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E.S.G Art Series: Katie Emma, Comic Artist & Illustrator

Art- the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

The world of Pokémon is undoubtedly one of the most influential media franchises in the world today. Its reach spans to every corner of the globe and has inspired millions in the form of every medium of content and pop culture, including art. E.S.G. honors this creative expression as we feature a community of talented artists, illustrators, and creatives who have used their vast imaginations to create stunning esports and gaming related art.

In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of Pokémon, E.S.G. will also acknowledge and showcase the outstanding work from some who have dedicated much of their talent to the world’s largest media franchise.

In this edition, we look at the work of the talented comic artist and illustrator Katie Emma.

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I love the idea of all 7 Eeveelutions trying to work together in one building- pure chaos. Everyone has a favorite Eeveelution, so I tried to include them all (my sincere apologies to Glaceon!) – Katie

Perhaps the only thing sweeter than Eeveelutions working together is Eeveelutions working together to run a bakery full of sweets. A wonderful illustration from Katie showing that the crew can cooperate to do nice things when they want to!

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This is a Vap Comic I made about Vap’s love for bird Pokémon. I guess they’re not all pocket-sized. – Katie

I suppose Pokémon naturally evolve just like the life forms in our world 😅.

This comic piece is one of the brainchildren of Katie’s innovative creativity as showcased in ‘Vap Comics.’ The series is a collection of amusing comic shorts starring the jolly natured Vaporeon named ‘Vap,’ who has a tender heart but also a foolish one. 

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A Vap Comic about the secret urge we all harbor to fling our relatives at mach speeds. – Katie

Confession: I’ve definitely had this secret urge…

I love that you are never “done” making art- there’s always something new to try or explore. You can both be really proud of the piece you’re working on, while still looking forward to making something even better next time! Art (especially comics) is also a wonderful way to connect with the people around you and remind them that they’re not alone- other people are going through the same things you are!

I also find that art helps me notice and appreciate the world around me in greater depth. When I’m painting, I suddenly notice the way a shaft of sunlight bounces off a houseplant, or the incredible complexity of an insect’s wings. It’s a remarkable world we live in! – Katie Emma

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This was an illustration I did for PCC’s Pokeworld Magazine, featuring Pokémon in everyday domestic life, which you can read for free here!  — Katie

Katie’s masterful use of watercolor and ink is on full display in this illustration, as Pokémon line up for some Simply {Sunflora} Lemonade.

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Eevee has a reputation for being cute and sweet, doesn’t it? I can’t help but worry about what goes on behind those adorable eyes. – Katie

A Vap Comic featuring the “sweet” dreams of the deceivingly innocent and bratty younger cousin, Eevee. She may be cute now, but if she had her way, she would foster a whole new meaning to the term ‘Eeveelution’ and turn into a Dynamax Eevee while carrying out her literal dreams of world domination.

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I painted this piece to celebrate the release of Pokémon Sword & Shield. I tried to include as many of the new Galar Pokémon as possible here! It’s pretty crowded. – Katie

2019’s Pokémon Sword and Shield introduced the world to the eighth and latest generation of Pokémon. Here we have a luxurious painting that features some of these creatures via Katie’s signature look, with a vibrant environment capturing the wonder of Pokémon. 

About the Artist

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Katie Emma Gross is a 27-year-old multi-faceted comic artist and illustrator from Santa Barbara, California. She started taking art seriously in high school, making comics and paintings in art class—she’s walked the path of an artist ever since. Katie is also the creator of her trademark Vap Comics and webcomic titled Taxicat, “a hand-painted comic for young adults about a pair of unlikely animal friends who stumble into a mystery that would be better left alone.” You can check it out here! The California native also manages her own freelance illustration business called Owl Burrow Illustration.

Her favorite Pokémon, Believe it or not, it is NOT Vaporeon! While Vaporeon holds a very special place in my heart, my actual favorite Pokémon is Ho-oh. I have fond memories of encountering Ho-oh in Gold Version for the first time as a child and being blown away by the mystical majesty of the Bell Tower and the legendary Pokémon at the top. I also love how Ho-oh is a phoenix, the symbol of rebirth, new life and second chances. Plus, Ho-oh’s battle theme music in HeartGold is one of the most exciting and unique tunes in the series!

When asked about her favorite pokemon game, she said, my answer to this question changes constantly- I believe that every single Pokémon game brings something new and fresh to the table, and I love all of them for different reasons. But if I was absolutely forced to pick a favorite title, it would probably be HeartGold version. Gold was my first video game as a kid, and I think HeartGold and SoulSilver are to-date the best Pokémon remakes. The developers added so much fresh content and did a beautiful job recreating the Japanese aesthetic of the games for the DS. I wish they had fixed the bizarre level curve, but I still adore these titles!

I struggled in school when I was a teenager, and eventually dropped out during my Sophomore year and switched to independent studies for a while. That was the year HeartGold and SoulSilver released on the DS, and I remember spending lots of time walking in the woods near my home and playing with the PokeWalker and just enjoying myself. During a difficult time in my life, that game meant a lot to me.

You can check out more of Katie’s creations here and below:




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