Ken Sugimori (杉森(すぎもり) (けん) Sugimori Ken), born on January 27, 1966, currently sits on the Board of the Pokémon Company and also acts as Art Director for the franchise. He is responsible for drawing the majority of the official artwork for every Pokémon.


Sugimori became friends with Satoshi Tajiri in early 1981 when he began illustrating for Tajiri's Game Freak magazine. In the beginning he submitted work on a freelance basis, as he wanted to pursue a career as a manga artist, but later he joined the company as an employee. Tajiri and Sugimori formed their own game development company, named after the magazine, in 1989, also, in 1995 both they created Pokémon.

Sugimori is usually credited with designing and drawing the 151 original Pokémon himself. However, this is incorrect; Sugimori designed as part of a team but was chosen to draw all of the official artwork as the company wanted to give the series a uniform style. He based his artwork for Red and Green on the game sprites, as it was the only artwork covering all 151 Pokémon available at the time. 

For Pokémon Black and White, Sugimori directed a team of 17 people in designing new Pokémon for the games, although he always drew the final designs.

Pokémon Credits

Other credits

Outside the scope of Pokémon, Sugimori has contributed to many other creative projects. These include:


  • Quinty/Mendel Palace (Artist)
  • Jerry Boy/Smart Ball (Artist)
  • The Adventure of Valkyrie Gaiden: Two Goddess (Author and Artist)
  • The New "Sorry for Causing You Trouble" (Artist)


  • Quinty/Mendel Palace (Artist)
  • Jerry Boy/Smart Ball (Artist)
  • Magical Taluluto-kun (Director, Artist)
  • Pulseman (Game Designer and Artist)
  • Bushi The Legend of the Blue Dragon and the Two Heroes (Artist)
  • Drill Dozer (Director)
  • Sega 3D Classics (Box Art Designer/Illustrator)


  • His favourite:
  • Although in the game never has been show the unique ability of Mewtwo, he has the ability to deny, block and remove the unique abilities and special powers of all the other Pokémon. This ability was given by the same Sugimori and might be added at a point in the future.
  • Ken, alongside other Pokémon creators, have confirmed that Mewtwo is the most powerful Pokémon that exists. This is controversial with fans, because there are Pokémon like Mew or Arceus, who have the status of gods, but it also confirmed that they are gods in their respective mythologies, and that not make them the most powerful Pokémon.


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