These Gorgeous POKÉMON Illustrations Are Based on Evolution  

Artist RJ Palmer designed Pokémon based on our real-life understanding of evolution. The three new creatures are based on an artistic prompt of speculative evolution. These so-called Fakémon are descendants of current Pokémon, adapted over the years into new forms and abilities.

Palmer was as a concept artist on the delightful Detective Pikachu movie. He is also a paleoartist, bringing prehistoric animals to life though illustration. He even published a book of his drawings of realistic Pokémon

The inspiration for each new creature is clear in each design. No matter how much he changed, Palmer kept the eyes and basic color scheme the same. Palmer’s Emperooster is a descendant of Tyrantrum, the way birds descended from dinosaurs. In his viral Twitter thread, the artist also shares the real-life animals he mixed in with his Pokémon inspiration. In this case, the hefty Dong Tao chicken.  

Next up is Cetaceon, a descendant of Vaporeon. On Earth, land mammals evolved into whales, growing larger in their ocean environment. The fox/dolphin-like Vapereron is a perfect candidate to become this future Pokémon orca.

RJ Palmer artwork of a whale Pokemon based on VaporeronRJ Palmer artwork of a whale Pokemon based on Vaporeron
RJ Palmer/Truegreen7

Palmer’s third design is Garbooster, a descendant of Garchomp. He notes many dragon Pokemon already look very plane-like. This is the inevitable result of those adaptations. We saw these amazing illustrations thanks to ComicBook

In the video below from Truegreen7, Palmer shares his design process. Three other artists also created new Pokémon based on the same evolutionary prompt.

There’s no shortage of ways to include Pokémon in your life, including  themed weddings. There’s also a live-action series coming to Netflix. Gotta catch ’em all!

Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth. 

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