Becoming an artist, becoming yourself, is a process just as important as the business side. In this lesson, Brooke shares how to grow as an artist. Learn how to move forward, how to challenge yourself, and how to grow as an artist.
I have a lot of strange things to say in this next segment and I have a lot of strange things to say because I kind of jumbled everything up that's in my mind all of the emotions that I have everything that I think is the most important thing to say to you I have all of that in this segment and it's where you were going to start crying because you know it's because of you tear off so I have a lot of things to say I'm not going to cry it though um I actually hardly slept at all last night because I was thinking about this moment and what I was going to say to you guys and so let's just jump into it so I wouldn't talk about becoming you becoming who you are as a person as an artist and it's all about moving forward first understanding what you need to dio to become a different person or a a better version of yourself a better artist just so it's about then moving in becoming comfortable with who you are being able to say yes I am this person and then moving on continuing to grow continui...
ng to push yourself so that's what I want to talk about right now risk taking goal setting confidence and above all giving back because I believe that if you understand what you have to give to somebody then you understand what makes you unique so moving forward the only way to find something as to look for it so if you're not searching for something if you are not searching for a way to make yourself better there is no way to become a better person I based my whole life around this idea that there is always something to work towards there is always something to strive for and if I know that if I know that that's out there in the future that I have something to look for and if I am looking than I am going to find it there's a bigger person hiding inside than you realize I believe that for everybody that we are who we are right now in this moment but that is not all that we are we have the potential to be bigger we have the potential to be more and we have the potential to be better we can take who we are and expand on that weaken take who we are and become the artist that we want to be in the people that we want to be finding who that person is requires a journey so this is not about I'm gonna wake up one morning and I'm going to be different and everything's going to change it's about understanding what you want to change and then making that happen over time so there was a time when I was not a very giving person I would say I was very judgmental and in fact I would ask my family my friends you know okay what's my worst quality I need to know what to change and consistently every single person would say you're extremely judgmental and then I took that to heart and I said I don't want to be that person anymore year after year all I ever heard was your very judgmental and I said I need to be different I need to be somebody who I love and who other people can love as well so I'm on this journey I'm constantly moving forward and I'm saying how can I be a better person and how can that inform my art how is it that I can move forward in a way that allows me to create art that's personal that I'm passionate about that I can give to other people and feel good about we must constantly move forward so that we might do not move back if we are not thinking about how we're going to move forward in our lives when we find ourselves taking steps back in a way that is very self destructive so if I'm not thinking okay I'm going to do this this and this to be a better person to be a different person that I'm either staying right where I am or I'm just falling back because everybody else is moving forward and here I am not doing anything to be part of that movement who do you want to be and why aren't you that person I think that everybody has excuses as to why they aren't the person that they want to be and I know that if you are asking me this three or four years ago and I was saying I know that I'm judgmental and then you would say well why are you just not judgmental I would have said I don't know it's in my nature that's just who I am but that's not who I am because we have control over who we are we have control over the person that we want to be so I want to be more generous to strangers and friends alike that's what I want to be I don't want to judge people I don't want to look at people in see anything negative I want to be generous I want to be giving I want to be somebody that people can look to to say you know what that person gave me something not because she had do but because she wanted teo I want to create images that challenge me that's something that I want to move forward to dio I don't want to become stagnant as an artist or a person I want to create images that keep pushing me I want to keep failing so that I know that I'm moving forward I'm doing something different if I am constantly doing the same things over and over as a person and as an artist I'm not moving anywhere and it's just going to set me back I don't handle stress well so this is my excuse as to why I can't be a generous person I'll say you know what I don't handle stress well therefore I cannot be the person that I want to be because I don't know how to move past that I say to myself I don't have the time to do these things why don't I create better art because I don't have time why am I not a better person because I don't have time to work on that but these air just really really ridiculous excuses as to why I don't do things and I think that we all make up these excuses for ourselves I'm really stressed well I have a lot to do so I can't do this and these are common things that people say but we have control over that we have control over how we're reactive situations how we manage our