Sonia Leong

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Sonia Leong
Born (1982-05-07) 7 May 1982 (age 35)
Malaysia
Nationality British
Area(s) Illustrator

Sonia Leong (born 7 May 1982) is a freelance comic artist, illustrator and member of Sweatdrop Studios.

Biography[edit]

Leong was born in Malaysia and lived in Thailand from 1989 to 2000. She then attended University of Warwick, Economics and Politics BSc (Hons) from 2000 to 2003, and currently resides in Cambridge, UK. She is a freelance illustrator regularly attending anime and comic conventions in the UK and internationally.

She first came to attention when she illustrated an adaptation of William Shakespeare's 'Romeo & Juliet' for Self Made Hero[1] which has since been listed in the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) '2008 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers' and 'Best Books for Young Adults 2008'.

Her early competition achievements include 2nd place Winner in the first Tokyopop Rising Stars of Manga United Kingdom & Ireland Competition; Winner in NEO Magazine's 2005 Manga Competition and being Joint Judge for the Character Design category of the International Manga and Anime Festival (IMAF).[2]

She has worked for various comic publishers, illustrating covers, spreads and anthologies. She contributed a chapter towards the Eisner Award-winning 'Tori Amos' Comic Book Tattoo' a 480-page anthology published by Image Comics. She also illustrated a chapter for Tokyopop's 'DOMO: The Manga', an anthology starring the popular Japanese television mascot Domo, as well an adaptation of 'Reginald' by Saki for The Graphic Canon from Seven Stories Press. She created a spread for the picture book 'Bravest Warriors: The Search For Catbug' published by Viz Media / Perfect Square. She also illustrated several variant covers for Titan Comics, most notably for the Ubisoft videogame Manga retelling of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag by Kenji Oiwa titled 'Assassin's Creed: Awakening' and 'Norman' by Stan Silas.

She produced a short Manga comic called 'Aygo Manga: Adventure One'[3] as part of Toyota GB PLC's promotional campaign for the 2014 model of their Toyota Aygo car. Most recently, she illustrated a series of images for the Toyota 86 in the style of the classic seinen manga Initial D, as the main character drives a Toyota AE86. Toyota created a car in the same livery for 'touring UK car shows in 2016'.[4]

She is the Company Secretary of Sweatdrop Studios and her works with the group include 'Once Upon a Time...'; 'Cyborg Butterfly'; 'Satan's Amazon'; 'Murder on the Dancefloor' for the 'Sugardrops' anthology; 'Return to Chenezzar' for 'Pink is for Girls'; 'Model Behaviour' for 'Drop Dead Monstrous'; 'Hero' for 'Talking to Strangers'; 'The Snow Queen' for 'Telling Tales','Love Stuffing' and 'A Brush With Magic'. Leong is the Art Director for the 'Aya.Takeo' webcomic;[5] commissioned by Prentice Associates and now published by Sweatdrop Studios across three volumes.

She has authored many instructional art books, such as 'Beginning Manga' (Walter Foster),[6] 'Manga Your World' (Search Press),[7] 'Draw Manga: Complete Skills' (Search Press)[8] and '101 Top Tips from Professional Manga Artists' (Barrons).[9] She was the Head Contributor to 'Draw Manga' by Sweatdrop Studios from New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd.[10] Her work also appears in '500 Manga Characters' by Sweatdrop Studios from Ilex;[11] 'Drawing Manga'[12] by Selina Dean; 'Manga Clip Art'[13] by Hayden Scott-Baron,'50 Manga Babes to Draw and Paint' by Chi Hang Li.[14] and 'Super Cute Chibis to Draw and Paint' by Joanna Zhou.

She illustrated the 'Manga Life' series of self-help books for Infinite Ideas.[15] and headed the conceptual art and design of the Collectable card game 'Herocard Cyberspace' from Tablestar Games.[16]

Her work appeared in 'Popcorn', a British movie directed by Darren Paul Fisher, starring Jack Ryder (EastEnders) and Jodie Albert (Hollyoaks). Her illustrations were also used on the set of Channel 4's award-winning British sitcom 'The IT Crowd' in series 3, as well the 2016 dark comedy 'Flowers (TV series)'. She was also filmed for CNN International's 2015 coverage of Formula One historic battles at the Suzuka Circuit, illustrating the rivalry between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

Leong's work in children's publishing includes illustrating the choose-your-own-adventure style 'I, Hero' series by Steve Skidmore and Steve Barrow (The Two Steves) for Hachette; the 'Girls FC' series by Helena Pielichaty for Walker Books; and 'Ninja: First Mission' by Chris Bradford of Young Samurai fame.

Leong collaborated on Wacom's Manga campaign which appeared in major German magazines using her art to promote the wildly successful 'Pimp My Character' contest featured in the German publication Animania;[17] her work also featured on the Wacom website[18] in an article promoting the use of Wacom in the creation of manga.

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