UPDATE 1/5/10 That's it! It's midnight (well, okay, a little later) over here, so the contest is now closed for entries! I just need a few days to get some other stuff out of the way first and then I should be able to start the judging. I'm shooting for having the results up by this weekend, so hang tight!
UPDATE 1/4/10: Less than a day left to get your entries in if you haven't already! Chop-chop!
I've finally decided what I want to do to celebrate my
Overused to Original: the Fake Pokémon Concept Extreme Makeover Contest!
...hah, that's a mouthful. Other acceptable titles, should that be too taxing on your fingers, are "Overused to Out There" and "Overused to OMGWTFBBQ BEST IDEA EVAR"
So! You're a fakemon artist. You like Pokémon and think they're really cool and doesn't afraid of anything. But even as you look at the 493 little buggers that already exist you can't help but feel as though Game Freak has passed over some obvious/excellent choices, or that they've taken an interesting idea and totally butchered it. It occurs to you that you could make a Pokémon based on that missing concept, or one that's the same as an official concept but "better". You slave over it for hours, maybe even days or weeks, and you finally post your new fakemon on dA, sure that you've got yourself a spectacularly cool and original idea... only to find that fifty-four other fakemon artists have submitted something incredibly similar. Crap.
Has this ever happened to you? As an artist you strive to be new and original, but great minds think alike all too often and at least a dozen others will invariably end up with your "original" idea. This isn't stealing and there's nothing wrong with it--nobody owns the copyright to "bears" or "ants", and you're not intentionally trying to end up with something that's similar to someone else's work--but don't you just get sick of it after a while? Alternatively, maybe it hasn't happened to you all that often but you still see the same concepts over and over again on other people's pages and wish that somebody, anybody would just dare to branch out and do something different with these ideas.
There are two ways around this dilemma. You could create a fakemon based on something no one's ever used before (or very, very few people, anyway)--velvet worms, shrikes, kanchils, vaquitas, silverswords--and that is, as always, crazy awesome. And I just gave myself some serious fakemon ideabunnies, lol. But you shouldn't necessarily be so quick to dismiss those more common critters, those cats, wolves, koalas and pumpkin-things. Yes, they're totally overused, and in more than just fakemon designs, but that doesn't mean that they can't be turned into amazing and fun fakemon with a bit of tweaking. And that's what I want you to do. I want you to take those overused, overdone and overrated fakemon ideas and spruce them up by adding something new. Buckle up and get ready, my childrens, because we are going to give those boring old dirt-common fakemon an extreme makeover.
---------RULES (long rules are long but READ THEM)---------
1. Your entry must be uploaded to deviantART and must comply with the deviantART terms and conditions as well as common sense and etiquette (no stealing, etc.). For the sake of allowing as many viewers as possible to enjoy the contest entries, it is also requested that you not submit anything that should be blocked by any sort of mature content filter.
2. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take an incredibly common, overused fakemon idea and put an amazing, original spin on it, add something new to the concept that really spices it up and makes it fun instead of "blah, another bog-standard fire lion". This idea can be related to a canon Pokémon (such as a baby Absol or Pinsir evolution) or be completely unrelated. Take, for example, this contest's mascot, Josuche. Josuche is based on a peacock. Everyone and their dog has created, or at least briefly thought about creating, a peacock fakemon, the vast majority of which are Grass- or Psychic-types. But with Josuche I did something different--instead of just some pretty bird, I took the peacock idea and combined it with Mu Puche, or Korean fan fighting. Now I have a Fighting/Flying-type with madd martial artz skillz and stiff, foldable feathers that it can use to slash, stab, strike or even fan stored toxins at its foes. Or the Lamlie line I uploaded a little while ago--not just wolves, but "wolves in sheep's clothing" that disguise themselves as Mareep or Flaaffy. My Zangoose and Seviper evolutions, Zanthera and Seviron, are not just a bigger mongoose/bigger snake but a tiger and a dragon. And I can provide other examples made by other artists if you like. A nice change of pace from the usual fare, no? Now you go do the same thing with something else that's been overused and abused. See the section after the rules for a list of ideas to get you started.
3. BUT! No more than 3 entries are to be related to any one canon Pokémon. If Contestant A enters a Scyther evolution, Contestant B enters a Scyther prevo and Contestant C enters another Scyther evo, then you, Contestant D, are out of luck--no more Scyther-family Pokémon will be accepted. I refuse to be overrun by twenty freaking Lapras evolutions, no matter how creative each one may be. This is first-come, first served, so if you're dying to create a baby for a certain Pokémon then I suggest you git 'r done quick and have a back-up idea just in case. OR just dodge the problem altogether and create something that isn't related to a canonmon at all. ;D ALSO: NO BABY KANGASKHAN. THE END.
4. The entry must contain only ONE Pokémon. This Pokémon can fall into any category you like (starter, legendary, gimmick, fossil, etc.) and be of any existing type, but it CANNOT be of a fan-made type, have more than two types or otherwise break the rules for a logical, canon Pokémon. Just make sure it's at least somewhat believeable, okay? You can, however, make up an ability or new method of evolution if you think your Pokémon requires it.
5. The entry MUST be a NEW deviation. You can reuse an old idea of yours if you think it fits, so that really cool Farfetch'd evolution you invented three years ago is fair game, but the image itself must have been created specifically for this contest.