time and all of those important things moving forward when you come up with excuses about why you can't do things you come up with the reasons why you can so I'm telling you I'm too stressed I don't have enough time I can't be a different person but in simply saying that I know that the opposite is true maybe I get stressed in situations and I don't treat people the way that I should but I know now that's my problem and I know exactly what I could do to fix that I know how I can react situations I can react differently I could be a better person same with time I make my own decisions about my time I don't let people dictate that to me maybe I have a job that's really demanding maybe I've got a family member who's sick maybe all these things are happening in my life but that doesn't mean that I can't focus on what makes me passionate because I believe that if you do what makes you feel passionate and in aspired other people will be inspired by that as well any reason you have for not doing something that you want to do is an excuse that is nothing more than an illusion so I'm big on excuses I think that everybody has them everybody's filled with um but we don't need to be filled with them we just need to move past them and accept things it's really easy to say this is my excuse this is why I don't do things because it makes us feel better it makes us feel like it's okay but it's not ok we all need to push ourselves as people and as artists desire change and you will find change I used to think that wasn't true I used to think that I could do all these things differently but still people would see me in a certain way and still I talked to people who say you're so judgmental and that's your worst quality and then I say you know what maybe I used to be but that's not me anymore I have changed I found change I looked for it and I found it and I know that I could be a different person so when should I move forward with my life and career and the answer is very simply always you should never be sitting still if you are sitting still you will only fall behind so I am saying to myself when is a good time okay so maybe I have this really big gold I have this big thing that I'd like to achieve in my life when is a good time to do that the answer is not sometime in the future it's not maybe when I have more time in my life the answer is right now I need to start making my dreams a reality right now because if I don't do that nobody's going to do it for me the time will never come the time will never be right so now is always the time if you think you're finished growing then you're further behind than you know and when you think that there is much work to do you're closer than ever to reaching your goal so think about this if you're saying to yourself constantly that you know what I think I'm a great person I think I'm perfect I think my art is awesome then you're probably so far behind where you should be and you don't even realize it because you're not growing as a person and as an artist but if you're standing here saying I want to be better I want to do things differently than you are so much closer to being that person that you want to be moving forward it's all about setting goals sometimes it's about setting goals that are within your reach sometimes it's about saying you know what I'm going to do these release small little goals that I can latch on to that make me propel myself forward and the more you achieve those small goals the easier it becomes to achieve a larger goal so set goals that are out of your reach not just ones that are within your reach so maybe I wake up one morning and I say if I d'oh you know fifty emails today then I can go out on a photo shoot that's a small goal with a small reward and that's how I pushed myself forward that's how you gain confidence by achieving those smaller goals but then maybe I say okay by the end of the year I wantto have a better business flow where I understand that I have a very specific way of answering emails this many times a week and then I do this many shoots a week and it doesn't become this little thing of ok do some emails do a shoot do some emails do a shoot suddenly my whole business is running smoother and I'm shooting more often because that's what I'm passionate about change your idea of what you can reach so what is it that you want and why do you think you can't have it this holds me back all the time I'll sit here and I'll say ok I really want this thing to happen in my life I want to reach for this thing but it's so far away and I can't possibly take it because I don't know how to get to it but there's nothing stopping you from getting there the only thing stopping you is your belief that you can't have it there are all sorts of people in this world who achieved so many different things and it's so easy to look at those people and say they must have money they must have connections they must have something that I don't have but that is rarely the case typically the thing that I find most often with really successful people is that they had nothing they had nobody helping them and all they had was this belief that they could do it because they were confident and then they found a way to do it and whatever way they found to do it that becomes the standard they made their own path they went their own direction and then we look at that and say oh that's what I have to do to get there that's what I have to do but I can't because I don't have these things well if you don't have those things and find a different way of doing it do something else that can push yourself in order to reach something you have to stretch and your mind has to be exercised and the only time that you can't move up is if you're too busy looking down so if you're too busy saying I can't do this I won't do this there's no way I can achieve this then there is no way that you're going to see that possibility laying right in front of you so I try