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Where does the Pokémon art come from


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Jan 23, 2024
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For the images on Pokémon Bulbapedia pages, where do they all come from? Are they community made or official, and if they're official, who makes them?
For the images on Pokémon Bulbapedia pages, where do they all come from? Are they community made or official, and if they're official, who makes them?
Not Bulbapedia staff, but: they are all official, and made by the artists employed by The Pokémon Company / their partners! This goes for all of the images we have on there as far as I'm aware?
Whew, complicated question. To the best of my ability:

The vast, vast majority of the images used on Bulbapedia are official art from official sources. Lots of it comes from Pokemon media, such as screen captures from a game, stills from an episode or film, and scans of cards. Some of it comes from art that The Pokemon Company puts out for promotional purposes, such as on their website or through social media. (Pro tip, keep an eye on the Official Press Site, which is where they put the announcements that are intended for other outlets to report on. I hear the press releases use the highest quality images compared to other sources of the same art.)

As for who makes the art... well companies aren't exactly in the business of saying who does what, short of credits for entire works. Some artists say which things they worked on on social media accounts, though. For the TCG, every non-Energy card has an artist credit, which'll give you the name of the artist or company that made the artwork. Some TCG cards use stock artwork used in other locations, which serves as an indirect way of determining the artist of those works. (This method has fallen into slight disuse, as these days fewer cards use stock art. A plus for those who like seeing new art, but a minus to those looking to determine the creator behind every art piece.)

Do note that Bulbapedia sometimes modifies artwork to better suit its needs. Not extensively, but there are some cases where things aren't presented "as is" for the sake of being more useful. For example, two screenshots from a pan sequence in the show can be put together to form a single larger image. Another case can be cropping an image from a magazine scan so as to focus on a specific character or Pokemon. In cases of or similar to the latter, editors are on the lookout for a source of the same art that doesn't need modification for wiki use. Don't be surprised if one day such an image disappears and a better version of it appears in its place!

In rare instances, some art on Bulbapedia is indeed original. Much of it has been phased out, but some of the remainder are in certain tables. (Bulbapedia is very table centric) There's the Fairy type icon used in move compatibility tables, the GBA cartridge sprites for wild Pokemon tables for Diamond and Pearl meant to represent the Dual Slot based encounters. and a TM icon for the ??? Type that gets used on tables relating to Curse's TM in Gold, Silver, and Crystal, among others. In those cases, a Bulbapedia contributor did make the image. If you check such an image's page on the Bulbagarden Archives, you can see which user created them.
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