Sharing Stories Project overcomes Lockdown to tackle loneliness and isolation

Despite challenges of lockdown and social distancing the first comic of our Community Lottery funded project Sharing Stories is complete!

The Sharing Stories project’s goal is to help women facing loneliness and isolation in Norwich and surrounding area through working as teams of comic creators.

The 20 page comic, Sharing Stories: issue #1, was produced in partnership with ArtAtWork CIC by women attending their weekly Art & Wellbeing sessions.

Stuart Paterson at sharing stories comic workshop

One of the attendees, Alison, had to say about the project:

“To start with the thought of making a comic was totally out of my comfort zone, but as Stuart explained things as the weeks went by I began to somewhat understand some of the process…

In the end our little group (as we were separated into different groups) we got a theme going and it became exciting wondering what the next week involved.”

Holly Sandiford, Project Coordinator at ArtAtWork CIC, said:

“The sessions were a real success in terms of skills, confidence, and wellbeing. It was a completely new experience for the group and the way that it was meticulously planned and structured meant that everyone was able to participate fully without feeling daunted.

One participant is non-verbal and autistic and a big comic lover and I have never seen her enjoy a session so much. It is great to be able to offer these opportunities to people who otherwise wouldn’t engage in the comic world.”

More Sharing Stories are in the pipeline working with other partner organisations.

Download a digital copy of this and other Essential Sequential Now

Sharing Stories: Women making comics

lottery community fund comic project

Sharing Stories is Essential Sequential’s latest Lottery Community Fund project for 2020 which focuses on co-creating comics exclusively with women and people identifying as female.

Get in touch now if you or someone you know would like to get involved!

What are Sharing Stories’ project goals?

Similar to our previous comic creation projects working with marginalised and vulnerable groups, Moving Ink and Studio GY, Sharing Stories will deliver a programme of workshops and online sessions, engaging a minimum of 80 women and people identifying as female in Norwich and surrounding rural areas.

The project is especially interested in benefitting those currently experiencing (or at risk of experiencing) loneliness, isolation and their associated effects on wellbeing.

What will the project deliver?

This project will be running until June 2021 and will cover a variety of design techniques and creative tasters allowing participants with different interests and skills to collaborate towards the shared goal of co-creatively producing 4 comics exploring themes and issues important to them.

The final comics produced will be shared both physically in print and digitally online.

Download examples of comics produced on previous projects by signing up to our mailing list.

How can I get involved?

If you or someone you know would like to create comics with us on this or other projects please email project coordinator Stuart Paterson.

If you work for another project or organisation working with people who might enjoy and benefit from creating comics in a collaborative setting then please get in touch to make a referral to the Shared Stories project or ask any questions.

After School Comic Club

The ES Comics Club, facilitated by a professional Illustrator and Comics Creator will be starting in Jan 2019!

At the weekly sessions children aged 8 and above can work individually or as teams to develop story ideas, write scripts and produce artwork for their own comic strips.

At the end of each term comics will be selected to appear in a new issue of The Nutcase, a professionally printed comic which each club member will receive a free copy of.

Download a free copy of The Nutcase now!

When and Where does the ES Comics Club happen?

The club for children aged 8 and above takes place over 10 sessions running from 3:15pm until 5pm on term-time Wednesdays at Stoke Holy Cross Primary School.

ES Comic Club Summer Term dates 2019

  • Weds Apr 24th to Weds May 22nd
  • Half term break
  • Weds Jun 5th to Weds July 3rd

How can my child join?

Club membership costs £80 per term (10 sessions) which includes all materials and professionally printed copy of the final comic.

Spaces are limited so please book early.

Bookings can be made through our partner Schools Out after schools clubs

To register your child fill out the Schools Out Registration Form and tick the box for ES Comic Club in the Booking section (towards the end of the form)

Once registered Schools Out will send an invoice for club membership (£80).


