First off, the lucky random winners of the giveaway:
They get to choose their prizes based on who got picked first. I'll be sending out mails to all giveaway winners letting you know how to claim your prizes!
Next... art contest!!
ANYONE who entered the art contest gets a prize just for entering! I've created a nifty little Hoenn-starter themed bookmark and will mail copies out to any art contest entrant who wants them. If you do want a bookmark (or two), just send me a note with your address (real name not needed) and I will mail it to you! THIS IS FOR ART CONTEST ENTRANTS ONLY.
So now... the art contest winners. You can see all the dA-submitted entries here. There were so many amazing entries!! Thank you to every single person who entered.
I judged this contest alongside my boyfriend Sinn and my dear sister Phix, both Pokemon fans, and it still took us ages to figure out who to choose. Not only was there technical skill to consider, but also an extremely specific theme: entrants were asked to submit something that a Hoenn resident or company might make to show off the unique things that Hoenn has to offer to a prospective tourist. We ended up with several gorgeous, amazing entries that just... didn't quite fit the theme, and loads of ridiculously creative ideas that could have been executed better. Plus, there were so many entries in this contest that had beautiful, beautiful illustrations but fell flat in the typography/graphic design department, making it incredibly hard to estimate how 'good' they were overall. But in the end, we're pretty happy with who we've chosen and we hope you enjoy the work of these talented artists who have given us a look into the amazing world of Hoenn!
#1 Winner: whitecrestwaves
Click through!! Full disclosure: I work professionally as a web developer. So when I saw Wavy's entry, my impartiality immediately flew out the window, never to be seen again. (This entry is part of the reason I enlisted other, non-web-biased people to help judge.) But even to non-web-devs, it's obvious that this entry is incredible. Every single beautifully-composed, beautifully-drawn image on this 'web page' could have been submitted as its own entry, and Wavy instead chose to draw TWELVE FULL-COLOR SCENES along with tons of sprites and other images and compose them into an engaging, convincing mockup of what a Hoenn travel agency might look like. I adore all the little details, like the dropdown to select the number of Pokemon coming on the trip, and the 'sponsored by Devon' logo at the bottom. Wavy, you get first pick of any of the contest prizes! You deserve it!
#2 Winner: TheMushroomancer
When I first saw this picture, I thought, "Wait, that's the horribly huge confusing city in Kalos, not Hoenn!" But then I saw the TV advertisement and immediately fell in love. This piece absolutely exemplifies what I had in mind when making this contest. Lumiose has actual TV screens just like this, and I can perfectly imagine this TV ad actually playing there, enticing all the jaded, tired city workers out to a relaxing vacation on the beach. The ad itself has a huge array of Hoenn Pokemon showcased inside it without looking too busy or disorganized. The idea is creative and in-character, the composition and execution are stellar, and I love the silly little Mudkip. Congrats, Krystal!
#3 Winner: finiens
This is a deceptively simple entry with a ton of brilliance behind it! There were a few entrants who made really gorgeous mockup magazine covers, and some of them I'd argue were better typography-wise. However, Finiens was the only person to take the extra step and edit her entry onto an actual magazine instead of just leaving it as a flat digital image. In addition, just look at the cover. It's incredibly well-drawn and it shows off so many of Fortree City's unique Pokemon! (I laughed so hard at the expression of the Masquerain getting caught by the Kecleon.) Finiens's entry is a fantastic example of incredible artistic skill used to show a plausible real-life example of Hoenn tourist attractions. Awesome job, Finiens!
Most Creative: negrek
Click here for the actual web page! In my contest description, I wrote that all visual artistic mediums were allowed, including sculpture, typography, and web design. I didn't think anyone would actually take me up on the last one, but Negrek proved me wrong! Negrek's entry is a fully-functional, interactive web page created by Team Magma in order to try to sell their 'increasing land mass' campaign to the public. Even though it uses sprites and graphs instead of hand-drawn illustrations, it's still a stunning example of great web and graphic design, which is absolutely an extremely difficult-to-master artistic skill. Negrek's entry was not only beautifully put together, but the most creatively detailed and well-researched entry of all of them. Go to the website and click around, and you'll immediately see why we picked it. It almost makes me want to support Team Magma! Anyway, Negrek, congrats--you've won the Most Creative award!
