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Live Premiere: Photo Critique

Lesson 70 from: Creating a Fine Art Series

Brooke Shaden

Live Premiere: Photo Critique

Lesson 70 from: Creating a Fine Art Series

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

70. Live Premiere: Photo Critique


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Overview of Brooke’s Journey


Your Timeline is Nonlinear


Using Curiosity and Intention to Build Your Career


What Factors Dictate Growth


Organic Growth vs. Forced Growth


Niche Branding


Brooke’s Artistic Evolution and Timeline


How Can You Get Ahead if You Feel Behind?


Ideation and Conceptualization to Identify Meaning in Your Art


Idea Fluency


How to Represent an Idea


How to Innovate an Idea


Creating a Dialogue With Your Art


Conceptualization For a Series vs. a Single Image


Transforming a Single Image Into a Series


How to Tell a Story in a Series


How to Create Costumes From Fabric


Brooke’s Most Useful Costumes


Using Paint and Clay as Texture in an Image


Create Physical Elements in an Image


Shooting for a Fine Art Series


Conceptualization: Flowery Fish Bowl in the Desert


Wardrobe and Texture


Posing for the Story


Choosing an Image


Conceptualization: Rainy Plexiglass


Posing for the Story


Creating Backlight


Photo Shoot #1 - Creating a Simple Composite


Photo Shoot #2 - Creating a Dynamic Composite


Photo Shoot #3 - Creating a Storytelling Composite


Shooting the Background Images


Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Working With Backgrounds


Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Retouching the Subject


Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Color Grading


Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Floor Replacement Texture


Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Final Adjustments


Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Cropping and Editing Backgrounds


Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Selective Adjustments


Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Adding Texture + Fine Tuning


Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Compositing Models


Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Expanding Rooms


Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Selective Color


Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Selective Exposure


Editing Composite Shoot #2- Masking Into Backgrounds


Editing Composite Shoot #2- Creating Rooms in Photoshop


Editing Composite Shoot #2- Compositing Hair


Editing Composite Shoot #2- Global Adjustments


Editing Composite Shoot #3- Blending Composite Elements


Editing Composite Shoot #3- Advanced Compositing


Editing Composite Shoot #3- Cleanup


Materials for Alternative Processes


Oil Painting on Prints


Encaustic Wax on Prints


Failure vs. Sell Out


Create Art You Love and Bring an Audience To You


Branding Yourself Into a Story


The Artistic Narrative


Get People to Care About Your Story


Get People to Buy Your Story


Getting Galleries and Publishers to Take Notice


Pricing For Commissions


Original Prints vs. Limited Edition Prints vs. Open Edition Prints


Class Outro


Live Premiere


Live Premiere: Layers of Depth 1


Live Premiere: Layers of Depth 2


Live Premiere: Q&A


Live Premiere: Photo Critique


Lesson Info

Live Premiere: Photo Critique

what I want to do here is just take a look at the images that have been selected. We chose three different people to do a quick image critique four or rather serious critique for we asked for three or more images and we chose some, um, to go over. So we're going to start here with Veronica. Veronica Lavy. I hope I'm saying your last name, right? I've never known. But we're going to start with Veronica here and and just side note, side note. Veronica is watching and says Squeal, Hello. So yeah, that's awesome. And yes, So please, Veronica, if you have any questions as we go, um don't hesitate to say, like, Wait, follow up on that. Explain this more be clearer about this because that helps everybody. So even if your images aren't being critiqued right now, one of the most valuable things you could do as an art photographer is to listen to and watch and read other people's critiques because you can learn Justus much from them. So something that I try to make a habit of is getting a critiq...

