Meet the Muse: Anoushka Mirchandani

 Photo: Hillary Jeane Photography

So much of my work is inspired by other creative friends and mentors. As I find myself in the middle of designing the fall 2020 collection, I sat down with my dear friend and artistic muse, Anoushka Mirchandani for a refreshing conversation on the creative process, how upbringing shapes our artistic identity and her upcoming solo show, Note to Self, opening this Saturday at 808 Sutter Street, San Francisco . 


Anoushka Mirchandani is an artist living in San Francisco. Born and raised in India, Anoushka moved to the United States when she was 18 years old. Her artworks are informed both by her cultural upbringing in India, and her personal discoveries and growth in the United States.

 Anoushka works across multiple media to create figurative artworks that embody the emotions of what it feels like to be a woman in society today. Her artworks are inspired by her patchwork identity; that of being Indian, being an immigrant, being an other, being an American, being a woman, and being an artist.  

In 2017 and 2018, Anoushka was selected as a showcase visual artist for Kearny Street Workshop, the oldest Asian Pacific American multidisciplinary arts organization in the US. She was also selected to show her work at CA State Senator, Scott Wiener’s public offices, has shown her work in various galleries in San Francisco, and is in private collections across the U.S and India.

Her debut solo show, Note to Self, opens this Saturday, August 29th at Glass Rice, 808 Sutter Street  in San Francisco. 

Follow her on instagram: @anoushka

Photo: Hillary Jeane Photography

Your art has a distinct style and is often themed around the experience of being a woman. How long did it take for you to discover your style and subject focus?

I have to admit that my subject matter has remained the same since I started painting in 2004. Looking back at my older works, I realized that I have always painted women. This can definitely be attributed to my upbringing in India, where as a young girl, bodily freedom was fiercely controlled by an archaic, patriarchal society.  I was taught to constantly be looking over my shoulder to ensure that I was not showing “too much skin,” and made to feel very self-aware of my body. This created an unhealthy relationship for me with my body, one of fear and shame, and I sought to unravel these false learnings through artistic expression. Over the last few years, I further developed and honed my style and artistic voice in both my figurative and abstract works, but am continuously fascinated by the mindscape of women as we tackle complex emotions of vulnerability, shame, nostalgia etc. on our respective paths of self-discovery. 

 Where do you go to draw inspiration? 

Inspiration comes to me in various different forms -- Observing my own thoughts, memories and emotions, and the experiences of those that surround me. I also (used to) travel frequently, and visiting different countries always gave birth to new color palettes and concepts. Now in quarantine,  I’m constantly reminded how seemingly mundane, unassuming moments like drinking tea in my garden, or reading a good book in my hammock can be the catalyst for creating a new artwork. A whole new world of inspiration at your fingertips!

 Photo: Hillary Jeane Photography

How did your childhood shape you into the person you are today, how did it shape your career path?

I was always the “doodling” child growing up, getting into trouble in school for daydreaming, drawing during lessons and “talking back.” Although I was always interested in, and engaged in some form of art, I didn’t understand that being an artist was an actual career option for me. Although the art and music scene is burgeoning in India now, when I was growing up, it felt like art was perceived as more of a “hobby” than anything else. As result, I entertained a variety of other career options growing up, a veterinarian making the top of the list! However, in reality I worked in the tech industry for 7 years in San Francisco at various start-ups before taking the plunge to pursue my life-long passion in art, and focus on my career as a professional artist. Years later now, here I am with my debut solo show in San Francisco opening tomorrow! 


Photo: Hillary Jeane Photography

We loved seeing you in our pieces during your most recent photoshoot! What is your favorite Waffles & Honey piece?

I’m really loving the Heavy Link Chain Choker. It’s the perfect size, not too delicate, not too chunky, and pairs so well with my other layering necklaces. It also doesn’t get in the way when I’m painting which is a huge plus! The Siren Hoops are also stunning - they are such statement earrings without being too overpowering!

Shop all of Anoushka's W&H Picks