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Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 14 of 70

Creating a Dialogue With Your Art

Brooke Shaden

Creating a Fine Art Series

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

14. Creating a Dialogue With Your Art
Dialogue comes from provocation and response. Take a look at how to provoke an audience through visual and thematic clues, and then how to issue a definitive call to action.


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

Creating a Dialogue With Your Art

It's really important that we have a dialogue with our work, that our dialogue is happening openly between people. I know people and and there's no fault against this who release their work and their that's it, like it's theirs. They put it out there, but they don't want comments. They don't want feedback. There it is, and that's fine. But I think that a dialogue is important when we're speaking about art. From the standpoint of I want to affect somebody with what I'm doing, How can I do that? Will you open up the dialogue and a dialogue is really just two things put together. It's a provocation. It is me provoking you and then you responding to that provocation. That's what a dialogue is. Provocation can come in the form of a question. Discomfort, curiosity, shock. So many different things can cause a provocation in somebody even beauty. You may look at something and be awed by the beauty of it. That's your provocation. Now how will you respond to it? And a response could be looking a...

t it. That's your response. I've looked at it. I've responded by viewing it. Maybe you comment on it. Maybe you take action because of it. Maybe you saw an image of a sunrise. So the next day you wake up and you watch a sunrise that's taking action because of art. And as an artist, it is your job to provoke a response from the viewer. Be it little or big, uncomfortable or comfortable. It doesn't really matter as long as you understand what kind of response you want to provoke. And I think the best art knows that about itself. The best artists know what this art is meant to provoke from the person that they're sending it out to, And I think that's such a beautiful relationship to have with people viewing your art to say, I hope that this provokes something in you, whatever that may be. So then what's the goal of your image? Um, I think that when you take the creation of that goal to the extreme, make it as arresting as possible for the viewer. That's when you're going to achieve the goal that you have. You say What's my goal? What do I want them to do, What I want them to take action about Now make that as arresting as possible because art is generally fine. There's a lot of great art out there. There's a lot of good art. There's a lot of mediocre art. There is not a lot of really provoking art. So consider how you might address to that. And when I say provoking again, I don't mean controversial necessarily. I mean that it provokes a response. We can utilize verbal and nonverbal cues to provoke a response. The image might be the thing that provokes. Maybe what you write with it or what you say about it is the thing that provokes. So think about it beyond the art itself, How can you share in a way that provokes? What response do you want the viewer tohave? And then how do you want them to communicate that response? We have the ability to be very clear with the people viewing our art about how we want them to respond what we want them to dio, as opposed to you make something. You ship it off somewhere and you never, ever get to meet the people that are looking at it. We have that amazing ability. So think about the response now. Response comes from reaction and action. Everybody has a reaction to art, whether you ignore it or you look at it or you feel something or you don't it's a reaction no matter what, then you have to couple action with that reaction. So you react. Then you act. What's it going to be? How do you help people in that way to react and act to your art? Because most viewers will stop it. Reaction. And this is what causes lack of engagement with art is sometimes people stop with reaction because they don't know what else to Dio or they don't care enough. And that's okay. But I think that it's the job of the artist to then say, Well, I'm going to give you the tools to react to this in the way that I want you to or in the way that will be the most productive for our conversation. So as the artist putting your work out there, ask yourself, How can I give tools to my audience to take action in the way that I want them to? Then ask yourself, what is your call to action to your audience? You is the creator. What is your call to action if you had to write down which I am asking you to dio, if you had to write down what call to action you want people to have when they look at your work, What's it gonna be? I have a few images that I have put here that I want to show you in terms of the titles that I have associated with. Um, this is just one way that you can provoke a reaction and inaction from your audience. Titling is a really good way to lead people into a certain understanding of the work. This image that I'm showing you here is titled I got Trapped inside the House that I burned down myself and it's going to illicit a response from you because it's an evocative title. It is a title that you really have to read through. And then once you catch the meaning of it, you start your own associations with what that could mean to you and for you and what it has meant. This particular image is called. I blamed 100 hands for my violence. What does that mean to you? How do you associate with that even further because I could have just showed you this picture. But without the title, it leaves it more open ended. This image is a much simpler title. It's called offering. And what does that make you think of religion, perhaps giving to others? What does offering make you think of this image is called Risk Simple one word title, but it guides your thoughts in a certain way because we as artists, have the ability to guide our audience.

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!