Emily So
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Emily So

Emily S.

Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Profile-student-favorite Student Favorite
This teacher is rated in the top 15% of teachers in the specialty subject. This badge demonstrates subject mastery on a nationwide scale.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I've created many cartoons in the context of illustration, comics and 2D animation. My specialty is in expressions, character designs and story-telling.

My mission is to spread this knowledge of cartooning and to help achieve the goals of students.

About Emily S.

I've been working professionally as an artist since 2009, making graphics and illustrations for clients and having worked for Disney Research for just over a year. I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts in 2012.

I specialize in drawing/illustration, digital painting, and 2D hand-drawn frame-by-frame digital animation, mostly in the context of video games (with 2D graphics). Many of my drawing/animation students have been interested in drawing/animating animals, especially furry/anthro memes. I've helped students complete tiny looping animations, creating memes as well as short films. Each student can work on whatever they're interested during my classes, whether they want to draw their favorite cartoon character from reference or animate their own original character to their favorite animation meme.

My hope and mission is to successfully distribute my knowledge, skills and experience to anyone who wants to acquire them.

I'm capable of a large range of improvements, from goals as hobbyists to more professional goals. I have successfully helped students get admitted into their desired art schools through portfolio preparation, as well as helped artists get their first gigs as freelancers. I can serve as a mentor for an artist's early years as a contractor.

Lessons are taught through video calls where I always share my screen to clearly show my demonstrations in real time. Students may also share their screens if they are working digitally. If students work on paper, they may take phone pics and message/email them to me during class, or hold up their work on the webcam if it's high enough quality.

Thank you for your interest!


Write a Review
74 Reviews
Yaya B.
Profile-location-online Online

Emily is an excellent animation tutor. My 10-year old daughter really enjoys working with her. She has a very straight-forward demeanor that drives towards real learning using no nonsense feedback that resonates with our young animator in a naturally motivational way. Emily has been extremely professional and helpful to us as we worked to get the right technical setup for her lessons. She is super detailed with amazing follow-up after every lesson and she always responds to questions. We are so glad that we found Emily on TakeLessons! Our daughter is more enthused than ever about animation and the skills that she has learned after these first five sessions with Emily!

Posted Oct 12, 2021
Rocco C.
Profile-location-online Online

Emily works well with my child who is a beginner. I was very impressed with the animation he created during his first lesson! We're looking forward to more lessons.

Posted Aug 20, 2021
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Very grateful. Very understanding

Posted Sep 26, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Still very excellent.

Posted Sep 25, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Emily continues to be a great tutor for my daughter. She has incredible patience - especially since my daughter loves to chat - and has helped foster a strong passion for digital drawing in my daughter. Emily's skill with the tools makes it easy for my daughter to learn and experiment more on her own as well.

Posted May 23, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Help me understand my flaws in drawing, and show me many pointers on how to improve like body proportions, outlines and how to use software like Krita. Overall was a very good learning experience!!

Posted Apr 21, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

My daughter very much enjoyed the class and working with Emily. She learned a lot and is very excited for her next lesson.

Posted Mar 22, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Good online/remote cartooning lessons for a 12 year old. Working with his interests, while laying the foundations of technique all the same.

Posted Jan 19, 2020
Hollie H.
Profile-location-online Online

Emily is a gifted artist and teacher. She is very patient, encouraging, and informative. I have learned a lot from her and she is helping me with my perfectionism. I couldn't have asked for a better teacher for me! Thank you,

Posted Nov 13, 2019
Bryan W.
Profile-location-online Online

Great lesson, super professional and taught me a lot.

Posted Nov 8, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

emily is an excellent teacher and very efficient and productive in the lessons. :)

Posted Nov 7, 2019
Tom N.
Profile-location-online Online

My son really enjoys the lessons from Emily!

Posted Sep 9, 2019
Hollie H.
Profile-location-online Online

Emily is a patient, compassionate and gifted teacher and this is only my first class with her. I am looking forward to working with her and hope to improve my drawing skills.

Posted Aug 7, 2019
Joelle J.
Profile-location-online Online

This was my first introduction to animation. Emily was great! She was patient, and very knowledgeable. She taught me how to use my software and showed me different techniques I could do. Planning on taking a couple more classes

Posted Aug 5, 2019
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I'm still really grateful for Emily. Very supportive, and my motivation has kept up because of her. I thank you for keeping my hope up.

Posted Jul 16, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

Very happy with my daughters improvements. Really appreciated Emily’s knowledge of anime and drawing tablets.

