BY Farida Dawkins, 12:29pm April 12, 2018,

[Art Attack] Digital artist Yung Jake creates masterpieces with emojis

Yung Jake...The New York Times.


Yung Jake born Jake Patterson has burst onto the art scene with emoji portraits – artwork comprised completely of emojis.

Jake is a Los Angeles based filmmaker, digital artist and sometimes YouTuber. He didn’t set out to make art with the seemingly preferred way of conveying emotions these days. He said to The New York Times, “I just happened to be good at it, so I did a bunch of celebrities, I sent a lot to my famous friends knowing they’d post.”

Jake has depicted Kim Kardashian West, Justin Bieber, Leonardo DiCaprio and Willow Smith.

He travelled quite a bit as a youngster – Bali, Sag Harbor, and New Zealand.

Jake eventually attended the California Institute of the Arts all the while rapping and creating music videos.

In 2015, Jake began forming paintings which were renditions of digital images he made with an application developed by Vince McElvie – a friend and business partner. The medium is called

Preferring to conduct interviews strictly through text messaging, Jake explains to W Magazine, “basically i find a good image and try to represent the ppl as good as i can,” “it’s not very deep …or high concept like my other stuff.”

“I like [to] use famous and popular things in my work because it gives people something to relate to,” Jake says. “course I have a personal relationship with sonic [the Hedgehog] or friends [the TV show] but it’s obviously not the same as someone else’s. i think with art u create your own story as to why the artist did what they did but u don’t have to be right in order for the work to be good.”

His work is in such demand that he’s featured his art in an exhibition called “Hydration” at the Steve Turner gallery in Los Angeles in 2016 and “Emoji Portraits” at the Tripoli Gallery in Southampton, N.Y in 2017.

Emojis have become a popular way to express oneself. Emojis were formulated to act as pictographs – electronic messages to be used in electronic messages and web pages.

The origin of the word is from the Japanese language. Essentially small diagrams used to express emotions, they originally appeared in 1999 on Japanese mobile phones and gained popularity in the 2010s after they were added to other mobile devices.

The first emoji was created by Shigetaka Kurita; he was inspired by weather forecasts that exhibited weather conditions.

Last Edited by:Francis Akhalbey Updated: June 12, 2018


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