Here's what happens when an artist who knows nothing about Pokemon attempts to draw them
Kim RenfroSep 2, 2016, 12.17 AM
Toho/The Pokemon Movie
Despite the unbridled success of Pokémon Go, it is indeed still possible to find adult humans who have never seen a Pokémon character in their life. Enter Sam (known on Reddit as "netwoodle"): An artist who decided to offer up his talents to fans of Pokémon, despite knowing nothing about the game.
He submitted a post to /r/ICanDrawThat (a community created for artists who want to doodle the ideas of other Redditors) that said: "Give me a name and I'll doodle your Pokémon. It can be an actual Pokémon or one that exists only in your imagination. Honestly, I won't know the difference."
The inspiration for his offer came from Sam's penchant for doodling "nonsense words."
Although I really enjoy doodling, I'm not one of those people that can draw absolutely anything," Sam tells INSIDER. "As long as I keep away from trying to draw something that has ever existed, I do OK.
Sam was never into Pokémon, but knew enough to realize the character names are "more or less nonsense words."
The names of many Pokémon closely resemble regular English words, which made Sam's interpretation of them often hilarious. He was thinking "rye bread" for this take on Darkrai:
And here's his version of Dragonite, which Sam says might be his favorite of the bunch. "The 10-year-old boy in me finds a tail made out of dynamite funny," he explains.
Some of the Pokémon names stumped Sam, like Snorlax and Vulpix. "For Snorlax I finally settled on an elephant trunk attached to an Electrolux [vacuum]," Sam says.
His shark-like version of Vulpix looks nothing like the cuddly Pokémon. But Sam thinks "the name sounds like something that swallows its food whole and then chews."
In some cases (like for Luiga), I just let my mind wander and let my hand lead," Sam explains. "I'm not sure what Luiga is, but it might be inspired by Mario Brothers (kind of looks like Yoshi?).
Here's his take on Gloom, a grass Pokémon:
Jynx was probably a tough one, given the creature's vague name.
Sam figured Weedle was similar to a weed with needles instead of leaves.
Sam started looking up the Pokemon after he completed each doodle.
"Originally I was interested in seeing if they were real or not (the offer was for real or 'imaginary' Pokémon names)," Sam says.
But as he began drawing more of the creatures (all of which were "real" Pokemon), the curiosity was more about how close his concept matched the official version.
I recently drew Togepi and was convinced that my version would be EXACTLY like the original," Sam says. "How could it not be a human toed toad who is also an Italian chef?
We asked Sam if he was tempted to download Pokémon Go after spending so much time with the characters.
I did download and try Pokémon Go for a little while," he says. "I don't think I'm any more likely to play now, but not because it isn't a brilliant and immersive game.
For Sam, it's all about unplugging from screens. "I just really enjoy walks with my dog and girlfriend, and I prefer to live in that moment rather than look at my cell phone," he says.
I do want to keep drawing Pokémon, though," Sam says. "I printed out a list from Wikipedia after the offer closed. I only have 702 more to draw before my collection is complete!