So Brooke Schaden, take it away. Tell us all about why you wanted to create this course on creating a fine art. Siri's Yeah, so gosh, there are so so many reasons. And I specifically wanted to focus on a Siri's because I feel very passionate about the fact that for a fine art photographer, having a Siri's is, like, emblematic of having status as a fine artist. And that's, you know, I hate saying things like that in a sense, like you have to do this to, you know, become a fine art photographer. Something like that. And I truly believe that you don't have to do any one thing Thio, you know, skyrocket your career. But the thing that I have heard from the most galleries and the most reviewers, the most magazine editors, etcetera, is you need to have a cohesive body of work that can work as a Siri's. So I started to take that very seriously in, like, 2015 or so when I had my very first review, when I heard that and I started to really focus on Siri's work bodies of work instead of creating ...
work that was individual and maybe disparate from one another. And so I want to show you a little bit. I'm just going to show you my screen here. Um, I want to show you where my work started, because to me, this is an important part of the journey. And I'm showing you my flicker site right now because that's where I started. My photography journey was just posting images on flicker. These images that you see here are the most basic of, like, whatever was in my imagination. I just did it without a thought, thio how they would flow or if they would be good or if they fit into a Siri's. I was just making stuff and I want to show you how that kind of evolved into first, cultivating a style and then second, cultivating Siri's bodies of work that we're really cohesive, that I could put out there to galleries. So it started out with works like this thes air, all of my very first images and you can see from the square conceptual images to the non square. You could also call this conceptual image of these oranges. You never know, but it was really kind of a mix of what I was doing here on this first page of my flicker, and as we go through already just on the second page, you can start to see that cohesion come in. Cohesion of color, of form, shape subject all these different things coming together to create something mawr cohesive in this in a sort of evolution. And this goes on through my work as kind of a theme where it's almost like every page of my flicker site, which has every image I've ever made on it. You can see a slightly different evolution happening, a different sensibility through my photography. And it was around this time, which is like a really that weird thing to say. But I looked at my flicker site as like my timeline. It was around this time that I started thinking about Siri's more seriously thes. Couple of images, for example, are both examples of a new attempted Siri's that didn't quite work out as a Siri's. And so all of this work kind of it feels a little bit separate from one another. They weren't created to go together. They just happen to go together, and that's the first step of building your work is, Do your images cohesively run together? Now the answer is they don't have Thio. I'm not trying to say like, make sure that every image that you do looks the same. By contrast, I'm trying to say Be intentional about developing specific styles plural because you don't have to have just one. So I became really interested in creating this class when I realized that my heart was being taken more seriously by people who would eventually pay me for what I was doing when I created in a Siri's body of work. And you can really see the Siri's pop up, for example, right here, where all of these images flow really well together because they all look very similar. That's one Siri's. And then here we have another sort of cryptic Siri's, and this goes on and on. So I'm gonna go into Photoshop here, and I want to share with you my very first Siri's that I ever made. So creating a Siri's can happen in many different ways, but I would say two general ways people make a Siri's one is that you do it with intent. You go into your body of work, and you're like, I'm gonna make a photo Siri's and it's going to be cohesive visually, conceptually on. Then you do it the other way that you could do that. Is this example here where perhaps you just go through your old work and you figure out, Is there a common theme that I see a common idea that's popping up in several images? Maybe a common visual that you can connect and the reason why I bring up these two ways of creating a Siri's one being You just look at your old work and see what you can cobble together, the other being you create a brand new Siri's for the intent of creating a cohesive Siri's. The reason why I bring it up is because I have had so many exhibitions, like so many where the gallery contacted me and said, Oh, I love this image, Is it part of a Siri's? And I'll be like, Yeah, then I'll show them something like this, which is totally not a Siri's. I literally just went into my flicker and I pulled images that I use trees and that's it. And I put them together here, and it's believable enough that the Siri's even though I didn't make it as a Siri's. Because when you start to grow your voice and your vision when you become very clear about what your intent is, when you're creating Ah, lot of your work may start to touch on similar themes because it's very rare that an artist will say, Okay, I have this great idea and I'm gonna, like, tackle the theme of joy and then you're done after one image. Usually you want to keep expressing that until you feel like it's out of you. So similar themes will pop up in your work. Similar concept, similar ideas, similar techniques and visuals. So take advantage of that and put them together like I like you see here. But then I pulled up this one first to show you my very very first, Siri's that I ever made. And this Siri's is called Ballet Vacate. And it started because I went into a gallery for my very first meeting with a gallery and showed them this image of ah ballerina, and they said, we really like it, but can you turn it into a Siri's? So I spent the next six months shooting. This Siri's with the intent of exhibiting it all together, and that's what I did. So it's really important when you are coming up with a Siri's or making one out of your old work that you think about. Are these images visually cohesive? Are they conceptually cohesive? Are they relevant currently, like Is there a way that you can somehow relate this body of work, too? What people are feeling right now and that's a wide spectrum. So I'm not necessarily talking about current events. I'm talking about the emotional state or how that could be relevant right now. Are the images evergreen When I say evergreen, I mean Evergreen content is content that you create because it will not go out of trend. It won't go out of style. It's not going to be stuck in a certain time period. It's going to be relevant for a long time, which is part of why I create my work in the evergreen style, which is to say the timeless style so that it never goes out of style. But your answer to this question are your images. Evergreen might be no, and that's totally okay to It's just about understanding how your image is related to a current audience. That's it. And then the thing that I find the most beneficial when I create a Siri's is to write about the Siri's before I even started or as I'm starting to piece the images together. Then I write out my artist statement and figure out Why are these images personal