Chanuka Wijayasinghe

Chanuka Wijayasinghe is a Visual Communication graduate from the very first batch of degree holders from AOD attending from 2008 to 2010. Since graduating, Chanuka has worked at prestigious advertising agencies in Sri Lanka such as Triad and Ogilvy as an Art Director, and as a Creative Director at BBDO. Currently, he’s the Creative Director at Splendor Media.  

We are catching up today with Chanuka as he just received his PADI Open Water Diver certification from Poseidon Diving Centre, Trincomalee.  After 8 years of experiencing life under the sea, we caught up with Chanuka to ask about his scuba life, and how as a designer he was inspired from the world under water.

How did you get interested in Scuba Diving?

I first got interested in scuba because it helps me overcome a silly fear. When I was little I was scared to get into water unless I can see what’s under. So the more I kept looking under, the more it drew me to see more as well. Finally the rush of seeing different animals, vast expanses of spaces, almost alien looking things to our planted just below the surface, and of course the adventure that comes with experiencing all that just made me get addicted.

Tell us a bit about your experience.

First time I went under was at Trincomalee (dive site - Swami Rock); the rush of adrenaline and even the little fear I had was all gone because it was surely a treat. The moment we got to the bottom whole area got dark and when we looked up a school of fish (maybe easily 500) was circling around the anchor line right above us. Not to forget a sea turtle which swam past us as well, and there were so many of these beautiful sightings which is why that time became the fastest 30 minutes of my life.

Since 2011 I have gone diving every year at least once. When Praveen(Chanuka’s childhood friend and currently the manager at Poseidon Diving Centre, Trincomalee) started his job at Poseidon, I followed him to dive with them and ever since then no matter who I took there to dive Poseidon has successfully made all my friends addicted to diving.

It was only a matter of time before I did my license... because it all comes back to me wanting to see more. And I want to dive in few other countries as well. So best way to do it is by being a trained diver.

Of course since I have done discovery diving many times before the course I was able to complete the license in 5 days. It was the best learning experience I’ve had in my life. Understanding how preparation and anticipation makes so many things easier and how all that lets you just enjoy the beauty without a worry in the world is really a form of meditation if you ask me

How would a designer be inspired by the world under the sea?

There are few things that inspires me across design as a diver. The fact that just below the surface starting from how waves crash on the underside to a contrast of vast vs. tiny spaces, big vs. small creatures and most importantly how there's a whole different world just under a thin layer of water helps me always see beyond the obvious. And as I mentioned it's a meditation for me so it really helps me see such beautiful things without anything else in my mind. That "preparation and anticipation will keep you alive" it really does help me work on my preparation and anticipation for the world above as well... especially to put order into the chaos of design and advertising.