There's been a trend on the internet in the last few years where artists draw their own wildly individual takes on Pokémon. Many of them try to go hyper-realistic or "creepy" by drawing the creatures with a staggering amount of detail as though they were actual animals.
With so many artists doing this, there's a natural inclination to compare them. To find which one is the very best. Well RJ Palmer might just be able to claim that title, because his fan art got him an official Pokémon job. He contributed designs to the Detective Pikachu movie.
Palmer actually already works an as artist related to video games. He currently works at the Ubisoft San Francisco studio, known for the Rocksmith games and South Park: The Fractured But Whole, as a concept artist. So it's no surprise to find that he is so talented. What is surprising is the way he was scouted by the Detective Pikachu staff.
For the past six years, Palmer has been drawing realistic Pokémon as a hobby. He posted them on the internet, garnering a lot of positive attention, but Ubisoft has stayed as his main gig. It turned out, however, that the people collecting and sharing his drawings were acting as a sort of portfolio for him.
When the time came to hire people to give Pokémon a live-action makeover, Kotaku reports, Detective Pikachu's production designer did what we all do: searched on Google. Kotaku's articles about RJ Palmer's work were among the top results, and so he was offered a job.
Palmer was brought onto the film for about seven months from 2016-2017, and contributed several designs. It would certainly explain why Mr. Mime looks like this:
Joking aside, Palmer is certainly very skilled and deserves what is probably a dream job. How many others can say that their fan art landed them an official gig?