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Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 58 of 70

Branding Yourself Into a Story

Brooke Shaden

Creating a Fine Art Series

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

58. Branding Yourself Into a Story
When you consider that branding is a mixture of personality, art, storytelling, and business, you can feel more at ease with your brand not just being one single thing.


Class Trailer
1 Class Introduction 07:25 2 Overview of Brooke’s Journey 20:13 3 Your Timeline is Nonlinear 05:37 4 Using Curiosity and Intention to Build Your Career 03:26 5 What Factors Dictate Growth 08:24 6 Organic Growth vs. Forced Growth 05:18 7 Niche Branding 04:57 8 Brooke’s Artistic Evolution and Timeline 24:27
9 How Can You Get Ahead if You Feel Behind? 10:02 10 Ideation and Conceptualization to Identify Meaning in Your Art 05:54 11 Idea Fluency 10:33 12 How to Represent an Idea 07:01 13 How to Innovate an Idea 07:07 14 Creating a Dialogue With Your Art 05:48 15 Conceptualization For a Series vs. a Single Image 03:43 16 Transforming a Single Image Into a Series 03:12 17 How to Tell a Story in a Series 03:28 18 How to Create Costumes From Fabric 07:20 19 Brooke’s Most Useful Costumes 02:19 20 Using Paint and Clay as Texture in an Image 02:56 21 Create Physical Elements in an Image 10:22 22 Shooting for a Fine Art Series 05:45 23 Conceptualization: Flowery Fish Bowl in the Desert 04:08 24 Wardrobe and Texture 04:54 25 Posing for the Story 05:32 26 Choosing an Image 01:23 27 Conceptualization: Rainy Plexiglass 11:34 28 Posing for the Story 04:17 29 Creating Backlight 02:37 30 Photo Shoot #1 - Creating a Simple Composite 17:51 31 Photo Shoot #2 - Creating a Dynamic Composite 06:31 32 Photo Shoot #3 - Creating a Storytelling Composite 07:40 33 Shooting the Background Images 06:14 34 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Working With Backgrounds 24:35 35 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Retouching the Subject 04:20 36 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Color Grading 02:45 37 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Floor Replacement Texture 15:24 38 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Final Adjustments 03:21 39 Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Cropping and Editing Backgrounds 05:25 40 Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Selective Adjustments 03:55 41 Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Adding Texture + Fine Tuning 03:21 42 Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Compositing Models 06:58 43 Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Expanding Rooms 02:17 44 Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Selective Color 02:47 45 Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Selective Exposure 04:04 46 Editing Composite Shoot #2- Masking Into Backgrounds 10:45 47 Editing Composite Shoot #2- Creating Rooms in Photoshop 06:11 48 Editing Composite Shoot #2- Compositing Hair 05:07 49 Editing Composite Shoot #2- Global Adjustments 04:49 50 Editing Composite Shoot #3- Blending Composite Elements 05:00 51 Editing Composite Shoot #3- Advanced Compositing 08:46 52 Editing Composite Shoot #3- Cleanup 03:34 53 Materials for Alternative Processes 06:20 54 Oil Painting on Prints 05:41 55 Encaustic Wax on Prints 03:09 56 Failure vs. Sell Out 05:14 57 Create Art You Love and Bring an Audience To You 03:35 58 Branding Yourself Into a Story 05:40 59 The Artistic Narrative 05:26 60 Get People to Care About Your Story 03:36 61 Get People to Buy Your Story 11:36 62 Getting Galleries and Publishers to Take Notice 03:41 63 Pricing For Commissions 06:43 64 Original Prints vs. Limited Edition Prints vs. Open Edition Prints 02:11 65 Class Outro 01:00 66 Live Premiere 16:14 67 Live Premiere: Layers of Depth 1 04:41 68 Live Premiere: Layers of Depth 2 07:12 69 Live Premiere: Q&A 16:10 70 Live Premiere: Photo Critique 47:33

Lesson Info

Branding Yourself Into a Story

I personally don't follow very many people online, but when I do, it's because I love their story and not really their content. I don't really follow a lot of people where I love their images, but nothing else. For me, it's about the story first and the images second, and that's where storied branding comes in. It comes into play when you think about how can every piece of what I'm creating the image, the text, the video, the newsletter, the in person communication, the way that you dress the way that you present. How can all of that come together to tell the story of your brand? Ah, brand can be very personal. Ah, brand can be simply based on your art and nothing else. It can be all about business. But when you make it about story, that's where people connect best. There's the hero's journey, which is this idea that Joseph Campbell came up with where you say that there is a hero that goes on a journey. They come up against all of these demons. Eventually they face those demons, and th...

