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Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 9 of 70

How Can You Get Ahead if You Feel Behind?


Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 9 of 70

How Can You Get Ahead if You Feel Behind?


Lesson Info

How Can You Get Ahead if You Feel Behind?

But you may be asking How can you get ahead if you feel left behind? How can you get ahead if you feel like nothing you do is pushing you forward right now. First of all, we have to recognize that confidence is a practice. It is not something that you are born with for most people. And I feel like I've tipped the scales on both ends of this because I used to have no confidence in myself. I wouldn't talk to anybody. I was super anxious all the time. I thought I was stupid. I had no confidence, and that transformed. When I learned to see myself from the other side of my career of my creativity of what I could be, I started to learn that intelligence wasn't on Lee. Could you take a test? It was, Can you make something beautiful when there's nothing in front of you? And it was learning that that I started to realize that my confidence comes from simply believing that I am something that I always thought that I wasn't, and I know that it's easier said than done that I could just say Just th...

ink of yourself differently. But That's why it's a practice, because every day you wake up and you tell yourself a slightly more kind narrative about who you are and eventually you believe it. Most people make it up anyway. Like I said, the most powerful people that I've met, they're just making it up. Nobody knows what they're doing. I don't know what I'm doing, and what I wanna express with that is not that you can't trust me about certain things that I'm saying in this class, but that if I want to prove anything, it's that if you simply start and you just let yourself believe that it's possible that's going to take you way further than any technique or anything that I show you in this whole class. So if you take nothing else away, know that you just have to make it up because if you act like a leader, then people will follow you. That's what I started doing. I just said I know what I'm doing. I'm a resource, I know how to do art and I didn't know I don't have a degree in that E. I mean, I'm teaching you about fine art, which sounds really like highfalutin, doesn't it? But I don't have a degree in art. So should you believe me? Yes, because I'm telling you to because I'm confident that I know what I'm talking about. Confidence is all about understanding that leadership comes from just saying that you know what you're doing and then moving forward with that confidence. Famed confidence creates real confidence. That's true. I have watched it blossom and other people and in myself, if you could just act confident for 30 seconds, that's 30 seconds that you have practiced being confident and it's important. People often fail it, defining success in their lives because we have a skewed perception of what success looks like. And I have a really good secret to how to get around that. And my secret is that you have to celebrate every 100 not every million. So here's what I mean. When I first started on social media, I, like most people, wanted people to follow me. I have since become disgusted with that way of thinking, as probably many of us have. But I went on social media. I started a Facebook account and I was like, Oh my gosh, I really hope that, like by the end of a year, I could get 100 people to follow me. And when I reached that milestone, I went out to dinner and I celebrated and I was so excited. And then the next 100 I celebrated, and then it turned into I was eating way too many cookies and I had to stop celebrating every 100 eventually that turned into a million. But I celebrated every 100. Instead of feeling discouraged that I wasn't at a million, I celebrated every 100. This is where most people fail is not celebrating every single little success because they are worthy of celebration. And when you draw attention to the good things, it makes you focus on the good things. When you draw attention to the bad things, you focus on the bad things, so we have to create positive reinforcement from within. We have to be the ones to do that. Don't rely on your friend or your partner or an audience to give you that validation that we are all searching for. Let it come from within. If you grow easily frustrated by not gaining a lot, then you're probably never going to gain a lot because that frustration festers in you. It grows. It becomes something insurmountable because you're so upset with yourself for not achieving more. This is why people fail at defining success because we focus on the wrong things that don't make us successful. I want to share with you a few of my Siri's that I've made to round out this segment. And I also want to point out that there are lots of downloads that you can get with this class. So, um, I have worksheets galore and you can download them and follow along. So if you hear me saying something and you can fill out a worksheet to correspond, to, go ahead and do that after every segment, see if you can work this out on your own for what we're talking about here, Um, I want to show you some of the Siri's that I've made and to make a very important point about that. One of the things that I want to make a point about is that sometimes a Siri's doesn't have to be an actual Siri's. I have had works in galleries where they have said what should we call this Siri's. I'm like it's not a Siri's and they're like, I don't care. Make it up. It looks like it could be a Siri's. So your work, if it's coherent enough, could be a Siri's after you've already made it. So a Siri's doesn't necessarily have to be meditated and planned, but I want to encourage you to do that for the sake of this class and moving forward. So this is the very first Siri's that I ever made. I did not know that I was making a Siri's when I did it. I just started making stuff So you can see here lying on the train tracks, which I do not recommend anybody do. Please listen to me. No train tracks. This was before I was trained and how to not die. So don't do train tracks anyway. These air some of the images from my very first Siri's that I later titled Small Deaths and these air all images that I took around my like where I grew up in in Pennsylvania, around my apartment, um, against my blank walls, and I began what I like to call the stuffing myself in tiny places. Phase where I realized that I was not a model and I would never be a model. As's faras traditional models go. I'm just little tiny me and I am quite tiny. So I thought, What can I do that models can't dio I can fit in tiny places, So I did and I fit in lots of tiny places and it was really fun. And I made all these images because I just liked it. I didn't have a plan. I just I just really enjoyed this process. And what you see here are examples of, perhaps not the most cohesive Siri's, but images that go together because they're all me laying dead in different places. Yeah, we're going to talk about shock value, so don't worry. That's coming. The next Siri's that I put together after the fact not realizing that I was making a Siri's is called in the kitchen, featuring some of the same images that you already saw. And these are all images. You guessed it shot in a kitchen. See, I was really good at titling things, huh? And then, after my in the kitchen, Siri's I created my sack, Siri's, which was all fabric draped across women in different ways. Um, and that was perhaps my most fun, Siri's and the Siri's that I have enjoyed doing the most. Perhaps which brings me to my very first Siri's that I ever made, intentionally with the intent of it being a Siri's. And I actually made this Siri's. After I got that review telling me that I wasn't a real artist, I was like, Let me show you. So I made a Siri's and I built four walls, and I created all this stuff inside the room, and I made this Siri's called Fourth wall and, um, that lead. Then a few years later, to my most recent Siri's called Begin Again, which is all about identity, and we'll talk about this later. And this Siri's was one of my more cohesive Syriza's. Well, you can see the difference between the Siri's that weren't Siri's and the Siri's that were Siri's, you know what I mean. They were intentional, and they look intentional, and we're gonna talk a lot about how that is why that is and why that's important now. This is my most recent Siri's, and I want to give a slight trigger warning here because some of this content is graphic on do you might feel uncomfortable looking at it. The Siri's is about death and grief. It's called Samsara because that word means the cycle of life that all living, living things endure from birth to death. And I think it's really beautiful, but also kind of graphic. And this is the series that I'm working on now, trying to de stigmatize death and grief and how we internalize that and how we talk about it. So that's what we're looking at here. I think that it's really important that we focus on not only creating a cohesive body of work, but on the internal work that it takes to recognize what needs to come out of us right now. What needs to come out of us right now because something in our lives is culminated to this point and something is going to be expelled because of it. I started creating about death, and that's what I loved. For whatever reason, whatever triggered that in me, I loved it. It brought me joy. And then, at some point in my timeline, I lost that. But now I'm back to it. So my newest series is called Samsara. We're going to create images for that Siri's during this class, so hopefully you can see a little glimpse into that thought process of how to continuous Siri's. And up next we're going to talk about conceptualization, so join me for that.

