A few years ago I began work on a Pokémon fan project entitled Pokémon Rust. I opted for a word that deviated from Pokémon nomenclature if only slightly, alluding to a shade of orange while also calling back to the roots of the series. I began my venture down ol’ Pocket Monster road with Blue back in ’98. In recent years, Pokémon designs have evolved and devolved in varied regards. I wanted to recapture a certain feel from Generation I that hasn’t shone so brightly as of late. Can’t say what, but these designs are what my search has amounted to.
In terms of typing, I wanted each starter to have strengths and weaknesses in inverse triads. Fire beats Grass, which beats Water that beats Fire. Check. But now our Fire Pokémon is half Psychic, so it beats Water’s Fighting, which beats Grass’s Dark that beats Fire’s Psychic. Inverse cycles. Balances and provides an interesting conceptual basis for which to design elemental creatures. Thus an ostrich witchdoctor, a jackalbat monk, and an octopus warrior.
After a week of plowing through failed designs, I ended up with these, and I’m very happy with the turnout. Maybe I’ll design some more Pokémon. I never expect Pokémon Rust to be anything more than a nod to nostalgia, it’s just been a constant avenue to explore Pokémon artistically. After all, it’s the creature designs that reckon me back time and again to the series; I no longer play the games. Enjoy!