Whereas previous illustration contests were only open to artists residing in Japan or the United States, this year the contest expands to artists from several more English speaking countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.
This year's contest will be held in two divisions, with entrants having the option to select between a standard Pokémon card illustration and a Pokémon ex card illustration for their submissions.
The theme of this year's contest is "Magical Pokémon Moments". To participate, artists will need to capture their chosen Pokémon enjoying a moment in their day, or in a cool or dynamic pose, in a way that satisfies this theme. This year's eligible Pokémon include the perennial Charizard and Pikachu, as well as a selection of new and old fan faves with Eevee, Feraligatr, Flygon, Absol, Bidoof, Melmetal, Amped Form Toxtricity, and Koraidon. Artists can freely choose to depict the same Pokémon or different Pokémon for each image submitted, with the sole exception that they cannot enter artwork of Shiny Pokémon.
Each artist can submit up to three illustrations total between both standard and Pokémon ex cards, and completed artwork can be submitted anytime between October 12th, at 8:00pm (PDT), and January 31st, 2024, at 5:59pm (PST). Artists can resubmit entries already submitted prior to the end of the contest, however doing so will use up one of the artist's three illustrations, so it's best to not submit until you're happy with your artwork.
All submissions meeting the contest requirements will be reviewed by a panel of no less than four judges. Potential judging panel members include directors and executives from The Pokémon Company International, The Pokémon Company, and Creatures Inc; Masahiro Karasawa, the director of the Japanese National Crafts Museum, which recently hosted the Pokémon × Kogei: Playful Encounters of Art and Japanese Craft exhibit; and a selection of new and old Pokémon TCG card artists including OOYAMA, kantaro, and past Illustration Contest entrants Teeziro, and Atsushi Furusawa.
One overall artist will be chosen from the entire field, with winning artists to be announced in September 2024. The prizes include: