Illustrator Jacqui C. Smith creates unique artwork that showcases the diverse beauty of women of color through murals, children’s books, portraits, and more. After graduating from Columbia College of Chicago with a B.A. in Traditional Animation, Jacqui headed to Burbank California to begin her journey as a freelance artist.
Jacqui creates children’s book illustrations, print media, animation, and licensable artwork for companies such as Disney, YWCA, Imagine Black, Scholastic UK, and Innovations for Learning. Jacqui also creates murals for Walmarts across the country that focus on community and diverse representation. When she’s not working on commissions, you can find Jacqui at festivals and conventions throughout Los Angeles and selling her artwork at boutiques and galleries across the U.S. She also created four coloring books, “Know Yourself: A Coloring Book for Girls (& Women)”, that focuses on positive self-identity and relaxation for women and girls of color.
Jacqui recently designed the “Beautiful Skin” Beer can for Brewyard Beer Company in Glendale with donations going to the Glendale/Pasadena YWCA to fight social injustice and showcase local women of color-owned businesses. In addition to creating beer can art, Jacqui also partnered with the Brewyard to create the Annual Brewyard Art Festival in June 2017. She has also worked on community-based projects for Wonder of Women, YWCA Pasadena, and 11:11 ACC. Jacqui was also recently featured in LA Weekly, Voyage LA, Shoutout LA, and Hopped LA and her work can be seen in the hit tv show All-American. .
Jacqui’s interest in illustration amplified after going to many events throughout Los Angeles and rarely seeing women of color artists represented. She began having conversations about race, representation, beauty standards, and female strength at every art show she attended. These discussions all stem from the same place: there needs to be better treatment, representation, and acceptance of women of color, and Jacqui hopes that her art serves as a reminder that they should not be overlooked.