Artists ~ Amelia Onorato ~ Providence

Artist’s name: Amelia Onorato
Shop name: Amelia Makes Comics (online only:
Twitter: @thesnowybiscuit

1. Tell us about your work
I write and draw long- and short-form comic books, usually geared toward YA audiences, and always based on history or folklore in some way. So far I've done a story about an Irish selkie at the turn of the last century (ROCKALL), played with classic fairy tale tropes in a fictional 1800s European-inspired kingdom (Fortes Fortuna), visited a Roman civil engineer shipwrecked on the Outer Hebrides in the year 300 (Ultima Thule), and I've got an ongoing story about human sacrifice and architecture in an alternate universe version of 1920s New York City (Burn the Bridges of Arta).

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
I am Amelia and I do, in fact, make comics, haha!

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
My parents are probably kicking themselves, since they were the ones who originally encouraged my passion for drawing while I was growing up. But my mom's whole side of the family is creative--she's a poet and a painter, my aunt is a well known novelist, and my grandmother was a prolific oil painter. So I had to get a "real" degree in Museum Studies and History, but then everyone joined forces to help me get my Masters Degree in Cartooning and Illustration from the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT; and that was really the impetus that jumped me from Drawing as a Hobby to Drawing as My Job. Or one of them, haha; I augment my income by working in the summer as a tour guide at Rough Point, one of the Newport Mansions.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration?
History! Both in general and my own. I grew up by the sea, and the ocean definitely shows up in every story I make in some way, and history is full of amazing things that lend themselves well to great plots--I've got a new story in the works inspired by the French and Basque civilians who smuggled Jewish children over the Pyrenees into Spain during WWII. And I'm hardly the only author to take advantage of that; George RR Martin's Game of Thrones is heavily inspired by the real-life War of the Roses (amongst many other events!)

5. What’s your favorite item to create?
I love to make minicomics!

6. What’s your best seller?
Probably Ultima Thule. It's my newest book, but it's sold out at every comic convention I've attended since printing it. I think people are drawn to the map on the cover, haha.

7. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
About three years, although I grew up in Noank, CT (a little fishing village near Groton and Mystic) so I spent a lot of time in Rhode Island as a kid, places like Misquamicut and Westerly and Watch Hill.

8. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
The beaches, the stuffies, the coffee milk, and the accents. And the state flag and motto are waaaaaay better than the ones I grew up with in Connecticut. Also! The dome on the capital building in Providence is the fourth largest free-standing dome in the WORLD. You go, Rhode Island!

9. Any advice for new/wannabe makers?
Just create, create, create. It doesn't matter what it is you want to do, it will take you 10,000 hours to master it. So you probably won't be very good at it for the first 7,000 hours, and you DEFINITELY won't be good at it for the first 3,000. But if it's something you love doing and can't live without, never let that stop you.

10. Please include anything else you’d like to add:
Comics are a legitimate art form! MAUS won the Pulitzer prize!


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