Most Funny: fuzzy-ferrets
Hands-down. I laughed for a good half-a-minute straight when Hunter sent in this entry. It's an incredibly simple concept, but I love how it plays off modern image sharing culture. Nowadays, simple snapchats and funny photos are one of the most effective ways to share things and raise awareness. Just look at all the otherwise-obscure people and places who end up getting on TV shows and becoming world-famous because their goofy photo or video went 'viral'! That concept fits perfectly with the theme of this contest. Plus, the goofiness fits right in with the 'impromptu' feel of the 'picture'. I think it's a hilarious and convincing glimpse into what it might look like if someone snuck their phone into Lavaridge's hot springs in order to take duckface selfies. Great job, Hunter!
Runner-ups, in no particular order:
Look at this AMAZING artwork! My jaw dropped when Alex sent this in. Each separate image is a gorgeous example of something that they liked or found interesting about Hoenn. In order: 1. Acro bike, 2. Fortree city, 3. Route 113 (volcanic ash), 4. Dive, 5. The legendary battle, and last, the family of the main character. It was so, so hard not to make this one of the top three.
A ridiculously creative imagining of 'Hoenn-world'. There are dozens of tiny details to see if you study it closely, and I adore the yin-yang symbolism representing the land and the water that plays such a huge role in Hoenn's story.
A photo of Raven's team relaxing at the Lavaridge hot springs. What really got me here were the sheer number of hilarious, creative, and well-thought-out details that went into the entry, as well as the beautiful artistic skill!
An absolutely gorgeous snapshot of the famous Slateport market. Every time I look at it, I keep seeing more details, from the Pokeballs to the TMs to the way Ayelk captured the market perfectly, right down to the color and shape of the awnings of the shop booths. Amazing!
Can anyone say CREATIVE? From the image description: "I designed a stamp that celebrates the millennium festival, one of the many festivals in Hoenn. So basically the crystal part of that stamp is heat-sensitive, and when rubbed (friction), one of the two jirachi images will show up. Normally the jirachi will be asleep, but one in every 1000 stamps issued will be awake (jirachi wakes every 1000 years). If you find a stamp on which jirachi is awake, you can win a 10 day tour of Hoenn with return tickets." I never would have imagined someone would make a stamp design for this contest, and I never would have imagined they'd make such a creative idea to go along with it! (Stamp contest within an art contest... contest-ception)
You have to click through and see this to appreciate the full effect. It's a letter full of snapshots of various parts of Hoenn! It's charming, funny, and really comprehensive! I love the 'fighter jets' (wink!) and the R/S/E easter eggs like the Seashore House owner who gives you free soda in the games.
Everything about this entry is fantastic! There's a gorgeously-drawn postcard photo, a letter to mom with addresses and everything, and even some Energy Root! A+ job on taking aspects of the R/S/E games and making them into a wonderful and cohesive example of someone writing home from their Hoenn trip.
It may be in sepia tones, but this is still one of the most visually stunning entries in the whole contest. The attention to detail, right down to the creases on the 'photo', just turns my mind inside out. It can be really easy to overlook the small things, like adding certain paper textures, but Bluepenciladventures gets it 100% right and has unbelievable artistic skill to boot.
Kineil submitted several extremely creative sign-like entries but the sheer plausibility (combined with the sheer adorable of the Wingull) made this one stand out. It's an incredibly original and creative interpretation of the contest's theme. Be sure to click through and read the entry's description!
I've worked with sculpey before and let me tell you, DynoYoshi is a zen master for having the patience to sculpt and place all these leaves. I was ridiculously excited when I saw this sucker-punch of Secret Base nostalgia (who remembers those super-fun note panels??) but at the same time, I was hesitant because it didn't seem to quite fit the theme of 'promoting Hoenn'. But then I thought, this is something someone might make, and it does show off the unique aspects of Hoenn... not exactly what I had in mind, but I think it's well-deserving of a runner-up slot!
My fingers are sore from all this typing, but I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who participated in this contest and giveaway. It was agonizing to have to pick winners and I wish I could have given out grand prizes to every single entrant. Ever since I've been little, the Pokemon community has been an amazing place where people band together and share a great experience. I've gotten so much from all of you, and I wanted to be able to give even a little bit back. Thank you to everyone who commented, drew pictures, shared, spread the word, or just liked or favorited! This has been an amazing month and an amazing experience.