I know yesterday's Ditto illustration was unexpected...But today's take on Eevee is on a whole new level of "out of left field"! It's seemingly random, isn't it? However, it was carefully set up in this manner and as always, I'm here to explain how!
Celadon City is the fixed point in all of this. You get an Eevee in Celadon. The (Rocket) Game Corner with slot machines for 10 year old protagonists to engage with is in Celadon. You can buy the evolutionary stones in Celadon. When I was having trouble coming up with an illustration for Eevee (for similar reasons as Ditto) I kept thinking about ways to introduce the next three creatures of the Dex as part of the work. Eevee is an important Pokemon to highlight because he is the penultimate creature who represents evolution in its basic sense: adaptation.
Eevee evolves by several methods but each method results in a new form that is the pinnacle of adapation to the exposure of elements in the environment. How it will look and the extent of its abilities all make each creature so unique. Thus, when we think of Eevee, we generally think of what kind of evolved form we want from it. My take on Eevee let's me put him in the spotlight, but also foreshadows the very big decision we had to make those years ago when we got one.
This illustration is straightforward in terms of visuals, but conceptually, it probably looks to like it doesn't care to follow any sort of reasoning as to why its presented as such. As I touched upon earlier, I found that creating a sort of slot machine game was a great way to harken many of our person experiences in getting Eevee in Celadon, specifically connecting the facets seen here in one shot. Regardless of making and understanding the connection, visually, I think it has quite a punch.
This is a work that follows suit of illustrations like Hitmonchan, where I try and involve more of the world into the work, and I am so pleased with this result. I've been wracking my brain for weeks trying to come up with Eevee, and I would never have imagined it would become this. The end result is one of my strongest works visually, and paying attention to all the details was key. One of my favorite details is just the shadows of the slots to give it depth - something simple but helps in a major way. I referenced a number of slot machines to get the look and feel I liked here.
The rest of the assets were born over time. The Eevee at the top was a draft I made of it early on. I incorporated as part of the design for the header to involve the creature more in its own illustration, and also helps with "selling" the slot machine's design. I also had a blast creating the evolutionary stones. At first, they were going to be circular designs with their symbols center. I soon elongated them to the style seen in the Origins animation, but then ended up coming up with my own take on them, giving them a shape to the element they represented.
The rest of the symbols were the usual suspects and nods to the game - the cherry, the pokeball, the 7, and I added "BAR" since it's a staple to these kinds of things.
And that I think covers this work. I started the draft last night and worked on this throughout the day, hoping to finish in time and continue the streak and fortunately, it's still alive. I really enjoyed working on this piece and am most pleased with this end result. I'm sort of curious and nervous to see how you guys will react to it, but I don't think I'll mind if it doesn't make sense with you all. I think because, most importantly, it makes me feel like I accomplished my goal of getting to present Eevee in a fun way with a nod to its extremely unique disposition and future.
Thanks for reading and checking out the work tonight, as always! Have a nice evening and an even better weekend - see you Monday!
P.S. I'm curious - What did you think I was going to do with Eevee?
+ Pokemon One a Day is a series illustrated and curated by Bonny John in an effort to represent the the first generation of characters from the world wide phenomenon that is known as Pokemon. The idea is simple - to draw and share one new Pokemon a day (weekends off!) until every Pokemon from the set is completed. This project is an exploration of fine art styles for learning and leisurely purposes.