February 27, 2014

Kyoorius Knocks: Mickey Bardava

By Payal Khandelwal

If there is one thing that clearly emerges while rummaging through Mickey Bardava’s portfolio is the variety of work he has done so far. Bardava is a communication designer and photographer, now based out of Kota, Rajasthan. He works in the spectrum of identity design, typography, publication design, packaging design and illustration. He feels that his photography contributes a lot to his design work in terms of inspiration.

Bardava speaks to us about the people who have influenced him over the years, his most challenging project, his favorite books and music and his future plans. Read on:

When were you absolutely sure that this what you want to do?

I was fascinated by graphic/communication design when I was in Higher Secondary School.
After joining NID, got really inspired by the work of Sebastiao Salgado, Walker Evans, Henri Cartier Bresson and Ansel Adams. That’s how it all began.

Does your photography inspire your design and vice versa?
Photography is not just about a well composed image. It’s about new experiences, places, people and emotions, and in the very least it grounds me and keeps me connected to my surroundings. As such all these inspire my approach to design and problem solving. I think it’s the same for every creative person.


Out of all the different categories you work in, which one is your favorite?
I enjoy landscapes and portraits. I find it fascinating to capture the spirit of a place, or the core of a person.

What/who inspires you the most?

As I mentioned, the work of Sebastiao Salgado, Henri Cartier Bresson, Ansel Adams, Walker Evans captured my imagination, inspired and drew me in. After looking at Sebastiao Salgado’s work I started taking photography seriously at NID.

Good music, cinema and art inspire me too.

What kind of music do you listen to? Does it play any role in your work?
I like different kinds of music. Jazz, mellow electronic, Alternative Rock, Indian/Western classical, World Music (African Senegal) etc.
Music helps me focus on work, at times even inspires me.

What do you like most about what you do?
I really enjoy what I do, being able to have complete control over my time, be able to travel. Choose my projects and the sort of work I want to do.


Would you say you have a particular style?
In photography, I would say I like to capture the spirit of a landscape or the spirit of a person in their portrait. I would say documentary is my style.

Describe your work desk in one line. If you had to keep just one single item at your desk, what would that be?
I’m finicky about cleanliness and order. That reflects in my work and the way I work, so my desk is always organised and clean. Single item would be my Mac.

What is your favourite book? What are you reading right now?
I’m into design, architecture and photography books. Amongst many favorites; I’m particularly fond of Workers and Migrations by Sebastiao Salgado. Recently got my copy of Genesis by Salgado.

Currently I’m reading You can beat your brain by David McRaney. It’s an interesting book on how the human mind works and human psychology.

At what time of the day do you feel most creative/productive?
Afternoons and late nights. At nights I can concentrate better without any disturbance or distractions.


What would be your second dream profession?
It probably would be something to do with travel or cooking! I love traveling/exploring new places.

What has been your most challenging project so far? Can you tell us a bit about it.
This would be a project centered around education and school preferences of the urban poor. Essentially about communication design where a visual artefact had to be created for formally uneducated/illiterate parents; to help make an informed choice of schools for their children. It involved carefully crafting a visual language and metaphors to help parents compare schools. This artefact turned out to be a visual school report card that was tested and refined for effective communication with its audience.

What are you upto right now?
I’m in the process of establishing my base in Kota, as a lot of projects I do are with clients in Delhi/Bangalore. I’m frequently shuttling between them. Currently I’m involved in some branding and strategy design projects.

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