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Maya Ramaswamy

AFC Conservation Artist of the Month for November, 2007

Maya takes conservation seriously. She has volunteered at summer nature camps in India for children since she was a school girl. Working with local voluntary conservation groups back then, she helped organized nature camps for school children, introducing them to the magic of Indian wildlife. Starting with the basics of setting up camp, the children walked nature trails, and learned the basics of birdwatching and tracking bigger animals.
 
Today, Maya still talks to children about wildlife through her artwork. Occasionally, she writes articles and letters in the local print media in support of conservation, or in protest against some destruction of wildlife habitats. She tries to donate whatever percentage she can from her income as an artist for nature conservation in India.
 
The Indian subcontinent is blessed with an incredibly rich natural heritage and biodiversity. "I have been mesmerized by the power, beauty and grace of mother nature all my life. Watching wild animals in their natural habitat is my passion, and if I can capture even a fraction of the awesome beauty in my artwork, I would consider myself blessed. I try to record what I see in my head, like a movie, to be replayed later when I draw. I also sketch from nature whenever possible. Sometimes, for precision in details of a hind leg, or a wing or horn, I refer to photographs or books."
 
Recently, Maya has been increasingly drawn towards illustrating books on Indian wildlife. Most people in India have not seen wild animals aside from visits to the zoo. With several young wildlife biologists writing books, as an illustrator, she gets to learn intimately the stories from their worlds, of turtles, or hornbills, or grasslands or frogs. Many publishers also bring out Indian language translations of these books, so more people can learn about their rich bio diversity. Between books, Maya paints, or takes up commissions for a set of paintings, designs t-shirts or posters for conservation campaigns. "I do whatever work that can help bring people's attention to wildlife or wilderness areas. I will need a life time to build a body of work that I can be satisfied with."

Previous Conservation Artists of the Month

(October, 2017)
(September, 2017)
(August, 2017)
(July, 2017)
(June, 2017)
(May, 2017)
(April, 2017)
(March, 2017)
(February, 2017)
(January, 2017)
(December, 2016)
(November, 2016)
(October, 2016)
(September, 2016)
(August, 2016)
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