Posted Jul 15, 2019
Tobi ..
Profile-location-online Online

Emily was great! Very patient and knowlegable.

Posted Jun 5, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

Emily has been amazing with my daughter. She is patient and encouraging and has taught her so much in only a few lessons. I've seen my daughter's figure drawing skills grow so much over the past few weeks. I'm even seeing her break out of her comfort zone on her own more often than before she started working with Emily. I was a little wary of online lessons, but they have worked out great and I think actually taken a little pressure off that she might feel doing an in person lesson.

Posted Apr 29, 2019
Andrew S.
Profile-location-online Online

My ten-year-old son, Andrew, has had five lessons with Emily, and they have all been spectacular. She has a great rapport with kids, and helped him improve his drawing skills tremendously. Andrew has always looked forward to his lessons. I highly recommend Emily!

Posted Apr 14, 2019
Cleo W.
Profile-location-online Online

First lesson went very well for my teenage daughter. She wants to sign up for more. Thank you!

Posted Feb 24, 2019
Ken A.
Profile-location-online Online

Emily So is very creative. I shared with her my vision for an animation. She created the first 8 frames of the Storyboard with camera angles. Thank you so much Emily!!

Posted Feb 20, 2019
maria lucia zegarra
Profile-location-online Online

She is very kind, very patient and really knows her stuff!

Posted Feb 16, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

Very friendly and easy to talk to, and a good teacher!

Posted Feb 8, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

Very patient with our 11 year old...he said it was his best day ever! He is looking forward to his next lesson!

Posted Jan 25, 2019
Torrence H.
Profile-location-online Online

Emily was great. She was very patient and very informative. She takes time with the student and she will look up information to help you along the way.

Posted Jan 16, 2019
Ruolin X.
Profile-location-online Online

The art genres that she can help you with are alot of things, whether you focus on humans or animals, traditional or digital. She helps you with the art tips you need, whatever problems you have she can help you with. Shes not the type of instructor who starts from scratch for everyone. She will start from the point where you are and help you improve on your own pace. Would definately recommend classes with this instructor.

Posted Jan 3, 2019
Naama A.
Profile-location-online Online

Emily is a great teacher! after two classes only i love her already!

Posted Dec 4, 2018
Denise Charlier
Profile-location-online Online

My daughter was very happy with her first drawing class with Emily and is excited to continue working with her. Thank you, Emily!

Posted Aug 13, 2018
Profile-location-online Online

Emily is a fantastic teacher, very patient and my 11 year old daughter really enjoyed her lesson.

Posted Aug 13, 2018
Profile-location-online Online

Very excellent with explations. Supportive. Very great with teaching.

Posted May 12, 2018
marco R.
Profile-location-online Online

Excellent class

Posted May 3, 2018
marco R.
Profile-location-online Online

Very personalized teaching. The extra time to answer questions was very appreciated

Posted May 2, 2018
Profile-location-online Online

My son is 14 and he loved his first lesson with Emily. She took some extra time to answer some question about a problem that he was having with his animation program and followed up with some new solutions. He felt really inspired after the lesson and continued to work on his animations in the following days. We will be signing up for a regular time with Emily and I can't wait to see how his skills progress.

Posted Apr 28, 2018
Profile-location-online Online


Posted Apr 18, 2018
Profile-location-online Online

Great class, learned a lot!

Posted Apr 13, 2018
Profile-location-online Online

My daughter really enjoys working with Emily!

Posted Apr 12, 2018
Profile-location-online Online

Emily is an amazing art teacher, no doubt about it. I started lessons with art work that was painfully disproportional and ended with work I would never even dream of being capable of creating. She’s a supportive but tough teacher, and helps you learn what interests you. She helped me get into LaGuardia, the high school of my dreams, which I couldn’t have done without her. I would never choose a different art teacher, because I truly believe she is the best. The improvement I saw from when I first started lessons with her is insane, and I’m so glad I got the chance to have her had my teacher. Hands down, the best art teacher ever.

Posted Apr 2, 2018
Profile-location-online Online

Emily is THE BEST! She exceeded all expectations & was a tremendous help getting our 12 yr old daughter started!
She related so well it was like taking lessons from a good friend! Our daughter now has a solid working foundation to expand on!
Thanks to Emily we got the right hardware & software without breaking the bank!
She’s a total Pro & while there might be other instructors as good there are certainly none better!
Our experience was so good with Emily we will explore other TAKELESSON Classes in the future! Thank You VERY MUCH Emily!!

