Over the last 25 years, fans of the Pokemon TCG have seen a vast array of incredible artwork provided by several diverse and talented artists. One such artist is Tomokazu Komiya, who has been working on Pokemon card art since the release of the Vending Machine cards that were released in Japan in 1998.
Komiya’s art style is incredibly unique, illustrating Pokemon in a deformed way, with parts of their body often unproportionate. The colours in his pieces are often loose and colourful, with a crayon-looking finish. This style comes from the artist’s love of the Primitivism aesthetic, which pays homage to early humans and their ways of painting. This includes elements of prehistory, early biblical depictions, tribal cultures and how young children draw. It is clear that Tomokazu Komiya has a great sense of humour, which he manages to eject into several of the cards he creates.
One of the most famous of Tomokazu Komiya’s Pokemon cards is his Psyduck from the ‘Scream’ series of cards that parody Edvard Munch’s famous ‘The Scream’ artwork, from 1893. These cards were distributed in conjunction with the Edvard Munch retrospective exhibit that came to the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum on October 27th, 2018.
Over the years, Komiya has illustrated special Trainer promo cards that were released in Japan. These include the ‘New Year Present ‘ card for the Pokemon Fan Club, the ‘Pokémon Card Fan’ card, and ‘Touch Generation Change!’
Tomokazu Komiya’s art style may look too juvenile to some, but the fantastic use of colour, shading, dynamic angles, interesting backgrounds, line work and the fluid motions of his subjects proves that he is a talented artist. Of course, art is subjective so opinions will vary from person to person. Are you a fan of Tomokazu Komiya’s work, or do you think it’s too simplistic looking?
Mathew Parkes – Ludkins Media Editor-in-Chief
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