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Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 11 of 70

Idea Fluency

Brooke Shaden

Creating a Fine Art Series

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

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.


  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

Idea Fluency

Now I want to talk to you about one of my favorite things in the world, which is idea fluency. I'm really obsessed with this idea because it's something a little bit new to me, but puts a word on something that I have always been really obsessed with. Idea. Fluency is your ability to generate lots of ideas in a short time and not only a lot of ideas, but good ideas. Ideas that air novel, that air quality and idea fluency is something that a lot of people don't have. In fact, when you talk to somebody and they say I'm not really a creative person, it's often because they don't have idea fluency. So let's talk about how do you achieve idea fluency? What is it that causes somebody to be able to say lots of ideas in a short period of time versus somebody who feel stuck? I can't come up with anything. I have no idea what to shoot. I have no idea what concepts I should focus on. I don't know what you can't make decisions. That's idea fluency. So how do you achieve it? One. You create an imag...

ination practice and I will say this again and again because I think it. It's so vital to creativity that creativity is a practice. It is something that you do regularly and with intention. And the more you do that, the more you practice it, the more you will find you can call ideas to mind much quicker, and it sounds obvious. But a lot of people ignore this, this process, this step. So what do I do for my creativity? Practice? I daydream every single day. I have done that, probably with you in the past, so I won't sit here and daydream with you. But every single day I just take one minute to daydream. I close my eyes. I imagine myself somewhere, going through a story on. I take that time because no matter what happens in my little daydream, I've connected to the imaginative part of my brain. I've turned it on so that I am more ready to practice idea fluency. I right, every single day I read every single day on, I would even include teaching and something that I do to practice idea fluency because I am adept at speaking about my creative process, which is a creative practice Number two create an action practice. That's how we create idea fluency. We create an action practice, and when I say an action practice, I mean, what are you going to dio to take action regularly? So every single day, I create something, and that's my action. Either. I write, take a picture. I edit. I do a mixed media. Maybe I make a sculpture every single day of my life. I create something. I take action. Even on my saddest days, I usually try something. Here's a wonderful example of this. I started a project with my friend Laura Price, who runs Blossom E Project, a nonprofit organization, and we write a haiku to each other every single day, back and forth every single day, in which a haiku is just a three line poem, five syllables, seven syllables and five syllables. And every day we write a haiku, and that's one thing that I could do to practice creativity. And let me tell you, it becomes easier when you have an action. Practice number three. What you can do to create idea fluency is create accountability. How can you create accountability for yourself to show up to practice creativity regularly. Find a partner check in weekly check in monthly. Consider that you can create for somebody else and that that's a beautiful thing to do, and that creates accountability. Now there's a dark side to this, which is that it creates expectations as well. So make sure that you find that difference between expectation and accountability. And then number four you create. Honestly, it's the most important thing I think an idea. Fluency is being able to be honest about the things that you love to create, letting your mind go straight to the place that it wants to go instead of the place that you think it should go and when you let your mind become free. That way you can create so much more fluidly. So always be honest about what you love and trust that others are going to love that, too. If you love it, somebody else will love it. Now idea fluency brings us into talking about another sort of theoretical idea, which is fixation. Fixation is a really interesting, um, kind of issue. I would even call it because it's fixation is when you see an example of a solution and then your ability to think beyond what you saw is limited because of that. Now this shows up in creativity all the time. We see other people's art and then our ability to think. Beyond that, art becomes limited because of what we've seen. So when you take in too much inspiration and now all of your thoughts are consumed by how that person did something and you can't move beyond that fixation is directly related to creative block. When you fixate too much on other people's creativity on other people solutions, you find there's a block in your system and creative Plock actually comes from a very scientific place. So creative block is the inability to make connections and plans for creativity toe unfold. So let's think about that. A lot of times you think of writer's block creativity block whatever you wanna call it. You think I don't have ideas. That's usually what people say when they have writer's block or something. I don't know what to write. I don't know what to make, but it goes deeper than that. It's your ability to make connections and plans between ideas. There is a lot of science behind this and there are specifically to areas of the brain that are responsible for your writer's block or your creative block. One of them is called the Broca's Area of the Brain, and this is responsible for words, so your ability to form words is directly related to this area of your brain. The other part of your brain is called the interior single eight cortex, and this part of your brain is responsible for making connections between things. This happens and then this happens, and then this happens. It's where the solutions come about. What happens during Creative Block is that these two areas of your brain, or even the opposite of creators Block, which is being really prolific. They're lit up. They're trying really hard. And if you, for some reason can't come up with the ideas and the words that you need, and then you can't figure out what to do with those words, of course you're going to have writer's block. Of course, you're going to have creative block. So then what can we do about that when you're production of words and your association off concepts is limited? It's a practice just like anything else so There was a study done in 1998 by Dr Husten, and what this study did was it gave us a little bit of a roadmap for how to get around writer's block or creative block. And one of them is about fixation. It's to say that looking at other people's work can both provoke and stimulate a response from you, but it can also limit a response from you. And so essentially, what we're saying is that there has to be a balance of fixation in your life. Everybody needs a baseline, a point where you can say, I understand what art is because I have seen art. I understand what words are because I have seen them or heard words. That's a baseline. Everybody needs a baseline, and yours might be different than mine. How much I need to intake may be different from how much you need to intake. So fixation is part of solving the problem of creative block. But it is also part of the problem of creative block, recognizing that is a good way to solving it, though another good way. They suggest Thio get rid of Creative block is to start from anywhere but the beginning. Shake up the way that your brain works instead of saying once upon a time and then the end, start with the end and then worked back toe once upon a time, how can you create from a place where you don't normally create from and being able to do that and to switch the way that you work? The whole entire order of the way that you work is one of the most important things you can dio to get rid of creative block. The third thing that you can dio since this relates directly to word production is stream of consciousness writing. If you can write in stream of consciousness, meaning that you write and write and write and you don't stop writing for a certain period of time, you will be more likely to be able to come up with ideas and then move past those ideas to actually make them come to life. Don't underestimate the power of creative writing when it comes to ideation and conceptualization, you might say I'm not good with words. I don't want to write. I don't want to do that. I don't care. You don't have to be good with words. I'm not asking you to become a poet or a novelist or anything like that. But simply writing without stopping is a great way to get words flowing and then ideas churning. So keep that in mind as you go. The next thing that they suggest is to schedule your creativity like we just talked about. Make sure that you have a balance of your creativity so that you are leaning into it, making it happen, not letting it come to. You have a creativity schedule waiting for inspiration causes procrastination, and when you procrastinate, that causes anxiety. And this is the direct loop of what happens in your brain. When you have a creative block, you aren't working on a schedule. You're waiting for inspiration. Essentially, you're procrastinating. You get anxious from procrastinating and wondering if you're ever going to have inspiration, and then you don't have inspiration because you're anxious. So try to break that cycle by scheduling creativity without fixation, fixating on art, taking an art, having a baseline. You may lose your creative baseline. It's not good for you. So there has to be some level of stimulation, but I actually think that if you put yourself in a box, you're going to find a lot of creativity in that box. Constraints humans, for some reason, love them. I mean, we love to think. Okay, I just need some guidelines and then I can create. But make sure that when you put yourself in a box, that's an easy one to get out of. Make sure that it's not so constraining that there's no way to break free of that box. You put yourself in. All of this is such a balance.

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!