From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Atsuko Nishida (Japanese: 西田敦子 / にしだあつこ) is a graphic artist who has been involved with several aspects of the Pokémon franchise since it began. She was part of the graphics team on Pulseman, one of Game Freak's most successful early titles, working alongside Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri and artist Ken Sugimori. During the development of the first Pokémon games, she helped design key characters and several Pokémon, notably the cuter ones as opposed to the tougher ones. She also contributing to the conceptual design of characters that appeared in the first few Pokémon movies. Nishida has continued to work within many areas of the franchise, credited on the majority of the main series games, movies, and produced an array of original illustrations for the Pokémon Trading Card Game. She is also the illustrator for the mini-comic series titled (Japanese: ポケモンといっしょ！ Together with Pokémon!) for monthly children magazine (Japanese: キャラぱふぇ Chara Pafe).
Nishida is a character designer for the mascot of the Pokémon franchise, Pikachu. She stated that first design of Pikachu looked like a vertically long daifuku rice confection with ears. She also modeled Pikachu's cheeks, which are used to store electricity, after squirrels storing food in their cheeks. Nishida is also a fan of Eevee and the Eeveelutions and personally designed Leafeon and Glaceon, as well as Sylveon.
The following is a list of Pokémon designed by Atsuko Nishida.
Nishida has produced illustrations for the TCG since the some of the earliest Japanese promotional cards, though her first in regular expansions was in the Team Rocket set. Nishida's style is distinctive, using an airbrush technique with a soft palette of colors that is easy on the eyes and convey the feeling that the portrayed Pokémon is at one with their environment. Light is also a large factor, using it to highlight key areas of the overall image to maintain the "soft" aspect. For a list of cards she has illustrated, go here.
- In an interview with the character designers of Pokémon in 2018, Atsuko Nishida stated that originally Pikachu was supposed to have a third evolution stage after Raichu, which was named as "Gorochu" (Japanese: ゴロチュウ). However, Ken Sugimori stated that it was scrapped due to the game balance.