to live my life like this I have so many things that I want to do so many people that I want to talk to so many places that I want to go and I could sit here and say well I don't have the money to travel I'm not good at meeting new people so I can't do that whatever the excuse might be then all I'm doing is turning around and I'm saying ok I'm looking this way I'm looking behind me and I'm saying this is why I can't do it but there are so many reasons why I can I can do it because I'm a smart girl and I know that I have all of these different things at my disposal my imagination my creativity to propel me forward how do you want to spend your time this is something that we talked about during business write down three things that you enjoy I can't stress the importance of this enough understanding what makes you you what do you love doing in life so if I had to answer this I would say photography of course that's one of my biggest passions editing goes along with photography writing and inspiring those are three things that I want to spend my time doing I can't think of anything else that comes before those three things aside from my husband of course and my cats but we're not going to talk about that that's a little bit of a separate thing so how can you turn those passions into your new life goals the things that you love doing how can that be something that you work towards so I'm going to create bigger images I'm going to create images that make me feel fulfilled that pushed me artistically I'm going to create images that I fail at creating I'm going to create images that I love and if I keep doing that that I'm pushing myself forward in my career I'm going to find new galleries the more galleries I have the more I can sell the more I can fund all of these things that I really want to do that I'm really passionate about I want to write books about photography because I want to try to inspire I want to try to instill some ideas that I have personally into other people if they'll have it so I want to write photography books I want to write fiction that's something that I can dio motivational speaking teaching these air things that I love to dio so if I want to write fiction just last year I said I would love to write a novel but how am I going to write a novel I'm not I'm not a writer nobody knows me as a writer I mean I'm a photographer I have to do that but then this year I decided what's holding me back the only thing holding me back is the idea that I am saying I can't do that because of this whatever the reason is I was saying people don't know me as a writer so I can't be a writer well five years ago nobody knew me as a photographer but here I am taking pictures so all it takes is for you to believe in yourself enough to say I could do this whatever it may be whatever you want to do just say I'm going to do it and let it be okay for you to say that so I'm writing a novel I probably maybe I shouldn't tell you that because I've only written one chapter of it I don't know if I'm going to finish that novel I don't know if it's ever going to amount to anything but I shouldn't be ashamed to stand up here and say I'm going to write a novel it might not work out maybe it never amounts to anything but who cares I want to write a novel I'm telling you right now I'm going to write a novel for most of us it isn't a matter of not understanding what we want our lives to look like so a lot of us we do understand what we want in life we understand our passions but it's about not knowing how to make our gene dreams or reality and this goes back to what I was saying about that that very simple notion that other people haven't we don't have that we have something missing from our lives that is that missing piece that allows us to take a step back and say I can't do this but for so many of us that's not true all we have to do is say okay I see a gap between reality where I am right now in this dream that's over here so how am I going to get there what are the little tiny building blocks that are going to get me there I have so many dreams like this when I started photography I decided you know what I'm going to be a fine art photographer and I saw that dream way in the distance then I said how do I get there I don't know anything about this so there were roadblocks in my way I said I don't know how to make prince I don't know how to approach galleries I don't know how to put this into writing I don't know how to do an artist's statement I didn't know any of that and then I had to say okay lets take these roadblocks and tear them down and make them stepping stones to something better okay so I don't know how to approach a gallery how about I go ask a gallery how I can approach them simple is that I might say you know what I don't know how to make prints so go find a printer ask them how to make prince it's there are people who are going to help you there are people who want to make you better and I think that once we understand that we realize that we're not in this alone we are all travelling on this life path where we can help each other we can ask for advice and we can push each other forward many ideas start in a place of self doubt and the ideas that become big are the ones that have a voice of confidence so we all have these huge ideas I know that we dio everyone of us in this room out there on the internet everybody has this idea of what they want to do with their lives it's bigger small whatever it may be we all know in our hearts what we want to do to move forward but we don't know how to get there and one day you just have to say you know what it doesn't matter that I don't know I'm just going to do it I'm going to be confident in my journey and when you become confident in that journey and the road that you're about to take that means that you have stepping stones now you're saying it's okay to take a step on this path and to move forward and to actually do something with