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Based on the idea of the Totem and on ancient woodcarved sculptures with rough edges, I developed the Low Poly Pokemon project. I studied different types of sculpture and explored how ancient cultures used simple objects which served as keys to access a very strong feeling. In this project, those strong feelings are childhood memories.
when I was a kid I loved Pokemon, and as I grew up, the image I had of videogames changed. It wasn’t until I attended college and studied Art History and Anthropology that I realised how external things can be part of oneself, and that for many of us video games are currently that ‘thing’.
The first Pokemon video games had low quality graphics and I didn’t want to lose that, as the art style serves as a ‘second channel’ to reach those childhood memories. I decided to convert the pixels from video games to simple polygons that could vary in size and shape.
I knew from the beginning that the models were going to be designed to be 3D printed. This is because I wanted to share these little totems so everyone could participate in the creation process.
The Pokemon saga is about making friends and going your own way, and I wanted to ensure that everyone who printed these models had the feeling of creating something unique and personal. Not everyone can sculpt, and 3D printers offer a solution to that problem.
Every model from this project has to meet two requirements:
1. It must have a small number of polygons. The shape has to be clear enough to allow people to identify the object, but not overly detailed – to avoid making the art style the most interesting aspect of the model.
2. The design had to allow 3D printing without the need for support materials. This second requirement is for two reasons. 3D printing allows people to interact with tridimensional objects that belong to the planet, and the resources available are limited. The models are also printed without infill, reducing the footprint of each print.
I wanted these models to be for everyone. Not everyone that wants to print these models can afford a 3D printer or a large amount of material, so the less material needed, the more accessible they become.
This project doesn’t have a clear end as my intention is to continue creating these little sculptures . I understand that some may not consider this project as ‘art’, as it doesn’t match the idea most of us have about art. I personally believe that the more simple the idea, the more powerful the message: My models by themselves are nothing. It’s the process of creating and the user’s childhood memories that will give them their meaning.
All the models were tested and printed in different 3d printers to check that they were perfectly printed. The ones you can see on the picture were printed with PLA in a Prusa i3 with a cooling fan and a slow speed. As the 3d printing industry is daily evolving I find necessary to think and fix any problem related to the printing process as I want to guarantee a high quality result.