New Comic & Design Studio Project for 2019

Following on from the success of our 2016/17 Big Lottery funded project Moving Ink where we co-created comics with NEET young people in Gt Yarmouth Essential Sequential are very proud to have been awarded another Big Lottery grant for our new project Essential Studio GY!

What is Essential Studio GY?

The project will engage 80 young people, aged 16 to 25 in the Gt Yarmouth and Lowestoft areas with the aim of expanding their capacity, confidence, and skills through the creation of comics.

Successful Comic creation is multi-disciplinary, requiring a variety of skill sets and is greatly aided by working as a team (writer, artist, graphic designer) – Essential Sequential’s skilled facilitators will assist local participants to form themselves into creative teams resulting in new, original stories in graphic form.

Progress Update: July 2019

Working alongside fantastic partner organisations Map and East Coast College, both of whom work with hundreds of Young people in Gt Yarmouth and Lowestoft, we were able to smash our initial engagement figure.

Stuart Paterson from Essential Sequential with team of comic creators at Lowestoft campus of East Coast College

We went on to create comics with teams of young people, giving them a real experience of what it’s like to work creatively to a tight brief and deadline.

Dave Canham, writer for one of the comics, had this to say about being involved;

 “I’m so happy that I’ve got something out there with my name on it that I can say to my friends and family that I was part of the team that made it.”

Comic cover
Cover image for comic produced by young people in Lowestoft for their forthcoming comic.

All the comics produced during the course of the project will be available in print in various venues in Gt Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

A supporting document, The Studio GY Plan Potential, will also be released collating evidence and thoughts gathered from organisations and project participants regarding local skills/ training provision and issues surrounding the employment market.

Please email us now to be informed of exact release dates of both of these.

Want to get involved?

If you’re a young person aged 16 to 25, live in the Gt Yarmouth or Lowestoft area and would like to take part email us now!

Likewise, if you are a professional creative or part of an organisation who’d like to find out more get in touch!

Come to one of the launch events!

Attend to on of our Launch events taking place at the following locations and dates:

  • Lowestoft Kirkley Centre: Friday January 18th 2019 (10am till 12pm)
  • Gt Yarmouth Library: Friday February 1st 2019 (1pm till 3pm)

Register now to book your place now!

What other aims does the project have?

The secondary aim of the project is to investigate both formally and creatively, opportunities to better inter-connect local creative practitioners to the design needs of Great Yarmouth’s social industries.

By getting local creative professionals involved, sharing their time and skills, the project will gather evidence as to the viability of a community based creative and commercial design studio.

The aims of the studio will be to meet the marketing and communications needs of regional non-profit organisations, whilst working in partnership (rather than competition) with local creative firms by utilising the skills the young people participating have developed in the creation of comics with the view to potential long term employment in the creative industries.

Comic Creation at Yarmouth Youth Arts Festival

Essential Sequential is partnering up with Map to give young people in Gt Yarmouth a taste of comic creation as part of the Young@Arts Festival taking place on Wednesday 24th Oct 2018.

**Post Updated Jan 2019: This event went brilliantly, and Map made this great video featuring our Comic Workshops (zoom to 00:33 to see the work we did)**

Young@Arts 2018 from MAP Young People on Vimeo.

(We’ll also be at a similar festival taking place in Lowestoft for the Making Waves Together project – a post will follow about that shortly!)

If you’re aged between 11 and 19 come along to our workshops, experience something new and be inspired by the ever-growing world of arts and culture. Great Yarmouth is booming with talent and opportunities for young people to grow their creativity. DJ Shingleman will also be playing live music throughout the day.

WORKSHOPS ARE FREE and include a FREE MEAL. Places on workshops are limited, please sign up by calling MAP on 01493 854839 or register at Eventbrite.

We’ll also be sharing information about Essential Sequential’s new Big Lottery funded project, Essential Studio GY, where we’ll be looking for young collaborators to help us set up Great Yarmouth’s own comic production studio!

Comic Drawing At Norwich Gaming Festival 2017

Norwich Gaming Festival Comic workshop

Essential sequential has been invited by one of our favourite annual events, The Norwich Gaming Festival, to run Comic creation activities during the summer Half term holiday 2017!