ue at least once a year. And then I share that with whoever wants to see it. Like what people said about my art and what could be improved and the presentation and everything. So, um, listen along, watch watch along with us and we're gonna start with Veronica. So we have Veronica's three images here. We've got one. And Thio. Oh, it's freezing. Hold on. We'll get to the other one in a second. My bridge always freezes. Eso have three images and there are three ways that I'm going to critique each of the Siri's s. So it's gonna be visually, conceptually and business. So those are the three categories that I usually choose to critique something in. So visually, um, I have my notes here. I always have notes. I'm very, very prepared with like that. So visually, I'm looking at the syriza as a whole, which I swear if my computer ever unfreezes, then you will be able to see it as well. It just takes a while, but then it will be okay. There we go. Um, so we've got the three images, and if you look at them as a whole, Siri's together, which I think is very valuable to Dio. Um it's good to just get that 40,000 ft view. So putting them all together to see what? What is it that we're looking at as far as a visual arc? Ah, conceptual story arc on Ben, where the Siri's maybe going so visually, Um, there are a few things that stand out one heavy texture to do dark tones and green tones. So you have a wonderful visual cohesion happening across these three images, which is not necessarily very easy to achieve, and you can see a slight departure from that. With the center image, there's some more blue, and it's a little bit hazy or not quite as dark. I wouldn't flag that as an issue by any means. It's not something that you have to be super specific about. And the reason why I say that is because people one of the most frequently asked questions about creating a Siri's is how visually linked to the images have to be. The answer is, you know, the more the merrier. If they're more visible links, that's great. But you can depart from that really stodgy like palette that you're using. Not that your palate astrology, but because you know, when you do something over and over. It gets old and tired. You could depart from that a little bit, and you've done that here, I said. I think that they still go together in most ways, particularly because of the texture, the natural tree element and the green. So I think you're okay there, so I think, visually, really smart, visual cohesion going on. But my first critique of that would be that even though you have this wonderful visual cohesion, I think that the images come off is a little bit flat, and that's because there isn't a lot of direction of light. And this changes again with this center image, where we do see a direction of light a little bit and you see, especially on the subjects leg, there's that contrast. The leg is the brightest thing in the image, so I'm going straight to that spot, whereas in the others there isn't quite ah lot of contrast or direction of light. And when you don't have light that's working dynamically in your image, you have to be able to work other elements of your image dynamically. So, for example, the background might have a lot of blur in it or a lot of depth so that the subject really stands out. Or maybe there's visual distinction with color, where maybe there's a single singular color that pops out and the rest fades into darkness. So I would say Try toe, just pay attention to how flat the images in terms of contrast and lighting and really bringing attention to where you want the viewer to look. Because, as it is, I get a little bit lost in the murkiness of these images. So think about that, and what goes along with that is your use of texture, which is a little bit heavy handed. And that's adding to the flat feeling of the images. So the more texture you add on layer by layer by layer, the more you're going to start to cover up the image, which can lead to the viewer thinking what's being hidden behind that texture instead of how is the texture enhancing the image? So I think you're sort of walking a fine line here with that. I think that in the first image here, we see that as perhaps a slightly bigger issue because it's so sort of running into this abstract look It's a little bit difficult to tell where she is, and it looks a little bit flat because of all the texture on the subject. That's a really difficult balance to achieve. When you have a textured background and a textured, subject textured skin, it can get a little bit challenging. So think about that now. There's I read your artist statement for these images, and I found it really interesting that you talk about grotesque specifically for the first image here. And I found that really interesting because that was my first word that I associate ID. And it's wonderful when you use a word that you want to convey. And then that's my first thought as the viewer so well done, because you are really going into that realm of grotesque art, which I think is gorgeous. I'm a huge fan of grotesque art, a za many of you know, it's one of my favorite things. So this is what I wanted to touch on about it being grotesque in a business sense. It could be very challenging to sell and make a living with grotesque art unless you find that particular niche, which everything has one. So don't worry about that. But look for the galleries that really