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.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Overview of Brooke’s Journey

    How Brooke went from creating only for herself to building a multi-faceted career in fine art photography.

  3. Your Timeline is Nonlinear

    How to incorporate the idea of wealth into your journey as an artist.

  4. Using Curiosity and Intention to Build Your Career

    Too many people rely heavily on either intuition or goal setting as a means of propelling their career forward. Brooke believes that there is a blend between the two that sets most professionals apart.

  5. What Factors Dictate Growth

    A look at how improvement in the categories of technique, conceptualization, clarity of voice and vision, and impact all work together to create growth.

  6. Organic Growth vs. Forced Growth

    The most successful artists are able to use inspiration strategically to create innovative works that regularly impress their audience.

  7. Niche Branding

    If you brand yourself into a story, you will be less likely to fall victim to boredom within your branded niche.

  8. Brooke’s Artistic Evolution and Timeline

    Watch as Brooke shares every important event in the past eleven years as an artist to see which were the most helpful in propelling her career forward.

  9. How Can You Get Ahead if You Feel Behind?

    When you learn to celebrate small successes like they are big successes, you will rewire your brain to find optimism in the journey rather than pessimism.

  10. Ideation and Conceptualization to Identify Meaning in Your Art

    Walk through several categories of meaning to figure out how you create and how others perceive your creations. You will learn how to layer the concepts of your art, create controversy in your ideas, how to make viewers feel something, and figure out where you land on the scale of fixation.

  11. Idea Fluency

    Learn abou how your ability to generate many good ideas in a short time is directly influenced by brain science, and then learn how to control your own idea fluency through exercises.

  12. How to Represent an Idea

    Ideas are represented by four elements: visual, symbolic, experiences, and emotions. Learn how to control those elements in your work by figuring them out in your work.

  13. How to Innovate an Idea

    By examining your sense of style, sense of idea, and sense of innovation, we will walk through exercises to not only create what is in your mind, but to take it further to stir yourself and your audience.

  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.

