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Udara Chinthaka – Young Illustrators of Sri Lanka Part 5

Udara Chinthaka’s work is nothing short of spectacular. The layers, the detail… you can stare at it for hours and see something new or intriguing in the illustration as the minutes tick by. At least that’s what it was like for us when we first laid eyes on his work.

Rooted in traditional Sri Lankan art

What probably makes Udara’s work even more interesting is that it’s foundation lies in the traditional Sri Lankan style of art. “From the initial years the art and the style I have used, is mainly from the Sri Lankan style which you would find in the historical artwork; which is still used today. This style is found at the core of my work”, explains Udara. He goes on to say that while this is the foundation of his work he builds on it with other influences from his childhood from watching cartoons and Amine, making the final product of his art very unique and complex.

“In terms of technique I would, as any artist or illustrator, begin with by sketching out a rough idea on pencil and paper and then bring it to life with color and perspective; using digital tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Taking this as the base of my art I’ve mixed the form or approach of Western art and illustration to bring my art to a level that I’m pleased with”.


Pursuing his passion

Like most of the other illustrators we have featured in this series, Udara started out very young. “My sketching years began since my childhood and my Father was my main inspiration”, he shares, adding that his father is artist himself, who has his own unique nature and style when it comes to his work, and since Udara a little boy he wanted to follow in his father path.

Udara however, influenced by modern cartoons and comics, wanted to explore other forms of art as well. In parallel to studying for his Advanced Levels Udara followed a graphic design course as well.

However, a future in art became distant as Udara entered college. “Even though I used to illustrate and sketch since my college years, my first job wasn’t fully based on art and illustrations”, he elaborates. “But in 2005 I decided to challenge myself with the talent and ambition I possess, and it was through this new found creativity and art that I changed the level of skill to Illustrations. My career path really took its turn when I joined my present workplace, We Are Designers, and I was introduced to the word of digital art and illustrations”.

Making it in the local world of media

Persevering and following his childhood passion, Udara is now a well-known illustrator and has even been featured in the local newspapers for his impressive talent. However, within the industry, Udara says there are challenges that he faces, “A challenge I face many a times would be focusing on building or creating something new to society but as many are still in the back seat of the designing culture here in Sri Lanka in comparison to the western world, it’s hard to keep up with the modern trends of design and creativity. It is for this reason that sometimes I end up with a half-hearted design concept”.

Work aside, however, Udara finds the time to work on his own personal ideas and illustrations. You can check out more of his awe-inspiring work on his Behance account.

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