Learn How to Break Into Comics, a New Free Course for Artists

Learn How to Break Into Comics, a New Free Course for Artists from Dave Gibbons, Jordie Bellaire, John McCrea, and more

Posted by April 11, 2018 Comment

Create the Break is a new a professional development course for emerging comic artists based in the West Midlands, England. It is being run by veteran comic book artist John McCrea, alongside Dave Gibbons, Laura Howell, Asia Alfasi, Keith Burns, Jordie Bellaire, Mark Farmer, Mary Talbot, Bryan Talbot and Matt Smith.

The course will equip artists with the skills, discipline and contacts required to develop a professional career in the comic industry. Over the course of 6 months you will take part in group workshops with one to one support from industry professionals, develop a critical dialogue with peers and receive ongoing mentoring support.

Workshops will take place once fortnightly and cover the following areas:

• Design Process (layout, formatting, character development)
• Skills Development (inking, drawing, colouring, painting)
• Professional Engagement
• Career management

The programme will conclude with students self-publishing a book of works and exhibiting this at the Birmingham Central Library.

Here’s the course brochure.

The course is fully subsidised through the Arts Council. Which means, for successful applicants, it will be free. You can apply right here.

Comic Creative Catalyst (CCC) was founded by John McCrea, Laura Howell and Clare Downes in 2017 in response to a lack of professional development opportunities for emerging comic artists. CCC evolved from Hi8tus, an organisation that ran the Strip Search Programme which supported and promoted emerging talent in the West Midlands from 2003 – 2009. Notable graduates include Laura Howell, Asia Alfasi, Lee Bradle, Keith Burns, Rachael Stott, Mikey Ball, Michiru Murakowa and Jane McGuiness.

Almost a decade later CCC are running Create the Break to help launch the careers of promising artists working today.

Applications close on the 3rd of May. A shortlist of 25 successful applicants will be invited for interview in early May, with 15 of those progressing onto the course. Due to the high volume of entries and the collective nature of the decision-making process, they are unable to contact or give feedback to artists who are not shortlisted for interview.

The selection panel for the 2018/19 course is:

John McCrea: johnmccrea.com
Laura Howell: laurahowell.co.uk
Dave Gibbons: davegibbons.net


Artists must be based in the West Midlands to apply. There is no age limit, applicants will be judged on the quality of their work and the ability of the course to make beneficial impact on their practice and future professional development.

Students still in education on 01/06/2018 are not eligible to apply. This applies to BA and MA students or equivalent, but NOT to those undertaking postgraduate research work leading to a PhD/Mphil/MLitt/ MRes or equivalent.

Selection Procedure:

Selection will be made in two stages;

Stage 1:

All applicants must complete the online application

You will be required to pay an application fee of £5 to enter, which goes towards the costs of the selection procedure. They actively work towards an open-access course and are able to waiver this fee for those experiencing financial difficulty. Please contact them in advance on mail@comiccreativecatalyst.co.uk.

Stage 2:

25 artists will be shortlisted from all applicants and will be notified of interview on 08/05/2018.  At interview, shortlisted artists will be asked to deliver a short presentation about their work, followed by questions from the panel. Successful applicants will be announced mid-May.

Open Day at the Birmingham Central Library

On Saturday 14th April they will be running an open day and drop-in workshop at the Birmingham Central Library from 12-4pm. This is an opportunity for you to ask us any questions you might have about the course. You can also do a mini master class with John McCrea and Laura Howell to get a feel of how Create the Break will run.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

(Last Updated April 11, 2018 2:36 pm )

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