Susil’ s natural flair for picture- story illustrations
A few kilometres away from the Homagama junction lies a path with a
bend shaded by palm trees circled by the Ganewatta Purana Raja Maha
Vihara with a long history of early Buddhist architecture. Once
inaccessible, the roadway now modernised and carpeted leads to a small
village known as Hokandara. It has now been transformed into a bustling
town with a row of tea boutiques, small shops selling clothes and other
items of fashion. The men, confined to the loin cloth gave no heed to
The women in a slip of a blouse with a low open neckline were clad in
colourful chintz cloths and revealed inches of their bare midrift.
Susil Jayasantha Perera
Their complexion is a soft brown, something like the shade of
unburned coffee, and their hair was tied in a big konde at the nape of
the neck. In clear cut features, with dazzling white teeth and bright
eyes the women were a target for the admiring glances.
It is in this village of Hokandara that Susil Jayasantha Perera was
born on December 14, 1972. He enjoyed the triple blessings of the rich
earth, warm sunlight and sweet rain of the village, above all, its
picturesque scenery and artistic treasures. A few towns in the world
were better equipped to feed the eyes of a growing child, with the
wonder of beauty.
No doubt Susil grew up in the typical surroundings of a home in which
there was an ardent interest for art and music. His elder brother was a
musician while his mother was a housewife and an artist. Susil was
fascinated by his mother’s paintings from childhood, and expressed his
desire to become an artist. His home was filled with sketches and
paintings drawn at random by his mother while his ears echoed with
Hindustani Ragadara music and Sinhalese folk songs. His early education
was at the Dharmapala Vidyalaya and he completed his education at
Mahanama Vidyalaya, Colombo. From early childhood Susil showed his
talents on the walls in his home, in the classroom and in the temple.
Whenever he could lay his hands upon a bit of paper and a pencil or
charcoal he made sketches of people, animals and birds. In his constant
eagerness to draw he didn’t care much for studies. His mother soon
realised that Susil would be an artist like her. So, she helped him
tremendously to promote his artistic potentials.
Susil’s talents as a picture-story illustrator was recognised by his
first appointment as an illustrator of comic books by a leading book
publisher in 1991. His natural ability to draw human figures and create
picture-story illustrations spread far and wide and enabled him to work
in various newspaper organisations.
During this time picture-stories became popular among readers,
especially among children. Susil started producing picture-stories
dealing with manifold activities of the people, bull fights, bandits,
courtships, seduction, historic events and Spartacus’ Saman Piccha Sandu
and they became very popular among the readers.In 2002 the novel
Sangayana was published as a picture-story book. He came under the
influence of Ven. Kirama Vimalajothi, the director of the Nadimala
Buddhism Cultural Centre to do illustrations for the publications
printed by the institute. His book cover illustrations for a series of
books entitled, The Buddhist way of life circulated among Buddhist
English Schools and is an outstanding contribution in his career as an
Susil participated in many group exhibitions and won awards. His huge
paintings done in oil on canvas on Jathaka stories and religious
pictures, “Buddha with his Five Disciples”, The Birth of the Buddha”,
‘Princess Sujatha offering milk rice, are alive with the flawless
richness of green, red, yellow, and blue with brisk brush strokes. The
colour is low keyed and the designs meticulous in balance.
His enormous output in creative achievements has won accolades from
religious dignitaries. Besides Susil’s dedication to paint and drawing,
he is engaged in commercial work and designing art and commercials for
television, creations for exhibition stalls, and contributing cartoons
to various newspapers. He conducts an organisation on graphic designing,
‘Susil Sri Creations. To this day he stands tall with a sense of
satisfaction and an innocent pride.