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Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 13 of 70

How to Innovate an Idea

Brooke Shaden

Creating a Fine Art Series

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

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.


  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

How to Innovate an Idea

How can we use innovation in our art as another step beyond just representing a thing and making something symbolic? How can we innovate that thing? How could we make it truly interesting? How do we engage an audience? Well, three steps go into engaging in audience. First, there is a sense of idea. You have an idea. What is it gonna be? How are you gonna execute that idea? Then you have a sense of style. How are you going to execute that idea in your own way? With your flare? What's that gonna look like? What's it gonna be? The third thing is sense of innovation. How can you now do that thing in your style? That idea that you've come up with in a way that innovates people get stuck on those first two steps. We have an idea. We have a style. Let's do it. I'm gonna put it out there. But what about the innovation? How do you take it even further? And social media exacerbates this problem because we have a tendency to get stuck in instant gratification. An instant gratification tells us th...

at your sense of idea and sense of style are going to get more traction than innovation because you could do something that looks really good and you'll get attention for it. You can have a great idea and you'll get attention for it. But if you do something different, you lose people. They don't know what to do with that. What are they going to do when they stop on that work? That's innovative. It's a really difficult thing to balance. Audiences tend to be very slow at accepting new information, but they love to feed their expectations. An audience will always love toe, have their expectations met. It's up to you as an artist to exceed those expectations, to say I am an artist. Therefore, I am guessing at what you need, not what you want, because you don't know what you want, what you need, what can come beyond that expectation that you have, and it's a very difficult thing, and this is where opinion comes in. There are always going to be opinions about where that line is, where that innovation is, and I simply think that trying to do something that makes you uncomfortable is enough to innovate because it will probably make somebody else uncomfortable or move somebody in a way that's beyond what they would have been moved by. There are a lot of opinions floating out there that will always tell you that something is good enough or not good enough for everything in between. And I have heard every opinion that there is about my work. People have said You're just creating for shock value. You're just doing this because because you just want to and there's no thought behind it and you just want to shock people get attention. People have said, You know, um, I don't think that you're going deep enough in your work. You should go deeper People have said you're going to deep. I think that you should keep it more surface so no matter what you do, people will have an opinion about that thing and it's exhausting. And I have personally felt shame for not fulfilling other people's expectations of me, and that's a really dangerous place to be when you're sharing your art because you never, ever want to fall in the trap of thinking that other people know better than you, they do not and will not. So the question that you have to ask yourself is, How can I take this further for me? Just me, not anyone else's opinions. How can I take my art further? One way is that you can practice discomfort. You can practice being uncomfortable in your own artistic process because if you are not uncomfortable in your own artistic process, then you will find stagnation and you might find acceptance there. And it's a very tempting place to be. But it will never be a satisfying as being uncomfortable. Innovation means asking how you can make yourself uncomfortable and then doing that thing, do the thing that makes you uncomfortable. What does that look like for you? What does it feel like? Discomfort can come from many different areas. So don't mistake me saying discomfort for saying that you have to make other people upset for controversy. That's not necessarily what I'm saying. Discomfort can come from a concept that you're afraid to pursue a technique that you've never tried from sharing in a way that you've never shared before. I have personally found discomfort in many parts of my practice, from learning Photoshop and even to this day I find discomfort in Photoshop, certain concepts that I'm worried won't find the right group or land in the right way. Nudity. I have felt discomfort around photographing nudity. I mean, anything you can think of when it comes to something that you might do with your craft, there could be discomfort or there could be comfort. And for you, your discomfort or comfort might lie in a totally different place than mine does. So when you have an idea, I beg you to do these three things first. Stop asking if it's been done before. Just you just have to stop. I'm sick of it. We're not doing that anymore. Okay? Yes, it's been done before. So what? Nobody cares. Okay, Don't go. Google it. Don't go figure out what did this other person, how they do it. What's going on here? I have never done that because I know that I'm going to find what I don't want to see, which is discouragement from doing that thing that I really want to dio. If you have found an idea that sits right with you, do it despite anybody else having talked about that thing before, it doesn't have to be new. It just has to be new to you. And then after you've stopped Googling because please, I'm asking nicely now. Please stop. Then you have to move on, Thio, considering that it's already finished. So you have the idea now think of it is already done. Don't think of it is how am I gonna do this? Oh my gosh, This is so anxiety inducing. I feel really uncomfortable. Just envision the finished product. It's already done. You're just still taking the steps to get there. But it's already done. The future has come and gone at some point in time, right? I don't know timelines. We talked about that. So think of it that way. It's already done and then see your ideas of stepping stones. So if you end up at that final vision and it doesn't look how you want it to look, it's just a stepping stone. It doesn't matter. I mean, I think that's the most freeing thing about art. It doesn't matter. It's just something that you've produced and you will produce more things, and that's fine. And that's good. And it doesn't matter if you love it or if you hate it or if other people love it or hate it. It's just this one thing and we get so wrapped up in okay, I spent hours doing this and I'm finally doing it and putting it out there and and I'm so nervous. But why? It's just one moment in time that everybody's gonna forget. So who cares? So that's what we have to do when we have an idea we have Thio stop asking if it's been done before. Consider it already finished. And don't worry about the outcome so much because it doesn't matter. An idea doesn't have to be good. It just has to make your work stronger. And it will by definition, because it's work. And when you put the work in, you come out stronger. That's just how it works.

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!