embrace that grotesque look. Look for the galleries that our aren't afraid to go in a darker direction, but also recognized that it's it could be a little bit challenging for people to get into it if the work isn't very abstract. Ah, lot of people are accepting of grotesque art or dark art if it leans more in the abstract genre as well, because then it's easier to digest. So just think about how do you want to push people's buttons with that? Do you want them to be disgusted? Do you want them to feel intrigued? What do you want them to feel from it? Um, and then conceptually, let's see. So we've got a lot going on conceptually, which I think is wonderful in this series, and I think you really shine here. Oh, for goodness sake, Bridge. You know, it looks like it'll pop up eventually, Um, so there's nature being integrated into humans. That would be what I pull as the main concept that I'm getting from these. It's extremely well done. I think that you've nailed the concept, so I think that where when it comes to my critique for you, it's really all about just enhancing the visuals that they look more visually rich and inviting for the viewer. But your concepts are all there, like you've got an amazing sense of how toe sort of integrate the nature into the human and the human into the nature and to make a commentary about that. So I think that that's really wonderful. Um, and like I said, with the business aspect of things, grotesque art can be hard to sell when it's not abstract. So think about that, because your battle will be technique, the more sort of off the chart you go in one direction or another, like super dark or super bright or super anything, the more important it is to make sure that your technique is flawless, because people can overlook one or the other technique or concept. But they're not going to overlook both, so make sure that you just keep that the visuals as striking as clean as you can. Um, okay, so, Veronica, I love this little Siri's this trip. Tick of images. I assume there will be Maurin, the Siri's, and I think that would be a smart thing to Dio because as a trip Tik they go together. But I don't know that they really are strong enough to be just three. So I would include more like 5 to 10 images in the Siri's if you have the time and energy and passion to work on them. So Veronica, if you have any questions, feel free to ask, and we can dive deeper if you're interested. Well, thank you so much. I just adore the way that you critique. It's just, uh, and all the different layers. You know that we can learn from even again when they're not our own images. So Veronica did right back, she said. Yes, there will be more. She is 15. She has 15. Plan towards the Siri's. And there's another squeal. You squealed earlier. Veronica got the brakes. Squeal, Um, and then earlier, when you were talking about the texture, she was wondering if you met texture, as in the wooden skin or texture as inthe e overlay. Both I mean both, and the reason why I say both because it's really all about how they work together. So if the background is heavily textured and then you have skin that's heavily textured. It doesn't give any relief for the eye. So when you look at an image, you know how in, ah lot of critiques people will say, um, you know your eye goes to the brightest thing in the image of the area of most contrast well, in a heavily textured image, often your I will go to the cleanest thing in the image. So if you have so much texture going on, sort of layered into it in the background and the foreground on the subject, it doesn't give any relief for the I. So I would say, if you don't want a lesson, the texture, just think about how you can up the brightness and contrast, maybe on the subject, so that there is some distinction between foreground and background, and I think that would be really helpful. Awesome. Thank you so much. Thank you to Veronica for submitting your images and allowing all of us to learn from that. All right, let's move on to the next set. Yes, so we're going to take a look at Sophia's imagery. Um, you know, I don't even have the slightest clue how to say your last name, so yeah, I'm not gonna try, but you guys can see it on the screen. Um, in the title of the images here. So eso Sofia, we have a really interesting set of images here and my biggest interest in these images. And by the way, Sofia, if you're listening, please feel free to ask questions. And, um, you know, if you have any follow ups, please just let me know. Um, so the biggest thing that's interesting is how different one of the images is from the other two in this trip Tick. And I find that interesting because conceptually, it makes a lot of sense. Visually, it doesn't make much sense. So we're going to kind of focus in on that difference here and take a look at that, because in many, many people's portfolios you will find this happening especially in a Siri's where one image just kind of stands out. And you wonder, where is this one going? How does this one fit? And the issue with the with the connection between them being really largely conceptual and not visual is that sometimes people will give up before really finding that connection because they don't see it visually. So visually, the close ups that you have here with the moth and the I don't even know what that is like. A wasp is terrifying. Whatever it is, they're very, very striking to me for