In recent weeks I’ve fallen victim to the unavoidable pull of Pokémon Go. I know, I know. Everyone’s playing, and it’s really creepy when random strangers point their phone cameras at you. But childhood dreams really do come true, and now I can now try my hand at catching these mystical creatures IRL. It would only be natural that somehow it would permeate my sketchbook. While AR makes the gameplay a little more realistic compared to the experience in a Gameboy Color or a 3DS, I still wonder what these creatures would look like if they were adapted to our world. Would they resemble certain already existing animals? I decided to mess around with two of the Pokémon already in my possession, and thought about the possibilities for their existence in our world. In the end, they look like illustrations for children’s books. Oh well.
Since Growlithe eventually evolves into the larger and more powerful arcanine, I decided to model him from an akita puppy. I know that in later versions the Pokédex mentions the presence of Arcanines in China, so initially I thought about basing Growlithe off a chow puppy. As cute as chow chows are, I felt that the akita’s lighter build made more sense for a Pokémon that would eventually evolve to run at high speeds; although both the akita and chow chow were bred to be working dogs. I’m sure there are breeds more suited for running like greyhounds or dalmatians, but I think I was going for more of an interpretation.
Pigeot seemed a little more straightforward, as far as inspiration goes. In the Pokémon universe, they hunt by skimming the surface of a body of water. The bird of prey that immediately came to mind was the osprey, which does something similar, by dipping its feet into the water when hunting its prey. It’s a pretty loose interpretation.