Jacob Hanna/Pipe Dream Photographer Rebecca Ho, the Student Association vice president for finance and a senior majoring in business administration, created a mural incorporating rare deep sea fish to represent greatness and identity on campus. Her mural was chosen to be displayed in the Admissions Center. Below: Her public mural for the Student Association office, completed in 2016.

Ho is majoring in business administration with a minor in studio art, concentrating in drawing. She is also vice president for finance of the Student Association. She said that while her art background makes her stand out from other candidates for business jobs, it also gives her a different perspective on management.

“I find a lot of business majors, over time, that if they’re not involved in something else, they can have a tendency to want to follow best-practice standards [that] don’t usually lead to small improvements,” she said. “Being an art student and being forced to be in environments around highly contentious and radical people, you want to be that way, so when I enter the business world I have the training and the skills but I won’t be afraid to tell someone how to do something better.”

In 2016, she was the winner of the annual 24-hour Drawing Marathon at BU. The marathon consisted of ten artists who were asked to draw a live model with charcoal on large sheets of paper within the allotted time. And Ho’s artistic endeavors don’t end with paper — her graphic design work can also be seen on pamphlets and emails sent out by the SA.

Ho said she finds inspiration for her artwork from everyday things that different people can connect with, but she also likes to paint animals and ocean scenes. Two of Ho’s paintings have been turned into murals, which are located in the Marketplace and the Admissions Center. The piece in the Admissions Center depicts a rare deep-sea fish — which Ho connects to the way people interact.

“I went and did all this research on the rare fish that one might find in the depths of the ocean,” she said. “I came up with the idea for the anglerfish and that’s the biggest one, the rest are there just to support it — and I think there is something about it that speaks to people.”

Ho began her artistic career with landscapes, but became more interested in portraiture as well as animal drawings after more exploration. Over the years, she has experimented with different mediums including drawing, oil painting and etching. She has also experimented with symbolism; she uses a tiger as her version of a self-portrait.

During her sophomore year of high school, Ho began to shape her schedule around art, but that ended up creating more stress. Ho said she realized art was something she wanted to use as an escape, not something she wanted to have to escape from.

“I was taking all these art classes and I realized I hated it,” she said. “It made me hate art, hate the process, I was exhausted all the time, I didn’t have any good ideas. The things like portraiture that I was always good at were coming out bad.”

Trying to decide between art and business as a career focus was not an easy decision for Ho to make. Ho said that each discipline has aspects she loves and aspects she hates, but for her, they have to go hand in hand.

“At the end of the day, a lot of us business majors that are expressionists find that without something to frustrate you, there is not much to express,” she said. “For me, I really enjoy the business world; art is my way of relieving that tension and expressing myself and without that first thing, art becomes relatively meaningless.”