Yusuke Kozaki is the artist behind many of Pokémon GO’s original characters, and that includes Professor Willow. In a new feature from Niantic, Kozaki opens up with his approach in creating Pokémon GO character art, and his goals with the designs. You can see his full comments on the matter below.

When drawing the characters, I was particularly conscious of designing them in a way that would bridge the gap between the distorted Pokémon-like world and the realistic world.

This is because Pokémon GO itself is a game characterized by a system that connects the real world and the video game. I was also conscious of designing the human characters that appeared in the game to feel somewhat like they were between the distorted and the realistic—right in the middle where the real and virtual worlds intersect.

“Maybe the characters really do exist.” I wanted the designs to provoke this kind of feeling because I believed the concept went well with Pokémon GO, a game that uses AR technology to link reality and the world of Pokémon.

Generally, when I draw a character, I try to create something between realism and distortion, or something that doesn’t feel like it borders on the real world like an actual country, region, or culture. So, I felt that the idea of the game experience that Pokémon GO is aiming for is strongly linked to the worldview that I am pursuing.

[Yusuke Kozaki, Pokémon GO artist]

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