my life and find a way to get there so my biggest dream I wanted to be really transparent about this and sharing with you what I'm working towards right now because it kind of scares me so I'm gonna share a few different dreams with you that I have one of my biggest dreams is to create a documentary I have never created a documentary before I know nothing about creating a documentary I don't know if anybody will watch it I don't know how much money I'm going to have to spend to create it I have no idea what to do and so I thought maybe I shouldn't tell you that then why tell you that I want to create a documentary if I don't know how to create a documentary what makes me qualified to create a documentary the answer is nothing and everything at the same time I don't have a degree I'm not ableto you know right now enroll in school figure out how to make a documentary and then move forward with that process even if I did I don't know if it would help me if if I did that if I took that route of saying okay I'm goingto let somebody tell me how to do this that would be their way of doing it so I'm going to forge my own path and I'm going to say you know what I'm going to be honest with you I don't know what I'm doing I don't know how to do this I don't know who to contact I don't know how to get funding I don't know how to do any of this but I want to do it that's my passion I want to create a documentary to inspire people so I'm going to do it I'm telling you right now I'm going to make this a reality for myself I don't know when it's going to happen I might take a year it might take five years I don't know but this is something that I'm going to constantly work towards because I now have the confidence that that path is for me to take so lack of money and knowledge and I don't believe in that so I don't believe that any of us should say I can't do this because I don't have money I don't do this because I don't have knowledge those are the two biggest things that hold us back we say oh I don't have the funds for this so I can't do it well then find another way of doing it find a cheaper way of doing it find somebody to help you out financially do a kickstarter project whatever you need to do to find that money do it it might take a really long time it might mean that your your biggest dream your biggest goal has to be on hold for ten years but that doesn't mean that you give it up it just means that you walk a different path to get there confidence is a gift from others you don't have to make yourself believe that that confidence has to come from other people confidence comes from within and if your confidence comes from within and that's how you know that you can move forward so confidence from yourself is a necessity that is something that you have to have because you can never count on somebody else to give that to you so if you're waiting for somebody to say oh I believe in you I'm going to hold your hand I'm going to help you do this that's a wonderful thing that is a gift that somebody's giving you but you need to believe in yourself enough first to be able to start walking that path because you never know who's going to be with you you never know who's gonna lose faith and you are never have faith at all and so if you don't have that confidence that's how you never move anywhere more we believe in ourselves and more others are going to believe in us so this is something that I think about a lot and I say it a lot and it's because I believe it so much so if I believe in myself if I have the confidence to say I believe in what I am doing that I believe that you're much more likely to believe in what I'm doing so I'm standing here and I'm telling you I'm going to create a documentary I don't know how it's going to turn out and I'm going to be honest about that but I believe that I can do it I believe that I will find the money to do it I believe that I will find the time to do it I believe that I will find an audience it's for it and I believe that because that's my passion if I didn't believe that then where would I be I would have nothing to look forward to and I would just be hold back so I need to say I'm confident because I am I'm finding that confidence as I go that doesn't mean that I'm not scared that doesn't mean that I don't think that I'm going to hit roadblocks because I will but I'm still confident in being able to do that so how do you find your confidence it's easier to say I'm really confident I know what I'm doing I know exactly how to do this but that doesn't mean that that's how you feel you realize that everybody starts somewhere that's how you find your confidence you realize that you are no different from everybody else in the world no matter what your financial status is or your class status or what your job is you're no different from anybody else at the very core we all have ideas we're all made of these things inside of us these dreams these hopes that propel us forward and that is the common denominator between everybody you realize that the more you give the more you get so the more that you give to others the more you're willing to help others and let them know that it's okay to be themselves and you're going to help them on that journey they're going to help you as well if you seek a family of people to support you you will find that and that's because we have the internet at our disposal so if you look for that and you're going to find it and you're going to find a place where you can help other people and where they can help you you realize that failure is success disguised I don't believe in failure I don't believe that it exists I believe that you might have a situation where maybe you try to sink a wooden bed in a pool and it doesn't work and that might be considered a failure a six hundred dollar failure but it's not a failure it's just a stepping stone to get to where I want to go you realize that your potential is as great as anybody