Thursday, May 21, 2015

THE HIDDEN ARTIST: Jacqueline Myers-Cho

CONNECTION TO NOHO:  A Jacqueline's Coloring Book party was given by a friend who lives in NOHO

MEDIUMS: acrylic, oils, and mixed media


Rumi said, "There is a voice that doesn't use words. Listen." And this is what Jacqueline Myers-Cho said to me: "I go to my studio everyday, and I ask it and my art how I can contribute to you today. I listen and I work on that until I feel I need to work on something else." True to own her words, Jacqueline's studio walls and surfaces were lined with ongoing projects––portraits of animals to celebrities all with pensive eyes or gritting-teeth smiles, printed fabrics ready for assembly into aprons, bags, or dolls, and numerous sculptures.

Many thoughts came into my head while I interviewed Jacqueline––trusted intuition, natural process, circular flow, passion, marketing guru. She sat across from me at her work table with a set of handmade mermaid dolls in front of her. She held up one with more curl in its tail than the others and turned it over in her hands a few times, contemplating it. After a moment, she told me she would give an explosion of delightful color right at the tip of it––a decision she made based on a creative instinct she uses to do all her work. If, for instance, she's used a zipper in one of her mixed media pieces, she will ultimately incorporate the effect of those metal teeth somewhere in one of her paintings. She often repeats images she's used, reducing or enlarging them, allowing the observer to see her art within her art. One project lends itself to another as if one medium indiscernibly speaks to the other and she is the instrument in which it manifests. Jacqueline, quite simply, is a living example of the old phrase, "goes with the flow." 

Jacqueline Myers-Cho does indeed flow where her heart tells her to go. Beginning as a costume designer in theatre, she listened to her calling and entered the art world instead. She's lived in Minnesota, in the south, and Hawaii where she made a successful career as a painter of the Islands' beautiful flowers. But after she married and had her little girl in California, she developed her notable characters called "big heads" and has been at it ever since. Yes, they are slightly reminiscent of Margaret Keane's doe-eyed beauties of the 60s, but unlike them, Jacqueline's girls are playful and romantic...almost magical. No wonder her clients often commission her to have portraits done of themselves or their animals.


What struck me most about Jacqueline was her innate intuition to market her work. Rather than implementing a typical by-the-book business strategy, she uses pure and simple people skills to engage her Facebook audience. And because she wears different hats all day by working on several pieces at a time, everyone just naturally wants to know more about what's cooking in the kitchen. And on an even broader scale, she's published Jacqueline's Color Book Vol. One (big headed girls) and Vol. Two (Monsters). But Jacqueline's ability to seduce her viewers doesn't stop with social media or publishing. She is ever present at many open air art performances, painting for her audience at venues like Ladie's Night Out in Burbank.

On many levels, I was impressed with Jacqueline. Why, on my own Facebook page it reads, "We are all Ambassadors of the Universe here to express something larger than ourselves." Not only do I believe this, I think I actually found a living archetype of it in Jacqueline Myers-Cho.