Pokemon TCG Announces Illustration Contest, Open to US Fans for First Time

A new illustration contest is coming to the Pokemon Trading Card Game, with the contest accommodating entries from the United States for the very first time. In 2019, Creatures Inc., the maker of the Pokemon Trading Card Game, launched its first Pokemon Card Game Illustration Grand Prix, with entrants submitting art with the aim of it getting put on a Pokemon card. The Illustration Grand Prix is returning once again, but this time entries are open to residents of both Japan and the United States. This year's contest will be centered around the theme of drawing a moment in a Pokemon's daily life. Entrants can choose one of eight Pokemon as the focus of their piece: Bulbasaur, Charizard, Pikachu, Arcanine, Galarian Rapidash, Scizor, Greninja, and Cramorant.

A grand prize winner will receive $5,000 and their artwork will be featured on a promotional Pokemon card. Two runner-ups, one from Japan and one from the United States, will receive $3,000 and their work will also be featured on promotional cards. Two second runner-ups will receive cash prizes of $1,000 and 15 Judge's Prizes will also be awarded with a cash prize of $500.

Entrants should prepare to draw both a Pokemon and the background. While the entry form recommends drawing only one Pokemon per illustration, artists can choose to include multiple Pokemon as long as it's clear who the main subject of the piece is. A total of three unique entries can be submitted per person.

The contest is limited to adult applicants from the United States and Japan. Entries can be submitted between October 13 and January 31, 2022, with winners announced later in 2022. Judges include Tsunekazu Ishihara, president of The Pokemon Company, Hirokazu Tanaka, president of Creatures Inc., Kenji Okubo, president of The Pokemon Company International, and several official illustrators for the Pokemon Trading Card Game.

Reference art for each of the eight Pokemon can be found on the official contest webpage. You can check out the full rules and regulations on the contest's website, which can be found here.