A graduate from the Faculty of Fine Arts (FFA), University of Dhaka, Sadatuddin Ahmed Amil started scribbling art since he was a child. Ever since he started receiving praises from his friends while drawing caricatures of his teachers in school, he thought of a career in art as his first choice. Sadat is also a staff artist/cartoonist at The Daily Star.
When the Ekushey Boi Mela rolls around, the artist is in high demand for his visually enticing artwork, as his cover designs and illustrations instantly increase the appeal of any writer's book. Sadat has worked on 20 cover designs and completed illustrations for 9 books for this year's fair. His art has a distinctive style, as he loves working on children's books. “As children, we tended to re-read any book we owned over and over again. The art that we are exposed to at that age, stays with us forever, and this is why I am very passionate about creating art for children.” Some of his inspirations in the craft are Hashem Khan, Shishir Bhattacharjee and Rafiqun Nabi.
This year, some of Sadat's notable works include Jokhon Tuntuni Tokhon Chhotacchu by Mohammad Zafar Iqbal, Sreshtho Kishore Golpo by Anisul Hoque and Sundarban e Saat Bochhor by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay, among others. In response to a question regarding the difficulty of balancing a full-time job with book fair work, Sadat says that the publications in the country need to be more professional. “We are given very tight deadlines which are difficult to meet, and often, the quality of work suffers because of it. The work needs to be distributed throughout the year,” he says. The artist also thinks that specialisation is required in order to induce professionalism in the industry. “Everyone looks to be an 'all-rounder' who does illustrations, paintings, cartoons and cover designs at the same time,” says Sadat, who emphasises the importance of segregation in these fields.
Moving forward, Sadatuddin Ahmed Amil looks to be more careful about selecting projects keeping his hectic time-schedule in mind. “I definitely want to work on cover art and illustrations in the foreseeable future, but I will do so in a way that does not put last-minute pressure on me,” smiles Sadat.