I’m constantly seeing gorgeous Pokémon fan art on the internet, and I swear every day someone tops what I think is possible. Earlier today, Reddit user u/drepicgames did just that when he posted a picture of his “quarantine project,” a huge mural made up of dozens of Pokémon, which themselves are made entirely out of tiny beads.
The poster actually reveals that his materials are Artkal brand, which are small plastic beads you bond together with heat. I actually remember making stuff with these when I was kid — we’d set up a simple design, put some wax paper on top of it, and my mom would use the iron to heat it up. I can’t imagine doing something of this scale, though, and my pixel art skills aren’t even close to the incredible level of detail this guy was able to achieve.
This artist in particular used beads that are 2.6mm each in diameter, which is the smallest size the brand carries. Each individual Pokémon took approximately 2.5 hours to make, meaning the entire project clocked in at over 375 hours, which he completed over the course of a year and a half during quarantine. For comparison, that’s like watching 500 45-minute episodes of TV. In one of the photos, he even included a Game Boy cartridge of Pokémon Red for scale. If we didn’t already know of fans’ undying love of the Pokémon brand from the record sales numbers even remakes in the series are doing, art like this is yet another reminder.
The best part is that he ended up hanging the mural on the wall behind his lifting rack. “Now my home gym is a Pokémon gym,” read a caption on one of the photos. That’s creative wordplay, which is exactly the kind of thing we like to hear around here at Destructoid.
We’ve seen some pretty amazing fan art as people turned to crafts to keep them sane during lockdown, but this has to be one of the most impressive pieces I’ve seen in a long time. The colors, the detail, the sheer number of Pokémon — I don’t know that I could ever have the focus to work on something this massive. I tip my Ash Ketchum cosplay hat to you, sir.