It is said that everyone is born with a special gift. But the young generation is defying the old feudal belief rampantly now by showcasing the multiple skills that one can cultivate to champion in many fields.
Artist, computer animator, scholar and now a full time writer, Ama H Vanniarachchy is one of the most multi-skilled young all-rounders operating today. She is a brilliant product of Musaeus College, Colombo, and subsequently of the University of Kelaniya where she graduated with First Class Honours in Archaeology. She has also completed a diploma in Computer Animating and Graphic Designing in India and is currently reading for her Masters degree.
Despite being the multi-skilled person she is, Ama kindly invites all enthusiasts to grace the launching ceremony of her new three children’s books on June 29 at 4.30 pm at the Lions Activity Center, Rajagiriya. The veteran child writer and artist Sybil Wettasinghe will be the honourable Chief Guest.
Ama, the artist
Ama has been painting since she was a child and has participated and won several International medals and awards. She does oils, acrylics, water colour, soft pastels, oil pastels, ink, pencils and even charcoal. She held her first solo art exhibition titled Amaransara in 2011. Three of her paintings were selected for the SAARC Paintings Exhibition held in Colombo in August last year.
Ama, the writer
Ama ventured on taking up creative writing around five years ago but has just started publishing recently, although she has been regularly contributing research papers and articles to academic journals and newspapers. She marked her first solid step forward this year with her maiden research publication, The origin and Evolution of the Domestic Dog (a Godage publication)-an archaeological study that discusses the long time process of evolution of the domestic dog in reference to Environmental Archaeology and other natural sciences. The book also concentrates on delineating our ancestors’ successful domestication of the grey wolf, the many physical and psychological changes it underwent in becoming the now domesticated dog, religious and cultural significance of the members of the dog family and dogs in Sri Lanka.
More fuel in the tank
Ama shows no signs of slowing down or getting complacent with her writing career: she plans to release three children’s books, woven with meaningful stories and coloured with innovative illustrations, published by her own publishing company this month. “Writing for children is far more challenging.” She said, brimming with enthusiasm. “It is fascinating: I think and try to see things from a child’s perspective. I imagine things. Then I have to think of the illustrations I am going to do for the story. It is a very responsible task.”
The illustrations of her news publications are done Ama herself. “As an artist, my style is impressionism,” She explained. “I love fine detailing. I plan to experiment with some new computer and hand-done styles in my upcoming books.”
A future well planned
A full time writer now, Ama is currently working on two more children’s books that are inspired by traditional Sri Lankan folklore.
She is also focusing on her next archaeological research book and a diverse collection of history and archaeology research articles as well. Meanwhile, she also plans to do illustrations of four more upcoming books, of her own and another novice writer’s.
Ama regards many persons and things as inspirational ranging from widely known local and foreign authors Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, R K Narayan, Rabindranath Tagore, Martin Wickramasinghe and Mahagamasekera, then again in busy days at her studio, in rainy and gloomy days, in struggling hours in front of computer, in her cat and dog and at weekends at her own Amaransara Art Academy where she gives drawing and painting lessons for all ages, she finds her inspiration. She further loves reading and exhaustively editing her works.