else is it doesn't matter what you have you have the potential to be somebody different you realize that not trying is a guaranteed no so if you sit here and maybe I'm standing in front of you and I say I really want to do a documentary but maybe I'll try that in a year from now or in two years from now or maybe it'll never happen then it doesn't have a chance of happening so if I stand here and I say I'm going to create a documentary that's what I want to do with my life and then I take steps to do it I am so much closer to achieving my goal than if I never ever started in the first place so moving in this concept that you can allow yourself to be who you want to be you can move into the person that you want to be when you move into your perfect self your dreams become easier to achieve so this is something that I'm learning I'm on this constant journey of self discovery I started out as a very judgmental person I don't think I was necessarily a bad person but I wasn't the person that I wanted to be and the moment I made changes to be the person that I thought would be the best person that I could be the moment I made those changes I started to believe that so many other things were achievable so okay I'm walking this path I'm getting rid of some things that I think perhaps were not good traits that I had I'm adopting new traits and once I adopt those traits that are better I start to have confidence in myself because of who I'm becoming and the moment I find that confidence I find this belief in myself that maybe my dreams aren't so far away because I am seeing change in myself you're your own worst enemy and when you become comfortable in your skin you're most likely to take risks so I have learned that a strange person I have learned that maybe I dress a little bit differently sometimes and people like to make fun of that and that's ok because I like it I think it's fun and that's how I feel most comfortable so I'm becoming comfortable with who I am personally professionally I don't apologize for who I am because this is me take it or leave it and the more that I believe that the more that I think you know what I can't take this nest next risk because I've already made some anymore I'm becoming who I am and I'm confident in that and I believe in that so I can move forward and I can say you know what I'm going to take a risk I'm going to do something that scares me because if it fails I will simply go back to being the person that I am and I like the person that I am it's easier to assume that we can't do something rather than believe we can and so that assumption becomes fact in our minds so I could sit here and I could say ok it's really easy not to make a documentary because I've been doing that for the last twenty six years in my life not making a documentary but I could also say what if I do make a documentary what if it's not a fact that I can't do it what if it's a fact that I can do it and you just change how you see things in your mind what if I'm standing here and I say I'm going to make a documentary it's not even a question I'm telling you yes this is goingto happen I'm going to do it because it is a fact in my mind then I am so much more likely to do it I believe that there is a path for me to take the only thing separating the successful from the unsuccessful is the belief that dreams can become reality so if you consider yourself to be unsuccessful if you're sitting here thinking gosh I haven't achieved anything what is the reason for that is it because you believe that your dreams cannot become a reality for me I don't believe that I believe that anything that I dream I can make that happen in some capacity I truly believe that and it's not because of who I am it's not because you know I'm going online and posting my pictures and somebody hits the like button it's not because I'm standing in front of you and I have been given this amazing opportunity to teach young creative live it's not because of the things that I've done it's because I believe in myself as a person we have to be able to separate our dreams from our desires and never let your greatness never let greatness or competition be your motivation so if you are sitting here thinking that you know I really want to make my portrait business make twenty thousand dollars more a year because that portrait business down the road makes more than ideo that is not the right motivation that is a desire that is not a dream a dream is so much more than that it's more than what other people are doing around you it's what you want to do for yourself and the reasons why you want to make that happen you have to govern your own life you have to be willing to take control instead of making excuses about all these other things why you can't do something you have to say I'm going to take control of my life and I'm going to do what I need to do for myself you decide what's possible you have to redefine the possibilities of your life you have to say yes this is possible because I'm going to make it possible not because I'm going to wait for somebody else to do it but because I'm going to do it you have to forge a new path you have to be willing to take a different road than somebody else took you have to be willing to say I don't know how this is going to turn out but I'm going to try to do it anyways and we're just going to see where it takes me so you have to move on it's not enough to be inspired to change you have to actually do it so I could sit here tell you I'm making a documentary aiken say yep it's gonna happen and then maybe tomorrow wake up and I'm like oh gosh I can't believe that I said that live on creative live because I know I can't do it that's not moving on that's staying right where you are in saying I'm inspired to do it but I'm not motivated enough to do it so tomorrow when I wake up I am well maybe not tomorrow I have a seven a m flight but okay so monday morning when I wake up I'm going