  15. Conceptualization For a Series vs. a Single Image

    Find out the differences between coming up with ideas for a single image vs. a series and see examples of series Brooke has created to deconstruct how they work.

  16. Transforming a Single Image Into a Series

    A look at how to take a single idea and transform it into a cohesive series by focusing on visuals, theme, and through-line.

  17. How to Tell a Story in a Series

    Storytelling can unfold thematically, abstractly, linearly, and/or concretely. Here you will look at how story structure can help create a more impactful series.

  18. How to Create Costumes From Fabric

    Look at which fabrics work best for costuming, how color plays a role in costume selection, and how to tea dye or coffee stain costumes.

  19. Brooke’s Most Useful Costumes

    See which costumes Brooke uses again and again and how to build a costume wardrobe with a few essentials that won’t break your budget.

  20. Using Paint and Clay as Texture in an Image

    Brooke will demonstrate how creating texture on both skin and costumes can create a more dynamic look in the final image.

  21. Create Physical Elements in an Image

    Brooke will share ideas of how to create sculptural elements in your images, like using wire, paper mache, and more.

  22. Shooting for a Fine Art Series

    How you can create cohesion and conceptual flow across images in a series.

  23. Conceptualization: Flowery Fish Bowl in the Desert

    A description of the image being created and why it is conceptually and visually relevant to the rest of the series.

  24. Wardrobe and Texture

    How to choose wardrobe based on the concept of the image, and how to add texture to make the image more visually appealing.

  25. Posing for the Story

    Brooke will photograph three different poses, each one changing the story of the image, to demonstrate how pose can alter the viewer’s perception of the series.

  26. Choosing an Image

    Brooke will explain why she chose one image over another to demonstrate the need for angles and dynamic movement within an image.

  27. Conceptualization: Rainy Plexiglass

    A description of the image being created and why it is conceptually and visually relevant to the rest of the series.

  28. Posing for the Story

    Brooke walks through poses that become more and more complex, from posing the model behind a Plexiglas sheet, then adding water, then adding syrup.

  29. Creating Backlight

    Using a portable LED light, Brooke moves the light from the side to the back to create a more abstract image.

  30. Photo Shoot #1 - Creating a Simple Composite
  31. Photo Shoot #2 - Creating a Dynamic Composite
  32. Photo Shoot #3 - Creating a Storytelling Composite
  33. Shooting the Background Images
  34. Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Working With Backgrounds
  35. Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Retouching the Subject
  36. Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Color Grading
  37. Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Floor Replacement Texture
  38. Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Final Adjustments
  39. Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Cropping and Editing Backgrounds
  40. Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Selective Adjustments
  41. Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Adding Texture + Fine Tuning
  42. Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Compositing Models
  43. Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Expanding Rooms
  44. Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Selective Color
  45. Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Selective Exposure
  46. Editing Composite Shoot #2- Masking Into Backgrounds
  47. Editing Composite Shoot #2- Creating Rooms in Photoshop
  48. Editing Composite Shoot #2- Compositing Hair
  49. Editing Composite Shoot #2- Global Adjustments
  50. Editing Composite Shoot #3- Blending Composite Elements
  51. Editing Composite Shoot #3- Advanced Compositing
  52. Editing Composite Shoot #3- Cleanup
  53. Materials for Alternative Processes

    Brooke shows some materials she uses for alternative processes, or applying texture to an image after it is printed. She shows oil paints, wax, and more.

  54. Oil Painting on Prints

    A look at applying oil paints to canvas prints and how that adds value to original prints.

  55. Encaustic Wax on Prints

    A look at applying encaustic wax to canvas prints and how that adds value to original prints.

  56. Failure vs. Sell Out

    Brooke shares how the most successful artists straddle a line between personal work and consideration of audience.

  57. Create Art You Love and Bring an Audience To You

    When you identify areas of your process and craft that are non-negotiable vs. negotiable, you begin to identify how you can work best with clients and what you need to keep sacred.

  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.

  59. The Artistic Narrative

    Defining what stories you want to tell about yourself directly influences how you tell the story of your brand through your business.

  60. Get People to Care About Your Story

    Your brand must inherently bring interest and value to the people who are viewing it. Take a look at how you can begin down that journey.

  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.

  62. Getting Galleries and Publishers to Take Notice

    Steps we can take to get representatives to pay attention, like the importance of regular interaction and becoming a resource.

  63. Pricing For Commissions
  64. Original Prints vs. Limited Edition Prints vs. Open Edition Prints

    Brooke goes through the benefits of selling original prints and how they can be done simply to add to your arsenal as an artist.

  65. Class Outro
  66. Live Premiere
  67. Live Premiere: Layers of Depth 1
  68. Live Premiere: Layers of Depth 2
  69. Live Premiere: Q&A
  70. Live Premiere: Photo Critique


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!