original anime manga comics illustrations character design
by sonia leong - professional artist & illustrator
about me


in brief

Sonia Leong

Cambridge, United Kingdom

7th May




Fashion, savoury things, videogames

Long walks, ice skating, insincerity

Never reason away your vision



Often found:
Sweatdrop Studios forum

in detail

I'm a professional comic artist and illustrator specialising in Anime/Manga. My first graphic novel was Manga Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet (SelfMadeHero). My awards include Young Adult Library Services Association "2008 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers" and "Best Books for Young Adults 2008" for Romeo and Juliet ; Winner in Tokyopop's first UK Rising Stars of Manga competition (2005/06) and Winner in NEO Magazine's 2005 Manga Competition. I contributed Siren to the Eisner Award-winning Comic Book Tattoo: Tales inspired by Tori Amos (Image Comics). I illustrated the Manga Life series of self-help comic books (Infinite Ideas), Find True Love and Be Creative. My work also appears in Domo: The Manga (Tokyopop/Big Tent) and Bravest Warriors: The Search for Catbug (VIZ Media). I'm well known for my work in children's publishing, namely the illustrations for the I, Hero series (Hachettes) by Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore, Girls FC series (Walker) by Helena Pielichaty and Ninja: First Mission (Barrington Stoke) by Chris Bradford (Author of Young Samurai series). I also work in other fields such as design, film/tv, fashion and advertising, featuring in Wacom-Europe's Manga campaign, the British movie Popcorn (2007), the set of Channel 4's popular sitcom The IT Crowd, Toyota UK's Aygo Manga campaign, Marie Claire Runway and Topshop S/S 2015 collection.

I am the Company Secretary of Sweatdrop Studios, a leading UK comic collaborative and independent publisher of Manga. My works with Sweatdrop include Once Upon a Time, Love Stuffing and Aya Takeo, a full-colour comic originally published online.

I've authored numerous instructional art books, the latest being Draw Manga: Complete Skills (Search Press) which includes 20 instructional videos. I've been teaching Manga workshops since 2004, beginning with lectures at the Artist & Illustrators Magazine Exhibition. UK appearances include the Hay Festival, Latitude, Victoria & Albert Museum and London County Hall. I frequently represent UK creators overseas, working with the British Council. I've exhibited artwork in the Kyoto International Manga Museum, London County Hall, London Cartoon Museum, Japanese Embassy, Manchester URBIS Centre and provided product demonstrations on behalf of Chameleon, Copic, Letraset, Wacom and Promethean.


I've been a full-time freelance illustrator since 2005. Prior to that I had several years' experience of illustration and graphic design part-time and in my former role working for an educational charity in contracts/marketing. I have over eighty (and counting!) publications across magazines, comics/graphic novels, art books and film/TV projects to my credit.

Clients and associates:
Artists & Illustrators Magazine, Asahi, Authors Abroad, Axis Publishing, Barrington Stoke, Barrons' Educational, Bournemouth Russell-Cotes Museum, British Council, Channel 4, COMiCA at the ICA, Copic, Families in Business Magazine, Garage Magazine, Guardian Hay Festival, Hachette's Childrens Books, Harper-Collins, Ilex Publishing, Image Comics, Infinite Ideas, International Manga and Anime Festival (IMAF), Japan 21, Japanese Embassy (London), Letraset, London MCM Expo, Manga Entertainment, Marie Claire, Moshi Moshi Brighton, New Holland Publishers, NEO Magazine, Peters Bookselling, Popcorn (2007, British film), Promethean, Quarto Publishing, Rockport Publishers, SelfMadeHero/MetroMedia, Seven Stories Press, Tablestar Games LLC, Tokyopop, Topshop, Toyota, Victoria & Albert Museum, VideoJug, Wacom, Walker Books, Wolff-Olins

Comics/graphic novels, illustration, branding/mascots, website graphics, character design, concept art, portraits, covers, how-to-draw publications/tutorials, workshops, presentations, product demonstration

Pencils, colour pencils, pen and ink, screentone, watercolours, colour markers (Copic, Letraset, Deleter, Chameleon, Kuretake), Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Illustrator CS5, PaintTool SAI

They depend very much on the subject matter, size of the project, how much time it will take, materials used and final usage/rights. Please email me for a quotation. I accept payments via paypal, UK cheques, bank transfers.



For promotional pictures of me and scans of newspaper/magazine articles from 2005-2010, please visit this Flickr set.

Links to press articles published online:
2010~04 Independent on Sunday: On the Agenda
2010~02 London Evening Standard: R&J used for Promethean photo
2009~03 Animetion: Artist Interview, Sonia Leong
2009~03 Animetion: Cosplay Interview, Sonia Leong
2007~09 Comipress: Infinite Ideas and Sweatdrop Studios Pioneer Self-help Manga!
2007~07 Comics Bits Online: Fyredrake Sonia Leong
2007~06 Comics Bulletin: Sonia Leong Takes Romeo and Juliet to Tokyo
2007~06 Comixpedia: Dream Weavers: Sonia Leong and Lloyd Prentice of Aya.Takeo
2007~01 BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: Manga Hamlet by the Bard?

Images and website are copyright Sonia Leong 2003-2014 unless otherwise stated
Don't use my images without permission. Hotlinking is not allowed