to me? Why are they relevant to other people? Um, and how can you relate this? Siri's to a larger idea, a larger topic. All of those things are going to help tremendously when we think about putting a Siri's together this whole classes about creating a Siri's. But really, it's about creating a state of mind. And I feel very passionate about passing this point across to you because it's about creating the state of mind that is building confidence, building on an idea. So if you have a certain idea in your mind that you wanna really push and get out there in the most evocative, innovative way that you can, that's what this course is about. And I was so passionate about making it because my work has evolved tremendously in the last few years in terms of thinking about provocation, innovation and connection toe audience, and that's what this class is going to touch on. So if you're feeling a little bit worried like, I don't know if im ready to create a Siri's. Don't worry about that so much because yes, the course focuses on building a body of work. But that body of work could simply be your portfolio. So don't get Thio, you know, worried about that, that part of things. I wanted to show you this picture real quick because this is, um, just kind of an interesting story that perhaps we'll put you at ease because I have tried to create many Siri's that have failed and they have failed so badly. And this image I shot in 2010 and I actually was the very first time in my artistic journey that I ever spent money on a picture like I was. I spent money on a cabin in the snow and I went and I was going through this whole entire photo Siri's and it was really cool. It was going to turn it into a book. It was going to be like this naked guy and the snow covered in like oil. It was really Well, that sounds really okay. So just starting over, it was gonna be really cool about rebirth and death, and it was really, really fun. But I realized when we got there that you can't really cover someone in oil and then put them in the snow naked because they just freeze immediately. So everything was scrapped. It cost me like over $1000. At the time. That was like every penny I could spend on photography for the year, and it failed. And this was the only image that I got out of it, and I didn't even like it. So sometimes you're going to invest in your craft and it will fail spectacularly. And I have so many stories of how that has happened to me, and especially in working with a Siri's. If you're not used to working in that mindset, it's a very difficult shift to make. And it is a practice. It is a study, and that's why I really hope to guide you through it a little bit here. So moving on to these images that you see, I too big I I just started creating these images a couple months ago where I just had this random idea to paint on top of glass and then transpose that paint on top of my images. So I did. And the center image here was actually painted on the print as a mixed media piece. So I made these images and I loved them. I was so excited. Um, do you know that feeling when you make something and just like your soul is on fire with excitement about it? That's how I felt with this, and I made these images and then I kind of put it aside and I made some other things for a while. And then just this week, I made these images same technique, different visual. Then I started thinking, Could these be a cohesive Siri's? Because these air clearly very different images than these. How could they possibly go together? These air red and dark and dramatic and kind of like scary a little bit looks a little bit like blood, and then these air soft and, you know, like elegant and they're and they're meant to be. Sometimes when you look at your work, it's hard to see how they could go together. It's hard to see that connection that through line, that we'll talk about in the class of one image to the next image to the next image. And that's why understanding the flow of your work and the breath of your work is so vital. So here's how I ended up putting them together. I started trying to figure out if I were to display these. If if I were to pitch this as a cohesive Siri's, how could it work? Because sometimes you can't rely on technique alone. But when I staggered the images and put one after the other alternating dark and light, dark and light it looks intentional, doesn't it? Part of I would say a large part of being a professional artist is just being so confident in the way that you present things that other people believe it. So if I pitched this to a gallery, I'd be like, Yeah, of course I created these two go together. Of course I did. I didn't really, but they do, and I know my work intimately enough, technically conceptually, to know that these work together, so I find that super exciting. I wanna walk you through a current Siri's that I have going on here, and this is the first time that I'm sharing my Samsara Siris in full. So far, it's only halfway finished. But here it is so far, and this is the new Siri's that I'm working on. You'll see this pop up in the classes, you watch it and this Siri's is dark and disturbing and gritty and textured and gross. It's meant to be grotesque. But if you look at this Siri's and you think, Oh, I don't see any visual cohesion in this, then I would say that you're probably nuts because this is the most visually coherent you could get right. It's like dark background background, um, subject often centered with a yellow tent. And that's how I've been creating the Siri's. So I wanted to share this because this is my newest evolution of work, and I want to show a little breakdown of how I've started incorporating images into the Siri's. When you come up against a idea and you're like, Okay, I've got this thing that I really need to say this thing that I just feel so passionate about? I can't wait to do it. Then how do you begin to build that out? How do you begin to conceptually make it work visually, make it work and yet make it interesting enough? So I want to point out a couple of things that are going on here. And one is that even though it doesn't seem like it, there is actually a diverse color palette going on in terms of their being yellows, greens and reds. In this Siri's, you can see that especially represented here, where we have yellow, red and green all in a line. And if you had said to me even a year ago, would you ever put red and green and yellow all in the Siri's together? I would have said, Absolutely not. That doesn't work. So it's about refining that vision. How can it work? Where does it work? In what context and then diversity of form was super important to me. So you see these images here? They're very fluid. There's a lot of curving lines, um, very abstract in shape versus these images, which are very structured and rigid in shape. So I'm trying to think about not only color, cohesion, subject cohesion, theme, cohesion but also shape and how the images flow and how I can diversify the aesthetic while keeping the viewer interested in it as a cohesive Siri's. So those were just some of the ways that I started building the Siri's out and another big one for me, which, you know, take it or leave it for you is texture. How can I incorporate many layers of texture so that the eye falls on the image and it feels like this is gonna be weird, But it feels like you, Mommy, you know what I mean? Like when you're eating food and there's that flavor profile of umami and it's like super satisfying. That's how I want my images to feel. So I use texture umami in my images to create many layers of texture to make that work