Student Spotlight: Bella Miki ‘25

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Bella Miki '25Bella Miki ‘25 recently became a published artist, as one of her medical illustrations was featured in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Global Research and Reviews. With a passion for all kinds of art, she will soon be inducted into the National Art Honor Society, and has also found a way to use her art to contribute to the community. Read on to learn more. 

You have a passion for medical illustration. How did you discover this as an option for an artist? 

The summer before my freshman year and the summer before my sophomore year I had two surgeries. When I was meeting with the doctor before the first surgery, he drew out the internal structure of my ear and what was going to happen. This calmed me so much, to visually see what was going to be done during the surgery. I think that’s when I first began to think about illustrations and medicine and how powerful illustration can be for helping people. I also realized what a pivotal role they play in the medical literature. I had started teaching myself how to digitally draw and animate a few years before and thought maybe I could use my skills to contribute to research and also to help people.

How did the opportunity to have one of your illustrations in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Global Research and Reviews come about? 

Bella Miki '25 - medical illustration

I reached out offering my services to medical researchers. I even offered to draw for my surgeon. Although it was slow at first, eventually medical researchers at a number of universities decided to give me a shot and from there it grew. They would let the medical students on their team know that they could reach out to me to illustrate for them and then from there opportunities arose. I think having the opportunity to work with researchers on the cutting edge of their fields has taught me how to function at that level. At first, I was really nervous and doubted whether my work would be the quality they were looking for. I have a number of drawings in papers under review right now but this one in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons will always be special to me because it was my first to get published.

What are your future aspirations in terms of medical illustration? 

I have thought about this alot because quite a few people I have worked with have mentioned that this is a lucrative and rewarding career for many professionals. I think, however, that while I love doing these illustrations, I love art with no creative boundaries so much that while I will continue doing this for as long as I love it as a hobby, I want to preserve art as something creative that I do for pleasure. Also, I really want to be a surgeon so while I hope to one day be able to comfort my patients with a drawing that makes a procedure more understandable and less scary, I do not think I want to dedicate myself solely to medical illustration.

Bella Miki '25 - medical illustration

What other types of art do you enjoy making? What do you love most about creating art? 

I love the freedom and the creativity of art. I love having an idea and bringing it to life on my iPad. I have really spent the years that I have been doing art focusing on digital art and it’s still my favorite, but in HL Visual Art with Ms. Goldman I have explored so many different mediums and visual and psychological layers to art, and they all offer different possibilities.

How has being a student at Gulliver allowed you to grow, discover new passions, and experience new ideas and opportunities?

Ms. Goldman’s Visual Arts HL class has really challenged me to think beyond the purely visual aspects of art. She has taught us that content, what you see, is only one aspect of art and that process and context in culture and in history all contribute to an understanding of a work of art. 

I also try to use my art to contribute to the community, as well. I have drawn the poster and flier for a medical mission that goes to Peru to do cleft palate surgeries for children who cannot afford it. I have drawn and donated school t-shirts to a local pre-K for migrant children. I also try, when I can, to volunteer doing art projects with the children at that school. I have been volunteering doing art projects with that school since I was in Middle School and it is one of my favorite community service activities.



Middle school student building.

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