Okay, so if there”s one thing that people love to hate and hate to love, it”s emojis–you know, the little cartoons that have come to punctuate so many a text message and Facebook comment, that look like anything from the classic yellow smiley face to hand gestures to food items. They”re super annoying, but in an endearing way. And sometimes you can only express yourself via a cartoon image of sushi, right?
What you probably didn”t know, though, is that in the right hands, they can actually be used to create art.
(via Time, Lost At E Minor)
An Instagram account managed by someone who goes by Yung Jake sprung up featuring portraits of celebrities created using nothing but emojis, which were carefully selected and layered like paint to create the famous faces. For images composed of grinning celestial bodies and tiny desserts, they”re surprisingly nuanced, with shading, modeling, and depth. And, of course, lots of texture.
Besides selecting the emojis for their shape and color, Yung Jake also explains that sometimes, he chooses them based on the person he”s painting. When asked about his process by Time, he responded with the following:
If this kind of thing appeals to you, or you just want to play around with emojis and have a lot of time to waste, you can check out emoji.ink, which lets you draw with emojis in the manner of MS Paint (but cuter). In the name of journalistic integrity, I, of course, tried it out with a self-portrait, but I think I need practice. Or you can just follow Yung Jake on Instagram and Twitter to see his latest creations.