Making Visions A Reality: Hamili Designs Mural For Jeans Warehouse

Trey Yamamoto, Reporter

     For most students, art projects are limited to in-class assignments. However, this past summer, Junior Maile Hamili was able to work on a much larger canvas. Hamili was given the opportunity to design a 12 feet by 7 feet mural for Jeans Warehouse Pearlridge. It took roughly five days to complete, from sketching to the final touches. 

     “The mural I created is something that everyone can enjoy, either just looking at it or taking a picture with it. I wanted to give Jeans Warehouse something that would not only help their business in attracting customers, but to show what I have to offer as an artist,” said Hamili. 

      After seeing a post that Jeans Warehouse was seeking a local artist to create a mural for their Pearlridge location, Hamili was able to get in contact with them through her social media platform. When the company asked for a draft and concept to be sent in, Hamili set up a poll on her social media page, allowing for her followers to have a choice in what she should design. “Because the mural is for the public, I wanted people to voice their opinion so I could make their visions become a reality. I gave options of themes, which came out to be water based, but I wanted to have wings so people could interact with the mural and give the store more publicity,” said Hamili. “Other concept ideas I had in mind was to paint something involving native plants here in Hawai’i, kind of like a garden. Another concept was drawing the ocean and sunset by itself but when I mentioned wings, my platform said I should merge the two together.”

     Aside from the layout and concept, Hamili also considered how the different types of shading and colors should be implemented into the mural. The use of colors and shading worked towards unifying all aspects of the piece as well as connecting it with the base concept and theme. “This mural has a lot of warm tones and cool tones from all directions, so I had to adjust colors to a pastel or increase the contrast so every color would balance out. I personally enjoy making realistic pieces so I did a lot of shading and highlighting throughout the mural,” said Hamili. 

       With the creation of the mural being a multistep process, Hamili planned and organized the days she’d be working on a specific design. This allowed her to spend an equal amount of time on each step. “The first day of working on the mural was what took the most time in my opinion; I had to transfer my drawing to a 12 by 7 foot wall and draw my layout. On the second, I worked on the ocean and on the third day, I started to work on the sky and the clouds. Then on the fourth and fifth, I worked on the wings and final touches,” said Hamili. 

      Though Hamili designed and created the mural completely on her own, she had the support of her sister as well as her social media followers when it came to preparing. One of the most important parts of the preparation was getting in contact with Jeans Warehouse. “If it wasn’t for my older sister Malia Hamili, I don’t think I would have found out that Jeans Warehouse was looking for an artist. She texted me and told me, ‘You need to do this.’ If she didn’t tell me that, then I wouldn’t have asked my (social media) platform to help me get Jeans Warehouse’s attention,” said Hamili. 

       Alongside prepping for her project through creating concepts and sketching, another key factor that went into the creation of the mural was how she managed her time in planning and scheduling the exact days that she’d be able to work on the mural. Just as how she divided and organized her time when assigning certain days to specific parts of her mural, Hamili needed to find a way to balance her devotion to art with school and other daily life tasks. “Because I’m always so busy with ASMHS, 2021 council, the Mauna Kea movement, church and school, sometimes I have to take a break from art. I do my best to keep my education first and I plan ahead of what my schedule will look like so I can have time for drawing for others,” said Hamili. 

       In regards to her passion for art, Hamili also has an interest for sewing designs, singing, dancing, acting, editing videos for her YouTube channel, modeling and designing tattoos. Her love for all forms of art can be attributed to her uncle that raised her, who is an artist himself. “He used to tell me that I’d sit by him as he paints and I’d try to copy him when I was two. I was surrounded by different forms of art my whole life because my uncle was a designer, carpenter, painter (and so on),” said Hamili. 

       As for upcoming projects, Hamili will be working with Jeans Warehouse again in creating a mural for their Ala Moana Shopping Center location.