PREVIEWSworld: Please introduce yourself! Tell us where you currently work and what you do in the industry.
Amanda Coronado: I am a freelance illustrator and independent designer currently living in Maryland. I split my time between working on Vamplets and my online shop, Cinna Shop.
PREVIEWSworld: How long have you been working with sequential art? What titles, companies, and creators have you worked with over your time in comics?
Amanda Coronado: I graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2008 with a degree in Sequential Art, but I've been drawing comics since my childhood! Before Vamplets, I had mostly been published in small anthology books, ranging from SCAD's Anthology book to the all girls comic anthology Sugar Ninjas. Vamplets is my first long term project.
PREVIEWSworld: How did you get interested in comics? How did you find your way into working with larger companies?
Amanda Coronado: I got into comics when I was a teenager and I discovered CLAMP’s work. I fell in love with their delicate drawing style in Cardcaptor Sakura and Magic Knight Rayearth and I never looked back! After graduating college, I found it difficult to find work with larger companies because my style was deemed “too girly.” I then decided to focus on making my own art and marketing my own illustrations. Gayle discovered me at Dragon*Con selling my work in the Art Show and thought it perfect for the world of Gloomvania.
PREVIEWSworld: What's your current project? What're you reading right now?
Amanda Coronado: I'm currently working on penciling for Vamplets, as well as striving to work on my own self-published projects. Right now, I'm enjoying reading a few online comics- Fox Sister, Amya Chronicles, and Everblue, to name a few.
PREVIEWSworld: In your opinion, how has the comic book industry evolved in terms of gender?
Amanda Coronado: I think the industry has opened up a lot to everyone — not just in terms of gender, but to all kinds of different people and viewpoints! I think the evolution of online comics and the ability to share on social media sites has also opened up a huge door for people to share their art and find commercial work. That being said, I still think there is room for diversity.
PREVIEWSworld: What stereotypes do you see surrounding women in comics? How could people of all genders go about breaking those stereotypes?
Amanda Coronado: The worst stereotype I've seen is the though that some particular stereotype exists at all! I think there is the assumption that women only prefer certain genres or certain types of stories. But the truth is that women enjoy the same type of comics that men do. At the end of the day, I want to make comics that aren't just appealing to women, but to everyone. I don't usually fall in love with a story because it's a romance or an adventure or whatever, but because it has a compelling story, a unique concept, and interesting characters.
PREVIEWSworld: Have you noticed a trend in the type of comic books women buy? How do you want to see women represented in comic books 10 years from now?
Amanda Coronado: I think women want what men want — which is interesting, unique stories! Of course, everyone has different genres that they enjoy, but at the end of the day, a successful comic will have something that appeals to everyone. I'm hoping 10 years from now, maybe the industry will try to understand that.
PREVIEWSworld: What do you feel the benefits are for the larger industry by having a better mix of genders at all levels of comics production? Did you have a mentor or hero in industry?
Amanda Coronado: Well, it's great to have different viewpoints and opinions. I think it really enriches a project! As for art heroes, I have so many! I would absolutely die if I ever got to meet Kaoru Mori (Emma, A Brides Story).
PREVIEWSworld: If you could give advice to any aspiring editors, executives, writers, or artists, what two things would you tell them?
Amanda Coronado: Do work that makes YOU happy, and the rest will follow! Also, the best way to build a portfolio is marketing and selling your own work, whether that's in artist alleys at conventions or through online venues like Etsy and Storenvy.