Friday, March 11, 2011

Emoticon Portraits

This is a great topic by Sam Singh!
Immediately, I pictured people with emoticon faces. As in the article about email etiquette, we sometimes rely on emoticons to relay a feeling that we cannot impress in words. But is it because emoticons are convenient, and words take too long to edit and arrange? Emoticons are a part of a universal language spoken in the virtual boundaries of email, chat rooms and other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. A single emoticon can communicate more than one meaning. ;p (the winky face) can easily follow: "I think you're a babe, ;p" or "You're too young for me, ;p". These emoticons are multi-functional! But when something is so versatile, it can be generalized and a specific notion is lost. Really, you miss out on sharing something personal like how great your day is when all you post is :). I'm not hating, I'm just pointing it out. I use emoticons, too. :p, like there.

I am going to do a series of portraits of different people (maybe 9 or 12). But instead of capturing the physical features that identify our distinctiveness, faces will be simplified to convey a universal emotion. I'm thinking of doing them in pencil and acrylic...

And lastly, here's an excellent emoticon illustration I found online today.
It's an Emoticon Love Story (by Miss Tal).


  1. Great approach to this month's topic Chels!
    In a world of technology and social media dehumanizing face to face conversations, it's nice to think there's an actual human face behind the emoticon (no matter how distorted yours may be, hahaha). I think you've got something really solid you can work with and can start promoting once you get a few portraits done. My only question is, are you going to keep them all as a standard front view portrait? A lot of the emoticons you've listed are a sideways view of a face. Maybe you can play off that for your next portrait? Really love where you're going with this. Can't wait!

  2. Honestly, your sketching ability makes me mad. STOP BEING GOOD. Your making me feel bad!
    I love the distortion of the face. It kind of reminds me of a muppet. This is a really great idea. Can't wait to see how this project progresses...

  3. I like the way this has turned out, especially with that legend next to it... can you say portrait series? That would be awesome.

    I'm really excited to see all this work finished!