There will be Free comic drawing activities taking place in the marquee outside the forum in Norwich on Monday 29th May & Tuesday 30th May between 10 AM to 3 PM. 

Just drop in anytime and stay for 5 minutes or all day!

The will also be a competition to win a pack of 24 Professional quality Letrasett Pro markers – So come along to enter.

And on Wednesday, May 31st there will be a special 2 hour comic drawing workshop in The Forum’s really cool Auditorium where anyone aged 9 and above can learn how to plan and create your own comic which you can take home with you.

Tickets only cost £6 which includes all the materials you’ll be using!
To find out more and book places visit our EventBrite page



Creative Collisions Comic Workshop

Creative Collisions is an imaginative youth arts network in Great Yarmouth where likeminded people can create, collaborate and communicate opportunities within the arts.

The project involves young people in decision making and co production of events via a youth led steering group. Part of their goal is to connect young people with their heritage by working closely with Great Yarmouth Museums, such as the Time & Tide, and wider networks, regionally and nationally.

Who attended the comic drawing workshop?

The Saturday workshop started on a chilly winter morning at Great Yarmouth college where Essential Sequential workshop leader Stuart Paterson was joined by 9 enthusiastic young people, mostly girls, ranged in ages from 8 to 14.

Third week of drawing: comic strips. Thanks to Stuart Paterson for a fantastic session! @natsatclub @gycollege #timeandtide

A photo posted by Creative Collisions (@creative.collisions) on

In previous weeks with other tutors they had been exploring challenging areas such as mark marking and life drawing, so the cross-discipline medium of comics presented a tantalising opportunity to put what they’d learned into practice in one exciting package!

How the Workshop went

The motivated group of young artists worked really hard for the session’s 3 hour duration – creating original artwork to accompany supplied scripts.

Using the pre-created comic scripts allowed us to concentrate on learning fundamental comic creation techniques and processes such as thumbnail sketching, using photocopiers to expand and shrink artwork and allowing space for speech and captions.

Amy Stock, Creative Collisions Tutor, who also attended and assisted with the session said:

“The session was amazing, thank you! The group loved it and yes, the results were fantastic!”

As always some amazing work came out of the session which can be seen below and on the Creative Collisions Instagram page.

Looking good!! @natsatclub @gycollege #timeandtide

A photo posted by Creative Collisions (@creative.collisions) on

Looking very #graphicnovel. @natsatclub @gycollege #timeandtide

A photo posted by Creative Collisions (@creative.collisions) on

Want to draw comics?

If you think you’d like to book or attend a comic drawing workshop get in touch and we’ll be happy to do all we can to make it happen!

Solution-Focused Comics Helping The Long Term Unemployed


The ABC Comic Project helps long-term unemployed participants explore and uncover possible routes to employment or training through comic creation and solution-focused storytelling.

Created for Neighbourhoods That Work, a 5 year multi-agency project in Gt Yarmouth designed to improve community resilience, the ABC comic workshops demonstrate skills and techniques used by professionals to create amazing comic book stories and artwork whilst exploring the participants career & training options.

Aims and goals of the workshop

Using storytelling and comic drawing to explore and discuss each step on their journey with the workshop leader or others in the group could help uncover possible routes to your personal goals that could go undiscovered.

Using simple fill-in-the gaps worksheets we will create rough text and artwork for your comic panels – first focusing on describing your situation right now (the “Beginning” of your story), then we’ll leap forward to where you’d like to see yourself in the future (the “End” of your story).

Once you’ve chosen the Beginning and End of your story of the way we can focus on the most important bit – the middle of the comic!

The middle bit will describe a possible journey towards the story’s end – each panel showing a separate step towards fulfilling your final goal.

At the end of the workshop participants take away a few things;

  1. A clearer idea of what your own personal goals might be
  2. A better idea of how you might achieve those goals through simple, thought out steps
  3. A pretty cool piece of finished comic book artwork

Could creating comics help your organisation?

