Less is most definitely more in Emi Ueoka's illustrations

26 September 2014

One of my teachers had a pet hate of adverbs and adjectives. “Cut the fluff!” he’d yell after reading our essays. Emi Ueoka’s delicate drawings illustrate his point perfectly; why use more lines when a few create so perfect a picture?

With a pencil case of pastel pens, Melbourne-based Emi captures moments in neat outlines. These are no bare sketches though; each toppling ponytail and poised foot, peeled banana and cradled smartphone is complete and any more detail is unnecessary. Although she takes schoolgirls as her subjects Emi’s simplicity helps her steer clear of the twee or connotations of Hello Kitty. She describes herself as “quietly active” and seems like someone who hates to blow her own trumpet, so I guess I’ll just have to do it for her. She’s worked for The New York Times, New Yorker, Bloomberg and has a zine published by Nieves, if you needed any more assurance of her excellence.


Emi Ueoka: Afterschool


Emi Ueoka: Three Girls


Emi Ueoka: School Girl Blue Book


Emi Ueoka: Readings


Emi Ueoka: Schoolgirls Talking


Emi Ueoka: Apple Break

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Amy Lewin

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