to make changes in my life I'm going to start trying to make a documentary I don't know how I'm going to do it but I'm putting it out there I'm telling you I'm going to try my best to do it to move on never let your past self hold you down power belongs to the person who acts so if you are thinking that you don't have the power to do something that's only because you haven't acted on it and maybe you have acted on it and you're like no I do I try things and they fail then redefine your definition of failure don't believe in it just believe that there is another way to do something I have to believe that for myself when I started with my gallery shows I wrote to one hundred galleries before anybody even responded to me let alone said that I could have an exhibition so what if I had done that and then I had said this is not a reality for me this is a dream that I cannot achieve because I've been told no then I never would have persevered and I never would have been told yes I didn't get handed a gallery show it's not like somebody e mailed me and said we love your work we would like to pay you lots of money to do this I had to email them I had to pursue it and I had to pursue it many times in order to make it a reality we all start from the bottom and it's up to us to find our wings and fly to greater heights so we're all down here together we all start at the very very floor of all these dreams that we want to make a reality and we have the potential to move up in that world we have the potential to achieve whatever it is that we want to achieve the greatest illusionist thinking that everyone has something that you don't so never make that mistake and never be a victim never be somebody who says I can't do this because of external forces yes life can be very difficult there are a lot of things that go into us saying we can't do something and maybe for the next year you can't maybe something is holding you back that is very legitimate where you just can't move past that yet but that doesn't mean that you can never move past that so don't think of yourself as a victim in a situation you are taking control over your life risk taking some big risks have failed to pay off in my life expensive gallery shows spending over thirty five hundred dollars on my first gallery show that was a big risk and I didn't know if it would ever pay off workshops I remember announcing my very first workshop some people signed up I know it's my second workshop almost nobody signed up and I thought that my teaching career was is done and then I remember having a conversation about that and saying ok only four people came to this workshop so I probably can never ever teach workshops again and if I had stopped there then I wouldn't be here right now and I'm standing here right now having an incredibly inspiring experience and this is what I love to do in my life so if you love something than you need to pursue it and you need to find a way to push past that and it might not work might not work for the first hundred times but that doesn't mean that it's worth giving up on commissions so I do commissions now based on my terms and I was terrified to do commissions before I would take jobs that I hated because I thought that I had to take them and that was a risk but the bigger risk is saying no to those jobs and building a career that you love if I hadn't tried those things or if I had stopped trying when they failed then I never would have found happiness this is my happiness standing here right now doing photography editing hoping to inspire that's what brings me happiness and so if I know that about myself why would I stop just because somebody said no no you can't do this no I'm not going to let you do this then I'm just going to say that I'm going to go a different way and I'm going to move around that I'm going to find a different way to make this my reality so do you want to see my failures I don't have any failures I'm sorry I don't I only have delayed successes so my delayed successes or what you would call my failures that bed in the pool that's a failure to some people that is not a failure to me that is my delayed success I will make that shoot work someday that much I know about myself so I'm not going to sit here and say I fi failed that shoot was an utter failure and I will never succeed in that no way I'm just going to say look at how much I learned would doesn't I think I know that now someone who's a metal bed next time I'm gonna do it differently I'm going to make changes to make it a reality
Brooke explores the darkness and light in people, and her work looks at that juxtaposition. As a self-portrait artist, she photographs herself and becomes the characters of dreams inspired by a childhood of intense imagination and fear.
Brooke says she wants to be inspirational - she has achieved this and so much more during this course. I am so inspired to follow my dream of becoming a fine art photographer and step out of a life as an academic and stop finding excuses. Watching other photographers shoot and edit is always a great way to learn, everyone does things slightly differently and I enjoy Brooke's no fuss techniques. Seeing so many of Brooke's beautiful images through the course has been great and seeing shots from the shoot through to editing really makes them come alive. If you are looking for inspiration or you want to learn techniques or new skills then this course provides all of these things with a big dose of positive thinking thrown in.
Brooke is amazing! I love this course. Brooke is easy to listen to. She has a beautiful insight into creative fine art . Love it! I have learned so much. I especially love that she is so candid about everything.
I love Brooke and the wonderful way that she teaches. She is a gift to us all. Jane, her model, was lovely - a beautiful girl, a wonderful attitude and a real professional.. I could not do what Jane did to help Brooke convey her story.