Posted Feb 25, 2018
Profile-location-online Online

Emily is a very patient and encouraging teacher. The ability to see real-time feedback on my drawing was extremely helpful. I highly recommend taking lessons from Emily!

Posted Jan 20, 2018
Profile-location-online Online

I cannot say enough good about Emily! SHE IS THE BEST! She's a total professional & her personal attention & rapport were exactly what we needed for our12 yr old! I would give her 10 stars if we could! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!! Doug & Cierra

Posted Jan 15, 2018
Profile-location-online Online

We have been using Emily for my daughter to get ready to submit her portfolio for college and Emily has been heaven sent!!! She is patent, helpful and supportive of my daughters ambitions. Can't thank her enough!!

Posted Dec 29, 2017
Profile-location-online Online

My daughter learned a lot in her first lesson with Emily. The whole video/online lesson thing was new to me, but I thought it went smoothly.

Posted Nov 13, 2017
Profile-location-online Online

Emily was very clear and very good, taking me through the first few steps.

Posted Nov 2, 2017
Profile-location-online Online

Great lesson with our daughter.

Posted Oct 26, 2017
Kevin O.
Profile-location-online Online

My first lesson was eye opening. I have been afraid of using colors in my art and she explained things to me in a way that I could digest. After the lesson I worked on a rock study in color and was really happy with how it came out. I sent it to her to review and she gave me some great feedback on how to add some more color to it.. Thanks Emily.

Posted Oct 14, 2017
Profile-location-online Online

My 10 year old daughter just had her first animation lesson with Emily. What a great experience! My daughter is so excited about everything she learned. She can't wait for her next lesson. Emily is warm, funny, and great with kids!

Posted Oct 8, 2017
Profile-location-online Online

The lesson was really helpful and fun.

Posted Oct 4, 2017
Profile-location-online Online

Had a blast learning from Emily! Her professional experience and great coaching skills were a perfect fit. Emily's Ps lesson really accelerated my learning curve and helped organize my project workflow.

5/5 stars ~ highly recommended!

Posted Oct 3, 2017
Aubrey W.
Profile-location-online Online

I loved my first lesson and can't wait until my next one!

Posted Oct 1, 2017
Profile-location-online Online

Emily has been awesome! She is very talented and great with my daughter. Izzy has learned a lot!

Posted Sep 25, 2017
Profile-location-online Online

Emily is great ay teaching photoshop. Thanks Emily

Posted Sep 23, 2017
Emilio G.
Profile-location-online Online

Emilio loved Emily's lessons. Thank you Emily, you are the best.

Posted Sep 20, 2017
Profile-location-online Online

I enjoyed my first lesson. Emily is very nice.

Posted Jul 24, 2017
Rashad S.
Profile-location-online Online

amazing teacher she works with you and helps you get better with your drawing

Posted Jul 14, 2017
Lucia L.
Profile-location-online Online

Emily was extremely helpful. She taught my daughter who didn't know anything about animation and coached her all the way until she was able to produce a short animated movie. She is always very professional and caring of the student needs.
Thank you Emily for all your help.

Posted May 10, 2017
Profile-location-online Online

Emily is extremely patient, knowledgeable, and well rounded. Students of any age will benefit from her expertise.

Posted Mar 26, 2017
Profile-location-online Online

Emily is fantastic. She is patient and really good at instructing and critiquing work. She seems very experienced and really tries to give both positive feedback and the appropriate constructive criticism. She is also great at encouraging students to not get frustrated by "mistakes" but to accept that mistakes are a part of the growing and becoming a better artist. Having Emily in my ear and working on sketching with me has greatly improved the way I am seeing my work and I'm very much looking forward to working with her more to improve my skills. I would highly recommend her.

Posted Dec 14, 2016
Profile-location-online Online

My 13-year-old son had his first lesson and when he finished he came bounding down the stairs to show me what they made. He told me Emily was cool, funny, and really easy to talk to. He was comfortable right away and they dove right into his interest.

Posted Dec 2, 2016
Profile-location-online Online

Attentive, engaged and informative. Emily takes time to check in to meet skill level and tailor sessions to your needs.

Posted Nov 30, 2016
lorelei I.
Profile-location-online Online

Emily prepared my 2 kids for Art School Auditions. She researched the school's requirements and prepared my kids accordingly. My daughter who auditioned a month ago was accepted to the art school thanks to Emily for her gifts, patience, and attention to detail. My son will have his audition this weekend. He feels fully prepared. Emily is awesome and we are grateful to have her as a teacher!

