. It also gives me an opportunity to post some of the photos I’ve been taking.

The Design

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Alebri is based rather transparently on Alebrijes, a style of Mexican folk art involving brightly-colored sculptures of animals and other fantastical creatures. Most often made of carved wood or paper mache, they range from pocket-sized knickknacks that are sold on the street to tremendous statues over 8 feet tall. They come in all shapes, including what seems like every conceivable animal, real or imaginary. Some popular types include lizards, birds, cats, porcupines, winged horses, dragons, and chupacabras.

IMG_0233

Alebrijes in the Pochote market in Oaxaca, feat. cats, lizards, rabbits, skeletons & more!

They also have a pretty cool origin story behind them. Here it is, excerpted from a paper I wrote:

Pedro Linares Lopez was an artist and sculptor born in Mexico City, who specialized in paper mache. One day, he fell gravely ill, and his family was unable to afford medicine or a doctor. As he lay feverish on his deathbed, he had a strange dream which would change his life: he saw himself in a bizarre, beautiful landscape, inhabited by strange and terrible creatures that looked like nothing on this planet: lions with eagle heads, roosters with bull horns, donkeys with wings, and all kinds of composite animals not found on earth. And every one of them was shouting: “Alebrijes! Alebrijes! Alebrijes!” He ran, and awoke from the dream finding his illness miraculously cured. He knew then that he had to give form to the strange beasts he saw in his dreams, so immediately he sculpted the first Alebrije out of paper mache.

Source: http://www.alebrijes.com.mx/

Wait a minute, thought my videogame-addled brain, colorful creatures with fantastical powers that aren’t of this world… that’s just like Pokémon! So of course, following this revelation, I knew I had to catch ’em all.

IMG_0238 IMG_0312

By “catching them all,” I of course meant making a fakemon based on Alebrijes. One of my biggest challenges right from the start was figuring out what animals to base them on, since Alebrijes come in literally every color and shape imaginable. I decided I wanted to make a Pokemon with different formes, ones that are fixed when it is encountered and cannot be changed, like Flabébé and its evolutions. Of course, the difference between Alebri’s formes goes far beyond color; for this reason, I made them different types as well.

alebri-loboalebri-bicho alebri-colibri alebri-lagarto

In order: Lobo [dark], Bicho [dark/bug], Colibri [dark/flying], Lagarto [dark/water]

I selected 4 different species from across the animal kingdom to demonstrate the diversity present in the designs. I based the markings they all share (the flower and vine motifs) on an Alebrije that I personally own (also the inspiration behind the design of the “Lobo” forme). For the colors, I chose red, white, and green since they are the colors of the Mexican flag, plus black (since they all share a dark-type, and I have a personal preference for black-colored Alebrijes).

¡Viva México!

But I had to do something in order to indicate they are one species of Pokemon, and not four similar-but-unrelated creatures. I also wanted to create a forme that embodies the chimerical, fantastical aspects of Alebrijes. That’s why I designed a Mega Evolution, shared between all 4 formes:

alebri mega

Mega Alebri
Dark/Dragon 
type
Ability: Bad Dreams

I borrowed Darkrai’s ability for it, since it went well with its sleep-based moveset and as an homage to the mythical origins of Alebrijes. Visually, this is based on one particular carving of a dragon I saw in the village of Arrazola, but also borrows elements from other mythical Alebrijes, like the spines of a chupacabra and the curled tail of a lizard.

So there you have it! My love for gimmicky fakemon based on my random obsessions continues. It really is true what they say… write what you love!

Until next time,

~ Oripoke

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