Woman in art and design: Mira Bhardwaj

Senior Mira Bhardwaj reflects on her journey within arts and design

Aashna Patel

From a young age, senior Mira Bhardwaj recalls being interested in art, whether it be drawing in her sketchbook or exploring watercolor paints. After she started taking art classes when she was 8 years old, Bhardwaj began incorporating new mediums including newspaper, oil paints and textured paper into her art pieces. Reflecting on her 10 years of involvement in the arts, Bhardwaj says that her favorite parts of the process are generating new ideas and seeing her pieces evolve in unexpected ways. 

“When I was younger, I used to draw people with two triangles on top of each other, like it was a top and a dress,” Bhardwaj said. “One time I made a mistake, so I cut it out, and I made this thing where a girl was growing, and I really liked that moment, because I was like, ‘Oh, I made such a big mistake, but I made something better out of it,’ [and] it looked like a person was growing up from a child to a teenager to an adult. When you just start executing [projects], you kind of get lost in the process, and then all of a sudden, it’s not really about the final result, [but] it’s more about the process.”

Bhardwaj says that art continues to influence her everyday life and future goals. For instance, she has been taking art electives for the past two years, regularly draws and paints whenever she is bored and plans to major in product design. She also connects with other artists through social media, art contests and art shows. 

“It was comforting [to make friends at an art show] because I don’t [know] a lot of people in Monta Vista who do art, and seeing that there are other people who [do art] made me more confident [in] my interest,” Bhardwaj said. “We all follow each other’s art accounts, and it’s always so nice to see on my feed something [other artists] do, because they live so far away that you’re never going to meet them otherwise.”  

While she still continues creating art, Bhardwaj plans to focus on design and pursue a career in product design. Bhardwaj feels that although art and design careers carry a negative stigma, as it takes more work to build a stable art or design career, there are many career opportunities within this field because it is so broad. She finds that there are positive aspects of both art and design as subjects. 

“There’s a difference between art and design — art is more [when] you have a vision and you start creating it, and design is more [when] you have these rules [and] requirements that you need to have, [and] you still have a vision,” Bhardwaj said. “It’s kind of like a puzzle because you need to figure out how to put all those requirements in while also making a design that works. I think that’s what I like about design, but that’s also what I like about art is that you kind of go with the flow.” 

Bhardwaj also finds that her identity and interests influence her design and art projects. Her interests in swimming motivated her to develop a 3D prototype for a product called Torpedos, which are wireless earbuds designed for swimmers. 

“[I thought] if people can run and listen to music, then why [can’t I swim and listen to music? So that’s why I wanted to design [the Torpedos],” Bhardwaj said. “I started [by] … [looking] at all the [products] out there in the market and [seeing] what I liked and what I didn’t like, and with that information, I just started creating a bunch of shapes. I just drew with pencil, and then once I knew what I was doing, I drew it out digitally with different angles, [and] I also designed the case for it.”

She also used technology to determine how the Torpedos would work. She added a conjoined charging port so the Torpedos would charge together and also ensured that the product could download music, as Bluetooth doesn’t work well underwater. After creating the product, she applied feedback from art teachers and a product design major. 

Bhardwaj is eager to design more fashion and technology products like Torpedos, and feels inspired to break the barrier of what is considered “normal” within the design field and is excited to see the design industry evolve.

“There’s so much design everywhere that I feel like people are starting to appreciate it more,” Bhardwaj said. “We’re heading into a new era of design these days because [with] the new development of technology, we need good design.  At the end of the day, almost anybody’s a designer — [it’s] just [anyone] who is willing to solve the problem and go to the next step, and who wants to do that?”