KOCHI: Surjith Sidhardh’s life would have ended up being ordinary. But, he gave it an extraordinary twist. This 33-year-old never let polio, which afflicted him when he was one-year-old, douse his spirit to live. Today, sitting on his wheelchair, Surjith creates stunning pencil drawings and portraits. His dedication has also taken him to the Malayalam film industry.
“My schooling was at Mar Athanasius High School and I stayed at Home of Faith Convent at Chittethukara, which had many disabled children as inmates. The sisters in the convent were very particular that we engage in some kind of extracurricular activity. I had friends who drew well and that’s how I started pencil drawing, in Class IV,” says Surjith. Since then, he had won numerous prizes in drawing competitions.
Though he earned a diploma in electronics, he decided to focus on sketching to eke a living. It was in 2012 that he started posting drawings on Facebook. “Those works started getting good responses. Soon, people wanted me to draw their portraits. But, he turned to sketching portraits of film actors for self-promotion, which earned him a good many offers. I started getting offers, which fetched me around Rs 2,000- Rs 3,000 for a work,” he adds.
Actor-scriptwriter Bibin George and Surjith were classmates and through them, he got the opportunity to do character sketch in movies. “Through Bibin, Vishnu Unnikrishnan and others, I could show my works to Dulquer Salmaan, Kunchako Boban and Manju Warrier. That was how I was called to do character sketches for Amar Akbar Anthony, Kattappanayile Rithwik Roshan and Oru Yamandan Prema Kadha. I do the initial sketching of main characters. The final look may have slight changes,” he says.
He now plans to open an art gallery in Perumbavoor next month with his three friends. “The space will have an editing studio and will also exhibit my works. We wish to open it on December 3, which is also the International Day of Disabled Persons. I am also working on a script and a few films for which I did character sketching will be out soon,” Surjith winds up.