Towards the end of last year I was lucky enough to get to run a series of workshops organised by Steve Marchant for the Cartoon Museum’s Comic Creators Project, partnered with Mind In Harrow. Alongside Mind’s Emily Danby we developed a series of comic creating workshops for adults experiencing stress, anxiety or low mood.
Right now you can see work from the group on display at the Cartoon Museum in London. It’s makes me very happy to look back at this work and see what the group achieved during and after the 8 weekly workshops.
Nice to see the participants tackle lettering, story structure and facial expressions. I started off easing the participants into the world of creating comics by having them add their own elements to one of my own comics pages. Great to see their own individual styles and ideas shining through… A mix of emotions in cake!Some of the resulting complete strips were so funny……others were touching and powerful……and all were impressive and inventive… It was really gratifying to read these comments from some of the participants:
“We are a group of creative people who, with the support of Mind in Harrow, have been exploring the power of cartoon art as a tool of self expression. We all have lived experience of anxiety, depression and other related issues and we also share a talent for art, which this course has helped us to use as an outlet to manage conflicting emotions.
The Comic Creators course has opened up our minds to a new perspective on comic art and graphic novels. We find ourselves to be more expressive… through art, giving us an individual aspect of ourselves in our artwork. This helps break down the prejudice, stigma, and discrimination of people with mental health issues, taking away the conventional ideas that you cannot be creative or talented with mental health issues. It overcomes our self-doubt and fills us with the confidence to create art in our own style.
We came together and learned so much more than we expected to know about comics. Through the course, we also learned that we are not alone in our ideas of life, humour, and a good story narrative. This brings back our confidence and feelings of being connected to society.”
“The comic creators course opened a new world to me. I used to love comics for their story and art, but now I see how it helps people express themselves, to relax and think about what we hear, see, feel on certain things.”
“The course helped me tap into my creative energies.”
“What did I think of the course? Wow! Loved it! Enlightening and cool.”
“I never had much interest in comics as a child, and I wondered whether the course would be for me. I’m so glad I joined! An excellent course and tutor. It was exciting expressing the surge of images, ideas and comic concepts which came swirling in my mind, and putting them into visual form. I’ve really caught the comic bug!”