Ashna Rastogi, a twelve-year-old artist from Briarcliff Manor, NY, has always loved to express herself through artwork. Ashna finds her inspiration within nature, as well as outer-space and its galaxies. Conveying themes of friendship and the beauty of nature throughout her work, she utilizes vibrant colors to communicate creative messages. Ashna has found a way to bring greater meaning to her work.
Recently, Ashna’s neighbors Lou and Barbara Wachtel brought to her attention the opportunity to share her art with the community at Briarcliff’s Moonbean Café. Moonbean Café offers local artists the opportunity to gain exposure for their work by allowing them to put their work on display within the café for several months. Ashna expressed admiration for the juxtaposition between Moonbean’s inviting and cozy environment, and her artwork hanging on the walls. Ashna’s vibrant watercolors and intricate sketch work is currently the featured artwork at Moonbean, and every piece in her collection has been sold.
The proceeds from Ashna’s art collection were donated to the Hudson Valley branch of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Upon experiencing her grandmother’s battle with cancer, Ashna’s eyes were opened to the many people struggling and felt a sense of connection and responsibility to utilize her artistic talent to give back to the community. “How inspiring is it to see a 12-year-old give of her time and talent to help grant a wish for a child facing a critical illness, said Thomas Conklin, President & CEO, Make-A-Wish Foundation Hudson Valley.” Through her passion for art, Ashna channels her sense of compassion to provide as much as she can to those in need. In her opinion, “it is never too late to find what you enjoy and use it to help people, so don’t be afraid to explore”.
Another message resonating through Ashna’s artwork is the theme of loneliness. She explains this concept as one she finds motivation from, whereas others see loneliness as something negative. To Ashna, loneliness is often interpreted as something sad, yet she describes it as her fuel to think and create without interruption or limitation. Wise beyond her years, Ashna finds comfort in the boundless ways in which she can utilize her time to explore art.
“I hope that once people find out about me that they realize my age and passion for art, and acknowledge their age and interests, and that passion is ageless. If people see that I am young, they can be inspired to use their talents at any age to do more.”