Tom and Nimue Brown are the creators of Hopeless, Maine published by Archaia. (picked by the American Library association as one of the great graphic novels for teens in 2013, when it was released) Additionally, Nimue is the author of Druidry and Meditation, out this January from O Books, is an established blogger ( www.druidlife.wordpress.com) and experienced in most genres of writing. Tom is a professional illustrator whose work can be seen online at www.copperage.deviantart.com
We are a pair of creative people who work collaboratively in a number of ways and are able to offer talks and workshops. Our priorities are to be accessible and affordable. We will happily work with mixed age groups, and if learning levels, literacy skills or any other factors are relevant we will gladly do anything we can to accommodate the needs of participants.
Where spiritual aspects of our work are a consideration, please note that while we are druids, druidry is a non-dogmatic and non-proselytising tradition. We are more than happy to explore spiritual material with people of any, and no faith.
We are passionate about community, inclusivity, and the idea that everyone should have access to inspiration and creative expression in their lives.
Exploring the methods and benefits of mediation, and the way in which meditation relates to spiritual practice and can include a question and answer session. This is also offered as a workshop.
An introduction to the key points you need to consider when setting out to create a comic. This can be presented as a brief, overview lecture, or divided into component parts and delivered over a day, or otherwise staggered. The shape of this would depend on the requirements of the venue. It could also be offered in a more seminar-like scenario with a small group able to converse around the subject.
Journey to Publication
Can be tailored to fit the needs of the audience, our experience includes submissions, developing contacts, self publishing, e-publishing, niche publishers, large publishers, agents, contracts, the relationship between webcomics and going to print, potential setbacks and challenges. Could be offered as a ‘how we did it’ style talk, or a seminar where participants are able to question us about various aspects of the publishing industry.
Art with words
Exploring the relationship between the written word and images, the advantages and pitfalls of combining the two. As a talk this explores the dynamics, and the creative potential. A workshop is also available.
How do we take the reader into a whole new world? How do we establish setting in images and words? Can be offered as a talk or as a seminar.
A talk exploring the secrets of successful collaboration, as well as sharing the likely pitfalls and problems, based on our years of joint collaboration, and considerable experience of working with, and sometimes failing to work with, other people.
Medium, not genre
Many people still confuse the medium of comics with the superhero genre and content for children. Comics are not a genre, merely a delivery method. This talk opens the door to the great vista of potential inherent in the form. If you thought comics were all primary colours and guys in tights thumping each other, think again!
Suitable for any age group, or mixed ages; an introduction to modern druidry, who the modern druids are and how they express their druidry. Length dependent on level of detail required, and can include a questions and answers session.
Working with voice to create harmony and innovation, this workshop draws on various traditions and uses the chants popular in pagan and new age circles. However, rather than just getting bogged down in the repetitions, this is about creative chanting, bringing inspiration and play to vocal sharing that anyone, regardless of experience or ability, can join in with.
Drumming can be subtle, ambient, arhythmic and deeply soulful. This workshop explores drumming through listening and awareness, meditative drumming and sharing sound in community. Suitable for all ages and abilities.
A meditation session can take anything from half an hour to an hour. However, also available are longer sessions exploring various approaches, with talks interspersed between the practical sessions. A more involved meditation workshop can last a half or whole day as preferred.
Working with your space
This workshop is designed specifically for your space, focusing on what makes it unique. It’s purpose is to get participants to see the space with new eyes, and to connect with it in meaningful ways. It can include elements of meditation, artistic and literary creation, or all combined – depending on duration, resources and the nature of the space. Time to share and discuss experiences is included. This can be undertaken in an overtly spiritual way, or far more pragmatically, again depending on the needs and preferences of those involved.
Art with words
A workshop exploring the ways in which art and words can be combined and the power of pairing these two expressive forms. This can be a short workshop of an hour or two, or a day long exploration mixing talks and practical work as well as time for sharing and feedback.
Looking at existing creatures, plants, or even inanimate objects, we can imagine new forms of life. This workshop supports participants in playing with ideas, turning observation into fantasy, and changing how they think about what they see. Support in developing artistic skills will also be available where smaller groups are involved. In longer sessions it will also be possible to explore the environment of creatures and how we connect them to each other in a narrative sense.
Items speak of the cultures they belong to. With a few images, we can establish a sense of place, or period. In creating a new object for an image, we are also in the process of imagining the entire culture and setting it belongs in. By looking at actual things, we can invent lost civilizations. This workshop supports creative thinking and artistic skill, but places the understanding of art into a cultural and potentially political, religious or social context as well.
The world making workshop can be a practical introduction to inventing a setting, from a brief overview and inspiration session, to much deeper and more involved considerations. It can also be combined with the creating creatures and lost civilizations workshops to create a longer process in which participants develop their ideas and art skills.
Single page comic
Participants will be supported so that they can make a single page comic, or comic strip during the day. The workshop will include talks, practical time, support in all aspects of the process and time to feed back at the end. It is not suitable for large groups.
Secret stories –inspiration from location
Every place has secret stories. This workshop explores ways of actively seeking inspiration, exploring the venue for ideas that suggest stories. It requires at least two hours and could be run for a half or full day, depending largely on the age of the group. Younger participants will benefit from shorter sessions while adult groups might prefer a day long event. There is also scope for including visual art alongside the story making.
Art Exhibition – original pieces from Hopeless, Maine, accompanied by the finished book and notes from the creators on the processes involved in moving from graphite on paper to glossy print. Artist and author could provide accompanying talks or be present in person for some of the exhibition to answer questions.
Very short stories written to order. The author normally needs about half an hour to work the original idea into a tale, but can do this in public with people peering over her shoulder!