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Asma Nazim-Starnes

More about Asma Nazim-Starnes


Asma Nazim-Starnes was born in Kandy, Sri Lanka and left her country at a young age to pursue a college education in Graphic Design. She studied for a BA in Graphic Design at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL, minoring in Art History, and took four years of painting in addition to studying digital design media. Upon graduating, she has worked for companies such as Disney’s Yellow Shoes Creative Group as an Interactive Production Designer.

She decided to further her studies and attended Florida Atlantic University in Fort Lauderdale, FL to obtain an MFA in Graphic Design. During her studies, she expanded her knowledge in digital media by working with video and audio, interactive and time-based animation, the art of bookmaking as well as honing her skills in print design and typography. She worked as a Professor of Graphic Design at Miami International University of Art and Design, the Art Institute in Jacksonville, FL and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division.

Currently she is working as an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at Lander University, in Greenwood SC. She teaches introductory and advanced classes in graphic and interactive design. She has also developed new courses that have never been taught before at Lander. Besides working with several types of contemporary digital media, she enjoys oil painting as well as bookmaking.  She strives to expose and educate the public about her homeland Sri Lanka, the beautiful and unique culture that is known by very few. 

Most of her design work focuses on Sri Lankan Sinhalese calligraphy, as well as the ancient rich history, sculptures, architecture and visual language of her country. 



When I became conscious that my purpose as a Graphic Designer was to use my knowledge and education intelligently and responsibly, I began to communicate my individual authority about matters I deeply care about through the visual arts. Born in Sri Lanka during the emergence of a civil war, I never recognized my sincere love and concern for this Island and its ancient history until I moved away and traveled to America to pursue a higher education.

Through analysis of my oil paintings, and while conducting research for my undergraduate senior show, I have learnt immensely about my own country- her history, culture, art and architecture, myth and legend, and about the war-torn situation which devastated my homeland for twenty six years. Ever since, I have endeavored to communicate my own opinions on these issues and to expose the rich art and history as well as the native Sanskrit language- Sinhalese, through my print, web, multimedia and fine art work.

I am always in awe when I scrutinize work by artists who implement their native language in the elevated art form of calligraphy, where the beauty of the letterforms and symbols are stunningly utilized, and the visual beauty speaks for itself. These artists also frequently use traditional images from their native country, addressing various political, racial, cultural and social issues. I endeavor to follow in the footsteps of these design masters, in my own journey to expose the current fragile beauty of my country’s lost art, its language and magnificent artwork and culture.


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