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Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 61 of 70

Get People to Buy Your Story

Brooke Shaden

Creating a Fine Art Series

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

61. Get People to Buy Your Story
From identifying your clientele to figuring out how you can meet their needs, shifting someone from an admirer of your art to a patron of your business is important in becoming a full time artist.


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:07:25
3 Your Timeline is Nonlinear Duration:05:37
5 What Factors Dictate Growth Duration:08:24
7 Niche Branding Duration:04:57
11 Idea Fluency Duration:10:33
12 How to Represent an Idea Duration:07:01
13 How to Innovate an Idea Duration:07:07
22 Shooting for a Fine Art Series Duration:05:45
24 Wardrobe and Texture Duration:04:54
25 Posing for the Story Duration:05:32
26 Choosing an Image Duration:01:23
28 Posing for the Story Duration:04:17
29 Creating Backlight Duration:02:37
33 Shooting the Background Images Duration:06:14
54 Oil Painting on Prints Duration:05:41
55 Encaustic Wax on Prints Duration:03:09
56 Failure vs. Sell Out Duration:05:14
58 Branding Yourself Into a Story Duration:05:40
59 The Artistic Narrative Duration:05:26
61 Get People to Buy Your Story Duration:11:36
63 Pricing For Commissions Duration:06:43
65 Class Outro Duration:01:00
66 Live Premiere Duration:16:14
69 Live Premiere: Q&A Duration:16:10
70 Live Premiere: Photo Critique Duration:47:33

Lesson Info

Get People to Buy Your Story

So then how do you get people to buy your narrative? How do you get people to buy into it? And I mean by into it. So we're talking about money very openly, right? How do you get people to do that? Because we've talked about story. We've talked about communicating that story. Part of it is understanding where your story lies. So, you know, when we talked about introduction backstory inciting incident, conflict resolution? Where does your story lie? Within that, how do you communicate it? Why is it interesting? Why is it valuable? Understanding all of those things will help you to find a market that's going to buy the narrative that you have in store. You have to ask who's gonna pay for that work? Who's going to pay you for not only the stuff that you're producing, be it a print or something else who's gonna pay you to be you to support you as an individual as a human being that has value and that is intrinsically interesting. Well, for me, it's really nice to make a list literally of wh...

