Original Art by IMAGINE

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On the “Ashcharya” print, IMAGINE (aka Sneha Shrestha) brings her large scale mural indoors by reducing the size of her work while still sharing a big mindful message. She invites viewers to slow down and meditate over the multiple layers in this painting and wishes to share with and inspire the community to keep their sense of wonder and be open to surprises that we encounter in our lives and our careers.

This is a limited edition print, each print will be numbered and signed. The order will be fulfilled by the artist, and $20 shipping will be added on checkout.

IMAGINE (aka Sneha Shrestha) is a Nepali artist who incorporates her native language and meshes the aesthetics of Sanskrit scriptures with graffiti influences. She has shown her meditative works in several exhibitions, commissioned works and public walls around the world from Kathmandu to Boston.

Sneha’s painting Home416 was recently acquired into the Permanent Collection of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston making her the first contemporary Nepali artist to ever be acquired in the history of the MFA. Her new work is a thirty-foot sculpture commissioned by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum currently on view. She was recognized by WBUR as one of the 25 millennial artists of color impacting Boston and recognized as Outstanding Artist of the Year by the Center for Arts at the Armory. Shrestha’s work is held in the private collections of Facebook, Google and Fidelity Investments.

Sneha is also an educator and social entrepreneur. She established Nepal’s first Children’s Art Museum to provide a creative space where children and youth can develop 21st century skills through project based art experiences.

Sneha received her Master’s from Harvard University. Besides creating larger than life murals and paintings, Sneha passionately supports Asian art by working as the Arts Program Manager at the South Asia Institute at Harvard. Her Imagine Beginnings Badge features the first letter of the Nepali alphabet “क”. This letter signifies the beauty in beginning new adventures in life while taking your cultural identity with you.

How I Lean Out: Sneha Shrestha aka IMAGINE

Tell us about you!

I live in Kathmandu, Nepal and in Boston. I paint larger than life murals and paintings with my native letters.

How did you get into street art?  It’s not something one normally associates with Nepal — or even with Boston for that matter.

That’s so true! I definitely didn’t grow up with street art so when I was introduced to it by my mentor and big brother Rob Problak Gibbs, this new form of artwork fascinated me. Creating something larger than myself felt surreal and gave me a platform to express myself and my culture to a wide audience. This helped me feel seen and it’s the most powerful feeling.

We wanted to do this as part of AAPI Heritage month, which has taken on increased resonance along with the escalation in racism over the last several years. Do you feel like people are becoming more aware of the AAPI experience in the U.S. and how it needs to change?

Asian people aren’t a monolith and the more opportunities we get to tell our stories, the more support we receive to take over spaces, our stories become more and more humanized. I think we have ways to go…

Tell us about your badge.

The Imagine Beginnings tab features the first letter of the Nepali alphabet “क”. This letter signifies the beauty in beginning new adventures in life while taking your cultural identity with you.

Obviously these paintings require quite a lot of time spent outdoors — and they also seem quite physically demanding to execute. Is that your main outdoor activity or are you into others? 

I do spend a lot of outdoor time painting and I really treat it like a sport because you need to have stamina, need to stay fit to be able to move around so much and also need to be equipped with the right gear based on the weather- super cold Boston days, monsoon rain in Kathmandu, muggy heat in Miami, changing foggy days in Monterey Bay Area! Need to be ready for all of it haha! I enjoy running and I love biking around the city when I’m in Boston! Growing up in Nepal I was really into mountain biking too.

Tell us about your gear - what do you tend to bring/wear? What are some of your favourite tools, gear, or apparel for leaning out?

Paint shoes: nike airmax 2090

Rain jacket: Early Majority Shell jacket  

Early Majority Anorak 👌🏽 

What is one of your most memorable adventures or favourite places to lean out?

Favorite places to lean out include the Chitwan National Park in Chitwan, Nepal. I enjoy being completely surrounded by greenery with not a tall building in site- it’s just the blue sky and leafy green trees ✨

I have loved trekking through Ghandruk in Nepal too…you feel like you could just TOUCH the Annapurna mountain range from there and I AM a Himalayan baby so mountains are close to my heart ❤️ 

When I’m in Boston, I love sitting beside Spy pond after my early morning runs or during summer sunsets

What do you do to stay safe so you can really relax in nature?

Sunblock! When I’m outdoors, I’m putting on sunblock! Whether I’m in nature or painting in a city!

I stay hydrated as well. If I’m really going off trail in Nepali jungles, then I use tiger balm around my ankles to prevent leeches and other creepy crawlies from getting into my shoes 

Who inspires you in the outdoors? We would love to include them in a future ‘How I Lean Out’!

My best friend Nistha Shrestha has inspired me to enjoy the jungle ever since we were little. Seeing her so happy and comfortable in nature is such a joy for me. She’s also an avid bird watcher during our jungle hikes and always points them out to me.