6. Any visual medium is acceptable. Colored pencils, plushies, sprites, whatever. Just make sure that the image you submit to dA is as detailed and high-quality as possible, as I want to see all of the hard work that you've put into your concept. Don't sell yourself short by entering something blurry or vague!
7. On the subject of detail, any additional information you can provide can only help your chances. Don't just give me a name and a picture--elaborate! How did you come up with your awesome idea? Which attacks does it learn? What is its lifestyle like? If your Pokémon has any other evolutions/pre-evolutions/relatives, tell me a bit about them too (or even post pictures if you like). This isn't technically required, but I like to see detailed fakemon and fakemon artists that really get into their creations. This is your chance to take something blah and make it fun fun fun, so have fun with it!
8. There is no limit to the number of entrants and anyone is free to enter (SO DO NOT POST A COMMENT ASKING "Can I enter?" YES YOU CAN, JUST ENTER ALREADY). Each entrant is only allowed one entry, but you can edit it or even submit a new one to replace it as many times as you like up until the deadline. Please inform me of any major changes you may make to your entry.
9. All entries should be submitted to me via NOTE, as that is the most likely way for me to see them. I may not notice if you submit via a journal or userpage comment or anything like that.
10. The deadline is January 5th, 2010. Any entries submitted after that will not be accepted. This deadline is currently set in stone--you've got over a month to do this, so I see no need for extensions. If someone can give me an exceptionally amazing reason to extend the deadline then I might, but I don't foresee that happening and don't want to drag this on any longer than necessary.
Right. Now I promised you a little list of ideas to use as a jumping-off point, so here's a quick sampling of concepts/canonmon I would consider overused enough to qualify. There are definitely more out there, but if you can't think of anything then this should help.
Acceptable concepts include, but are not limited to:
Cats (general/domestic), Dogs (general/domestic), Dolphins, Wolves, Foxes, Lions (esp. Fire-type), Tigers, Tyrannosaurs, Raptors (the dinosaur kind/dromaeosaurs), Stegosaurs, Ceratopsians, Ants, Peacocks, Bears (esp. Fire-type), Rabbits, Bees, Robins, Bluejays, Pandas, Koalas, Pterosaurs, Pumpkins, Donkeys, Saber-toothed Cats, Gryphons, Werewolves, European Dragons, Chinese/Japanese Dragons
Something like an antechinus, on the other hand, would not be acceptable--I have never seen an antechinus fakemon before (moar ideabunnies! :3) and most people probably don't even know what they are, so clearly that is not an overused idea.
Acceptable existing Pokémon include, but are not limited to:
Lapras, Plusle/Minun, Solrock/Lunatone (esp. pre-evolutions), Luvdisc (esp. evolutions), Scyther/Scizor, Pinsir, Heracross, Absol, Sneasel/Weavile, Houndour/Houndoom, Castform, Smeargle, Meowth/Persian, Girafarig, Farfetch'd, (esp. evolutions), Eevee
Something like a Blaziken evolution, on the other hand, would not be acceptable. It could be a very cool fakemon if handled properly, but not many people bother with it as it breaks the canon three-stage evolution line limit. Therefore, it is not an overused idea.
IMPORTANT! If you are not certain that your idea would qualify as something "overused", please ask me before submitting your picture. I don't want to see anyone pouring their heart and soul into that antechinus fakemon only for me to have to tell them that it's too outright original for this contest. Wow, I bet that's something you never thought you'd hear.
I will be judging entries based primarily on their ability to follow the rules of the contest and their originality (so no, you're not going to win much if you submit Yet Another Generic Fire Bear and don't do anything to make it stand out). It's your creativity and ability to think outside the box I'm concerned with, not your artistic skill, so that's more of an afterthought. Skill does still count to an extent, though, so show me your best work!
Alas and alack, I am quite broke and so cannot afford to buy anyone a dA subscription or a DS game or anything like that. In order to do my best to inspire your creativity and make entering this worthwhile, though, I am offering:
1st Place: Five pieces of artwork by yours truly, done-up all fancy-like if you so desire. Phoenixmori-style fakemon, my own personal supersketchyawesome style (see here, here and here), or maybe just pencil sketches if that's all you want. Pokémon or animal subject matter is preferred, but if you're dying for a human or something we can work that out. You can also receive two lovely shiny Pokémon from this list for your Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold or SoulSilver game, if you see some that interest you and have access to Wi-Fi and all that. You will also get one sketch from blazheirio889. Oh, and my undying adoration for your ability to take overused fakemons and make them AWESOME.
2nd Place: Three pieces of artwork by yours truly, as detailed above, and one shiny Pokémon, also as detailed above. You will also get one sketch from blazheirio889. And the undying adoration thing.
3rd Place: One piece of artwork as detailed above, one sketch from blazheirio889 and undying adoration.
Honorable Mention: One pencil sketch by yours truly, one sketch from blazheirio889 and, of course, the undying adoration.
That's about all I can give. If anyone else is feeling generous and would like to donate prizes, though, that would be amazing.
I'll add 'em in here as they note me. If you have submitted your entry via note and you're not on the list after 48 hours, kick me and I'll add it or ask you to send it again if I've misplaced it. If you have submitted your entry via some method other than notes... then note me, you dork, it's in the rules.
...damn, that was long. But yes, that's it! If you have any questions, go ahead and ask them in the comments or a note or whatever. So start reimagining and reinventing your favorite tired old ideas, get them to me by January 5th, good luck, and have fun!