Posted Nov 28, 2016
Stacy D.
Profile-location-online Online

I'm a 20 year old college student and I've been taking Animation, Illustration, and Painting lessons with Emily for almost two years now. I started out very new to drawing and painting, especially digitally, and Emily has brought me so far in the past couple years. She has taught me about animation, color theory, drawing, illustration, and even professionalism as a contracted artist herself. I've progressed so much, and she has been there with me every step of the way! Emily is so patient and encouraging, and pushes you to really do your best and work at what you're learning. That being said, she has never been one to pressure me or push me too far, or be too harsh. These lessons are meant to be fun, and she keeps it that way! My weekly lessons are the highlight of my week, and I truly can't rate her highly enough. I would recommend her for young kids just as much as older kids (like me!) and even hopeful professionals.

Posted Nov 10, 2016
Liam B.
Profile-location-online Online

Emily was patient and made accommodations for my 6 year old who is showing some interest in drawing.

Posted Jun 28, 2016
Sydney R.
Profile-location-online Online

Emily is great- she really took the time with my daughter to explain how to use the program.

Posted Jun 22, 2016
Lydia J.
Profile-location-online Online

Emily as so patient with our daughter. In one short hour, our daughter picked up so many new tricks and was comfortably playing around in the software!

Posted Jun 17, 2016
Profile-location-online Online

thank you for teaching me animation. it is so fun.

Posted Mar 23, 2016
Profile-location-online Online

Emily is a great teacher, patient and very knowledgable. I was so frustrated trying to figure out the simplest things in PhotoShop and thanks to her instruction and patience, my photoshop skills have improved dramaticall.
I'll be back for more lessons!

Posted Mar 7, 2016
Connie M.
Profile-location-online Online

Emily was knowledable about subjet matter, willing to adjust focus when called for and very patient.
I like her very much.

Posted Mar 7, 2016
Lori Clark
Profile-location-online Online

Emily is an excellent instructor. I learned several new drawing techniques in my first class. She provided time for questions, taught some cool tricks, is very encouraging and knowledgeable. I'm buying more classes with Emily!!

Posted Nov 18, 2015
Lori Clark
Profile-location-online Online

Emily is an excellent instructor. I learned several new drawing techniques in my first class. She provided time for questions, taught some cool tricks, is very encouraging and knowledgeable. I'm buying more classes with Emily!!

Posted Nov 18, 2015
Madison C.
Profile-location-online Online

During only one class with Emily, I was able to learn several techniques that will aide me with my drawing.

Posted Oct 27, 2015
Kevin McDonald
Profile-location-online Online

A good experience, knowledgable and very helpful, I would recommend Emily to anyone looking to improve on their artwork.

Posted Jul 26, 2015
Michael S.
Profile-location-online Online

We love Emily's calm demeanor. She is encouraging, patient, and has great insight into Michael's abilities and learning style.

Posted May 22, 2015
Subbu P.
Profile-location-online Online

Emily is excellent teacher and my kids are really loved her lessons. She explains clearly to kids and encourage kids to express their opinion. I saw great improvement in my kids drawing. Initially I was skeptical how online drawing lessons could be effective. I would like to thank you Emily for making drawing lessons effective and fun.

Posted Mar 11, 2015
Samuel F.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Emily is a great teacher, and also she is a very talented artist. Her classes are working really well for me at my skill level. She is very patient and dedicated, she really goes at of the way trying to answer all questions I have, even if she has no immediate answer for me, she takes note of it and she answers during next session.
Learning Photoshop with Emily is been great and also fun!, looking forward to my next classes.

Posted Feb 5, 2015

Photos & Videos

18 Photos & Videos


Freelance Artist
Sep 2012 - Present


- create game graphics for clients (character animations, background imagery, objects, user interface designs) - illustration - digital painting - 2D animations - drawings - advise in game designs - advise in game marketing

Artist Intern
May 2011 - Aug 2012

Disney Research Pittsburgh

- worked in Maya, rigging, animating, modeling and rendering - worked with motion capture data - created concept art - created miscellaneous 2D art/illustrations - made graphics for video games

Jun 2010 - Aug 2010


- created 2D concept art for 3D modelers to model after - created 3D models with 3D Studio Max

Jun 2009 - Aug 2009


- created all graphics for a video game - 2D animated characters - background images - title logo and UI


Bachelor's in Fine Arts
Aug 2008 - May 2012

Carnegie Mellon University



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Nominated Best Student Animation at AniMazing Spot Film Festival 2012- "Dinnersaurus Rex"
Aug 2012

AniMazing Spot

Dozzi Scholarship
May 2010

Carnegie Mellon University

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