Comics are an amazing, accessible tool for:

  • Sharing stories and experiences
  • Exploring problems and issues
  • Having fun and boosting confidence!

Creating comics could be a valuable, enjoyable tool for your organisation – if you’d like to explore the possibilites get in touch!


Turning College Students Into A Comic Production Team

GY College Comic session

Essential Sequential are working with creative students at Great Yarmouth College to mould them into a comic publishing team that will draft, write, design and promote their own, original comic book!

All those taking part will gain invaluable experience of how the world of freelance creative work operates and improve employability – requiring a high level of teamwork and delegation, encouraging the development of “soft skills” such as time-keeping, discussion & debate, compromise and constructive criticism.

Fantastic, original comic stories and artwork

The project has been funded by EnterpriseGY and was launched at a major Comic Convention held in Great Yarmouth in November 2016.  The final comic will be on sale to the general public through multiple channels in Spring 2017.


The end goals of this unique project is to provide a real-world experience of freelancing (working semi-autonomously to pre-agreed brief & deadline) to all of the students involved with the comic’s creation and sale, and to provide the launch pad for a new self-sustaining venture leading to an ongoing legacy of published material involving and linking communities.

[quote]”Students that are interested in animation, Photography and art will make the most of this project by including on their cv and in their portfolios leading to opportunities to progress to university and wider possibilities for employment. Work experience is at the heart of the course and is recognised as good practice by the college, universities and ofsted.” [/quote]
Matt Dale,
Course Leader for Art, Design & Photography at the college

Could creating comics help your organisation?

Often one of the first things we hear at our comic workshops is “I’m rubbish at drawing!”

We strive to show that creating comics is a process – a series of relatively simple tasks
The vast majority of these tasks do not depend on you being brilliant at drawing!

(And what’s to stop you just getting someone who is good at drawing to do that bit!)

Comics are an amazing, accessible tool for:

  • Sharing stories and experiences
  • Exploring problems and issues
  • Having fun and boosting confidence!

If you think that creating comics is something you’d like to explore or would be useful for your organisation get in touch!


Big Lottery Funded Project for 2017!

big lottery funded comic drawing project

‘Moving Ink’ is a year-long series of 24 creative workshops, working within flexible and accessible locations at the point of need;

The project will work with a minimum of 75 young people (aged between 16 to 24 years old) identified as being at risk of or who is currently NEET and having faced specific challenges in seeking to find meaningful employment or further education and training opportunities.

If you are interested in taking part in this project, either as an individual or as an organisation, please use the contact form at the bottom of this post or email the project leader (Stuart Paterson) directly.

Project Aims

Through participation the young people involved will demonstrate an increased understanding of and ability to apply functional skills and techniques that are based upon sequencing processes; (the process of having to do one job before it is possible to do another).

In order to achieve this aim the project will:

  • Involve and nurture young people through increasing participation in creative expression
  • Help build understanding, transferable skills and the confidence
  • Help participants critically interpret and articulate difficult circumstances and any others issues they may be struggling to manage.

The project is open to anyone who has been identified as being at risk of or who is currently NEET and having faced specific challenges in seeking to find meaningful employment or further education and training opportunities.

Project Delivery

The workshop sessions will be delivered through 6, 4 week programmes, and will support participants to develop their own story, write a script and produce colour artwork for a one page comic strip; stories are then combined to produce an alternative community-published work, that will be circulated via a range of community associations and venues.

The project will be delivered by creative professionals who have a proven ability of working positively with young people, and in helping to cultivate positive, supportive and creative environments that are community orientated and which feel locally owned.

By working within communities, the project will help to support participants to more easily translate learning into their local environments, and therefore be better prepared and more confident to take advantage of future opportunities as they arise.

The project will also seek to further develop collaborative working between social sector organisations, and related opportunities to provide mutual support, share resources and combine expertise to develop creative learning and employment pathways that can provide sustainable social and economic benefits for participants, their families and peers.