This week Ama Huen Ning hopes to jazz things up and learn from new experiences Painter/singer Ama Huen Ning says she didn't choose to become an artist. As the youngest daughter of an art lover and a singer, Ama - who started drawing as a toddler and began composing music at the age of seven - inherited her parents' creative streak. 'Normally I create art when I feel blue,' says Ama, 25. 'It's like there are some questions stuck in my head and I want to sort them out via singing and painting. Art is like therapy to me. 'Also I want to capture in my paintings and music the things that people are too busy to appreciate in their daily lives.' Ama studied fine arts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong following a year-long stint at Elmira College in New York. During her university days she came across an album by Chet Baker - a jazz singer who also plays the trumpet - and instantly fell in love with jazz. 'My heart aches when I listen to jazz. It has the power to unearth your inner emotions and it inspires you to think,' says Ama, who sang in a jazz band at the Fringe Club while continuing to paint and hold exhibitions. In 2004 she was invited to perform with a Korean funk jazz band, Lazy Monday, at the opening of the Seoul Fringe Festival. There, she met influential Korean musicians who later worked together on her first Canto-pop album, Seoulful, released last September. There are eight tracks on the album, and the lyrics of each song are printed on a painting by the artist. Music wise, Ama says she's quite happy with the album, which reflects '70 per cent' of who she is as a singer. But image wise - the album cover features Ama in a white dress to convey a girl-next-door feeling - the singer says it's misleading 'That's definitely not me. Fortunately there aren't too many photos of me in the album booklet. I never dress like that,' says Ama, who is strong, funky and independent in real life. But the singer doesn't see that as a compromise. On the contrary, Ama says she is motivated to try out new things and has fewer complaints about life now because every day is a new adventure. 'I've been doing jazz for four years and I think that's enough for the moment,' says Ama. 'Maybe later, when I become older and have established myself [as a singer], I will release a jazz album. But I'm only 25 and I want to do some mainstream songs and try different things. 'Art is subjective, and many artists find it hard to compromise. But I'm quite flexible and I think I have struck the right balance. As long as I can learn from the experience and the results are positive, it's okay with me.' As for the future, Ama says she would like to sing groovier numbers and compose more songs for her second album. To Ama, money is not a priority. 'Sometimes you don't need to have a specific goal for doing something - as long as you know it's the right thing to do, it makes you happy and it has a good influence on people.'