o is going to buy your art? Who's it gonna be for me? It's art collectors, publishers, movie producers, designers, bands, authors, photography, enthusiast dancers. I mean, the list could go on and on and on about who might buy my work. Then it's about looking at that list and say, You know, who do I wanna work with? Who do I want to target? I always hate that word target because it's like I think of target practice like you're aiming an arrow and you're gonna, like Snag. Um, you know, and it's gonna That's like it's a violent image to me, So target is a word that's a little bit problematic, but essentially, it's just saying I have a way of helping you. Do you want my help? And yes, you ask for money in exchange for that help, because that's how the world works. You have created something of value, right? So if you're thinking, if you're still stuck on that point from a few minutes ago, where we were talking about interesting versus valuable, and do you see yourself as one, neither or both. You have to see yourself is valuable because you are because you have solutions that other people have problems. Okay, so you have to give that solution But it's not about gifting. It's about exchange. It's about saying I can offer something to you and you can offer something to me. What is that going to be? Ask yourself, What are the needs of your patrons? How can you meet them? How can you meet the needs of the people that might be out there who are going to pay you for what you dio? Be a resource. Be the person that is needed most by somebody, and you do that by following them by looking into what they need and what their problems are and how you might be there to solve them. You know, it's like when you think about a design agency, let's say they're looking for art to decorate public spaces or people's homes with Well, do you have a solution to that? Do you offer Prince, Put it in front of them, find those people that need solutions and give them a solution. People really do want trailblazing art, something that they haven't seen before, something that's exciting. So how can you put that best foot forward? The thing that you feel is the deepest piece of art you've made? How can you put that in front of the people who need to see it, because part of being an artist is convincing people that your perspective is worthy of their time. Whatever your perspective is in your heart, that has to be worthy of their time, which is precious and valuable on its own. So you have to make your value, meet their value. How can you do that? Part of it is being present for others really being there for other people. We tend to think of branding and business as this very self centric thing, and this is kind of a funny, I guess, visual. But think of it as a Venn diagram where there's you in one bubble. And, yes, all these branding elements revolve around you. But then, if it's all you and there's nobody else, then who's gonna buy it? Who's gonna care? And has to be a Venn diagram where there's you in one circle, the client or the audience in another circle, and you find where you overlap, where the problem meets the solution, and that is, in my opinion, the best way of branding is to think outside of your bubble and see how it can cross paths with another. So when you're thinking about your potential clients and the people that are going to pay, you think about how you can get into their circle, so can you follow them online? Can you shop with them? Can you interact with them by writing to them or going in person to visit? Can you support their business as you're asking them to support yours? So think about galleries, publishers, other artists. How can you be a support to them so that they're more willing to support you? And I'm not saying to do this in authentically, so don't just go find people to follow and start commenting because you want to get in with them. I think that there is so much of that that people are on high alert for people who just want something from them. I know that I am. I am definitely on high alert when I noticed that somebody is just trying to get in with me instead of really supporting me as an artist. And it's not a great feeling, so be genuine about it. Find galleries that really do interest you artists that really do move you and interact with those people. So I really think that most of my loyal supporters will receive the same support for me and vice versa. So people who have been there for me to support me, I want to support them is well, and I am much more willing to do that when I feel it's genuine. And I could sit here and list names for you. Of people who have written to me supported me in more ways than one. Andi, I think that it's really important that you acknowledge those people yourself. So if you find that somebody is supporting you, let them know that you appreciate it and support them right back. You have to show up regularly when it comes to all of this stuff, not just supporting other people but supporting yourself, finding value and interest in your own work. How can you show up regularly? And I do this by being really consistent, and you might think that that's too daunting of a task. So I want you to think about branding and marketing and all of that. All these words that we hate so much I want you to think of it as diversified, Not just okay. I'm gonna post on Instagram once a week. You know, that's that's finding good. Whatever you want to do is a schedule, but more so. How can you diversify your content from a place of passion to where you want to share that with people? It's exciting to put that out there because you love the thing that you're talking about so much. How can you diversify? So I make videos. I create art. I make sculpture and mixed media. I love to write, and I put writing out there. I share emails with people, and how can you diversify the content in such a way that you don't feel that it's a burden to share it with others? So, for example, I have been putting my work online since Day one, and that was almost 12 years ago, and I have never taken more than one consecutive week off of sharing something, never in 12 years of business, and that keeps me relevant, and it keeps me engaged with other people, and it keeps people engaged with me. So don't underestimate the importance of showing up regularly of really showing up for your community. and for yourself. How do you ingratiate yourself to an audience? Which is kind of a weird word because it can have some negative connotations. How do you make sure that you're showing up and you're really connecting with that audience? Well, you recognize that they might come for the art so they're there for you because they saw something. It was interesting and they checked out more. But the way to get people to stay is for you as an individual, because there is so much art out there. And there is so much brilliant art out there moving incredible images that that speak for themselves. But I would much rather if I think about I have money in my hand. Who am I going to give it? Thio. I want to give it to a person that I like and not just art that I like. I want there to be a person behind it that I know is receiving that support. So how can you get people toe stay at the table with you? They stay for you. They don't stay for the food. They don't stay for the decor. They stay for you. I like to think about how I made a community for myself, because I think that it's important when you think about yourself as a brand as a business and your art that you're putting out there, you have to have a community. And the more that community can expand and revolve and move into different areas, sometimes centered around you sometimes centered around them, you're going to have a more successful time of creating that community. So I think about what I did and the first thing that I did without even really realizing it was. I set some boundaries of what's important to me and the conversations that I'm willing tohave, and you do this by supporting those conversations that you wanna have and intentionally not supporting the ones that you don't wanna have. So if you find you're running into a lot of negativity and it's really bringing you down, don't support that kind of conversation. I won't engage with that, and therefore it's not supported. Think about that a lot. Where do you put your support? Where do you take it away? I have asserted myself as an expert who genuinely wants to dialogue with others about these topics. that I'm bringing up, And that's been a very important part of building my community because I'm building trust into the community. Not only do I know what I'm talking about, but I really want to have conversations with the community that I'm building and then I put myself out there all the time. I'm always putting myself out there, so there's something new to engage with frequently. And then I tryto let people into my brain like I don't wanna I don't wanna bar that off from people, you know. It's it's really common that people will say to me that you're I'm very open about knowledge and things that I know, whereas some educators or not as open and it's important to me because I want to be the kind of person that shares everything. I don't believe in secrets I don't believe in, You know, if I know this one thing that I'm gonna suddenly get ahead. I don't believe in that at all. So I try to let people in as much as possible. So then how do people take notice, right, like you've got all this branding and you've got this great art. But how do they actually begin to notice you? Will you show up regularly for them? As I've been saying, follow them. Be a part of their community because community doesn't always revolve around us, right? It could revolve around other people and then show them. Tell them how you could be a resource for them. Be clear about that. What do you know? That they might not know? What do you have that they might not have? And then the third one is really kind of obvious. But be extremely professional and prepared. You're going to get people on your side, and they're going to want to pay you for what you dio if you're extremely professional and you're really prepared with all this content that you're putting out And I think that if you can always ask, Does this person needs something and can I be their solution? Then you're going to show up professionally for them. You have to know your value by understanding how you can be valuable to others. That's where value comes from. When it comes to marketing and branding. It starts from within, knowing instinctively that you are valuable and then it starts to come out. Now how can that value extend to other people?

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!