en the person comes back home to tell their story. And that is how every story has ever been told throughout mythology and history of story, which is that there's a person who comes against hardship. Somehow they overcome it, and then they lived to tell the tale. And the hero's journey is really relevant. Thio branding and storytelling Because branding is your hero's journey, it's the journey that you have been on the experiences that you have lived through in order to come back to tell that tale, and the telling of that story is your brand. I love to think of it like that because then you think about your process, your product, your art, who you are. All of that gets told in the story of your life in that hero's journey that you're experiencing. So when I think about personal branding me and myself and what does that look like? I think about how do you represent yourself? Well, you might think about how you speak, how you write, how you dress, how you influence others, Or don't I mean like, what is your position in society in a community, when you think about your art, how does it speak to people? How does your art influence people and start to answer those questions. Now, how do you influence people? How does your art influence people? Your business? What do you offer? What products do you offer? How do you offer them? What are you giving and how are you giving it? But then there's the story. How do you tell people about all of those things about what you offer and the way that you have lived your life, the experiences that you've been through and all of that wrapped up in the bow of story. So if I think about my personal brand, uh, it's really different from my art, and it's okay to be different. So my personal brand is bubbly and excited and passionate and empathetic, and that's just who I am, and I'm recognize who I am so that I can put that into everything that I do. When I think about personal branding, I think about who am I naturally versus Who do I want to become? Because there's always this new version of ourselves out there that were waiting to become that we're stepping into, and Brandon gives you the opportunity to be that person, and that does not have to be inauthentic that does not have to be, you know, the fake you or the you know, the person that people don't recognize. It's the person that you are gradually becoming that you feel is a better version of yourself. And that's why I love personal branding so much. When I think about my art, it's distinctly different. It's dark, it's moody, It's hopeful and yet disturbing. It questions what it means to be alive, and I know that my art does this even though my personality is quite the opposite. It's they're almost in conflict. But the way that I tell the story of how my art comes out of me makes it intrinsically connected. My business is really focused on being helpful about focusing on longevity of emotions through storytelling through selling Prince. The way that I offer my products means that the story that I'm telling will be in your life for a long time, and that's what my business is centered around. Not I want to sell you a print. I want to give you something, but how can I ensure that this story that you felt connected Thio can stay with you forever until the end of your life. So story then overall, what is my overall story? What is what is this big arc that I'm trying to tell? Well, my overall branding story is that I inspire deep thinking and inspiration and others. That's what I want to dio with my story. And I love to equate story with legacy. What is your legacy? What is that thing that you're going to leave behind in the world when you die? What will people think of you? And I love to sum this up in one quick exercise, which is, if you were going to die tomorrow, what would you want people to say about you and for me? I would want people to say that I inspired them, that I I caused action, that they felt more motivated to express themselves because they saw me expressing myself. That's my legacy, and therefore that's my story. I'm focused on legacy as story because I want to get to that point where people say that about me because I wanted them to say that about me.

Class Description


  • Beat “creator's block” by practicing exercises to help you overcome it
  • Conceptualize a series that nails story, emotion, and connection
  • Execute a low-budget, high-impact photoshoot for your series
  • Edit your images for series cohesion and seamless compositing
  • Brand yourself and your art into a story that others can connect with


Creating a fine art body of work can be daunting when you consider that a great series has innovative ideas, cohesive editing, and an undeniable connection to an audience. During this class, Brooke will walk through the entire process of creating a fine art series, from conceptualization, shooting, and editing to branding and pricing. The success of a body of work comes from the artist’s ability to go beyond the connection to an audience; it must land in the heart of the viewer and then instill a call to action within them. Brooke will lead you through not only how to make your work relatable, but how to take that extra step to become unforgettable, and ultimately, sellable.


  • Intermediate creators who want to focus on personal work and find a deeper level of creating.
  • Creators who not only want to tighten the cohesion of their work but ensure that the full depth of meaning is communicated.
  • Artists who want to learn simple yet effective ways of creating a body of personal work.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (v21.2.4) and Adobe Bridge CC 2020 (v10.1.1)


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. Being the creator and the actor, Brooke controls her darkness and confronts those fears.

After studying films for years in college, she realized her love of storytelling was universal. She started photography then in 2008, excited to create in solitude and take on character roles herself. Brooke works from a place of theme, often gravitating toward death and rebirth or beauty and decay.

Ultimately, her process is more discovery than creation. She follows her curiosity into the unknown to see who her characters might become. Brooke believes the greatest gift an artist has is the ability to channel fears, hopes, and experience into a representation of one's potential.

While her images come from a personal place of exploration, the goal in creating is not only to satisfy herself; her greatest wish is to show others a part of themselves. Art is a mirror for the creator and the observer.

Brooke's passion is storytelling, and her life is engulfed in it. From creating self-portraits and writing to international adventures and motivational speeches, she wants to live a thousand lives in one. She keeps her curiosity burning to live a truly interesting story.

*This course contains artistic nudity.


a Creativelive Student

Brooke never fails to deliver. I found this course superb from start to finish. From exercising your creative 'muscle', demystifying taking self portraits, and showing that they don't have to be perfect before you begin editing, to walking you through her editing process and how to price your work. Brooke's enthusiastic personality and excitement about the work shines through it all. Definitely recommended!

Søren Nielsen

Thank for fantastic motivating an very inspiring. The story telling and selling module was very helpful - thanks from Denmark

Rebecca Potter

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Brooke for this amazing class. Inspired and so full of practical knowledge, this is the best class I've ever watched. You have given me the confidence to pursue what I've always been afraid to do. Watch this space!