Since she began drawing as a child, Jacqueline Jun Ha hasn’t stopped. A Los Angeles native, Jacqueline currently studies art at Laguna Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, with the ultimate goal of building a career in the animation industry.
Initially, Jacqueline felt pressure from her traditional family to go into an expected professional field. “I come from a family that never wanted to believe in my artistic endeavors as anything more than a waste of time. I took a big leap enrolling [in] art schools, and my family was very against it.” This leap has paid off for Jacqueline, as she continues to carve out her own path, personally and creatively.
L.A. has been an important part of Jacqueline’s evolution as an artist. “Los Angeles is a hard-working and accepting city. People go through so many hardships, [which] contributes to a lot of stories out there that have given birth to a lot of great progress in our community.” That inclusiveness, inventiveness, and culture is reflected in Jacqueline’s latest piece.
Located on Melrose Avenue and North Ogden Drive in Los Angeles is an extraordinarily detailed mural that represents how Jacqueline views the city she calls home. “When I was making this piece, I wanted to make it a little interactive.” The people are life-sized, so as to allow people to pose for photos with the mural, adding to the authentic representation of the city. The colors for the piece were chosen to reflect the L.A. summer sunsets.
“I come from a family that never wanted to believe in my artistic endeavors as anything more than a waste of time.”
One of the finer details of the mural is how the subjects are laid out. Whether it is ethnicity, professions, or pigeons, Los Angeles is well represented. “When you see [the mural], it’s kind of this one mass, one compositional element, but when you get close, the edges define one [person] from another. It’s massive, very empty in some places and way too congested in [others], just like LA.”
While her eye may be on the animation industry, Jacqueline’s ultimate goal is to help people. “It’s very hard to do that with art, but that in itself is art. Los Angeles is a very cool city and I’m proud of being born and raised here, because it’s a part of who I am, and it’s not like other cities. I see my art as a tool of communication, to help shape mentalities and cultures, about rising issues, themes, and innovations. I want to make images that are very strong reads.”