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Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 10 of 70

Ideation and Conceptualization to Identify Meaning in Your Art


Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 10 of 70

Ideation and Conceptualization to Identify Meaning in Your Art


Lesson Info

Ideation and Conceptualization to Identify Meaning in Your Art

during this segment, we're going to talk about conceptualization because conceptualization is one of the most difficult and yet necessary parts of creating any fighting our image or a Siri's. And you may argue with me and say that you don't need to conceptualize an image if you're just shooting for beauty or because you just like something and you're doing something on a whim. But I would argue that everything has concept. It's just a matter of if you see it and you're aware of it or not. So try to come at this from the standpoint of not everything has toe have really high brow concept. But if you're more aware of why you are compelled to do something like taking a certain picture than you will be more aware of how to connect that to an audience. So conceptualization is super important, and another word that we can use is ideation, which has the word idea in it. And I love that because ideation is just the forming of concepts or ideas and conceptualization ideation. They bring up these...

feelings of anxiety for people like it's this really, really difficult thing to Dio, but really all it means is that there is an idea behind what you're doing. So conceptualization is kind of fun because it doesn't have to be really complicated or in depth, but it can be. And that's where I'm happiest personally. Is creating really in depth, really just deep concepts? And when I say deep concept, I don't mean that there necessarily super smart concepts or anything like that. I just mean that they have multiple layers that I have been able to explore within myself. So I absolutely love identifying the meaning of art, the meaning of your art, the meaning of my art. I think it's really fun. And this is probably why I studied English literature in college because I love studying the meaning behind things. What is the meaning behind an object behind a color behind a location behind all of these visuals that we put into an image? How can you identify the meaning of your art? It's important to note that there are two types of conceptualization and two types of art. One is called lowbrow and one is called highbrow, and a lot of times we make that distinction by saying that highbrow art is like cultured art, intellectual art and then lowbrow being the opposite of that. And I bring this up because I want you to be aware of where you feel that you fall within this category. Are you more lowbrow? Are you more highbrow? And there is no shame in either one. You know, wherever you might fall are you, you know, do you create from a very intellectual place or maybe a more of an instinctual place? Those air both. Okay, so no matter where you are, just be where you are, and it's totally good. Then when we talk about conceptualization, we're talking about layers. And yes, I will continuously bring up the cosmic onion because it has to be said, That's what concept is its layers of meaning. So how layered is your art? If I were to ask you to look back at your images and thio, identify where you put meaning into the image meaning where you intentionally did something because you thought it would read a certain way. Do you think about subject color, location set? Do you think about lighting technique? Do you think about era of influence even, you know, like how you're creating the art and where that stems from, How layered is your art? And once you think about how layered your art is and you look back at your work and you can really identify where you put meaning into it and where maybe you skipped it and that's totally okay to then think about how do you make people feel with your art? And this is where we can create controversy within our art, which I think is a fascinating thing to do, particularly within a Siri's, is to ask yourself, How can I create a dialogue with my audience? How can what I'm doing? The meanings, the layers, three ideas that I'm putting into my work create controversy and controversy comes from Does your art make someone feel something? Does it make them think something? And does it make them act? And those air generally the three different levels that people interact with your art on first they look at something and you feel something immediately. You feel indifference, so you scroll past it, you feel excited. So you look at it, you feel disgusted. So you look at it. There are all these different emotions that are triggered when we see something that tell us, move on or stay put. And after you have that initial emotional reaction, you think about it. Why do I feel that way? What do I see that interests me in this? And finally, if your art reaches the deepest place in somebody, they act. They take action. They felt an emotion. They thought about why they feel connected to it or why they don't And then they taken action because of it. And that's how we create controversy in our art. That's how we create intent by having those three steps outlined for our viewers. Depth of meaning is what we really mean by concept by ideation is how many layers can you go to put more meaning into your work? How can the visual elements of what you're putting together not only tell a story but tell one story than a sub story and a sub story? And you keep going deeper and deeper because if you don't understand your art, then you can't expect anybody else to understand your art. And the more areas that you skip over when you're creating a concept like location, wardrobe, character lighting, color, all of those things when you skip over those and you think, Oh, well, I'm just here. So I'm just gonna shoot here or, Well, she's already wearing that thing. I'll just photograph that. Then you're missing an opportunity to connect your art to an audience or to somebody who's going to see it. So keep that in mind that those are all opportunities for meaning that sometimes we skip and sometimes we skip it because it's just more fun that way. Maybe you're a spontaneous shooter, or maybe it's something that can be really examined as to why it's getting left behind.

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!