several reasons. Um, one of them is that you're almost working from the standpoint of what is not included in the image, which I find so fascinating for close up images. So here we have in the in the wasp image, we have the eyes covered in the moth image. We have the eyes cut off, and you're giving the sense of something is my missing from these images. And it's almost a puzzle not only of what's there but what isn't there. And I find that so, so intriguing that would actually be a great thing to put in an artist statement to make sure that you draw attention to that to anybody looking at the work because it adds a whole other dimension. That's really fascinating. Um, aside from that, you have these close ups which are very muted. They look really gritty because of the texture on the skin, which I think it's fabulous because it looks like you've done that at least partially in camera, where there's some sort of texture in the skin, and I think that's fantastic. It adds the story. It makes it look a lot more authentic, so I think that's great. Um, the color palettes great works really well, so that brings me to the Spider Web image, which doesn't really fit visually with these other images. You've got this muted, really sort of yellowish color palette really sepia. And then you move on to the cobweb image, which is has read in it. It has a slightly green color tone to it. Um, it doesn't quite fit visually in almost any way, partially because it's pulled back. And it's not that kind of close up look. So I feel two ways about this one. I think it's a wonderful idea toe have different views within a Siri's so close up long shot. You know, however, you want to portray that medium shot extreme long shot whatever. It's great to have a mix, but make sure that you have multiples of the mix. So right now all I'm getting to look at are the three images where we have the moth. The, um Why can't the wasp? I can never watched. She said She said it is a wasp. Okay, I'm just gonna keep that here. Um, so we have these two close ups. It works so beautifully. And now we have this pullback view Which brings me to conceptually I totally get because now we're into the spider, right? Like so there's a moth wasps spider, and it makes sense. You're just depicting it in a different way. So for this image to work with the other two, I think you just need mawr images like that where we're getting that pulled back view. I will say, though, that in terms of originality, in terms of standing out in a crowd, the spider web image isn't going to do you much good for that. Because I think that images that are pulled back and show more of a scene are actually a lot more typical in what I see in conceptual photography. So the fact that you punched it in is very unique and very striking. So just know that that is, if from a business sense something that I'm very interested in your work and I think that you have a lot of success with those there. Um, so let's see, overall going back through my notes, Um, I think that the strength that you're looking at here are what's not in the images, the relation of the human thio, the insect that's in the image, which is again, why I'm not respond of the cobweb image. Um, and then overall, just looking. I think 11 way that you could move forward is to look at how the insect that you're placing with the human or whatever other you know, props you plan on using. How does that fit with the human where it's touching so like the moth, almost like it completes the collarbone off that subject. It's super interesting visually, because of that sort of cohesion. And the moth wings also remind me of lungs, so it makes sense. There you can see the mouth, which connects to breathing, so that all makes a lot of sense. So if I were you, I would really think in the future of this Siri's, which I hope you will expand on it. How can you use thes props in ways that truly connect with what you're showing in the image, and I think that's gonna make it even stronger. So, um, really wonderful, Siri's. And I just hope that you're planning more for it. Especially to see more pullback shots to and how they can fit into the mix a little bit. So thank you, Sophia. Fantastic. Thank you so much. And Sofia was tuning in and in the chat. Uh, Felix shadow. Felix. Who saying Amazing work, Sophia. And thank you again for submitting your images. I know people. It could be a vulnerable thing to put your work out there, and we totally recognize that s Oh, thank you for doing that on behalf of everyone else. All right, well, we have we have our third set Thio critique handing it back over to you. Okay, so our next one is Elizabeth Mounts, and this is a five image Siri's and I wanted to share first. Um, what really struck me about this Siri's? Because it's something that you may not get from it if you don't know the back story. So, um, Elizabeth submitted information to us in an artist statement about how, um, there was a natural disaster on her house. A tree fell through her bedroom window. And as you can imagine, trauma ensued from that, the shock of it, the destruction of it. And so this Siri's came after that, sort of depicting the stages of what that experience felt like knowing that, like, it gives me goose bumps, because there there is such power to your words and how you present the images and the context in which you put the images. So the fact that we know this back story lends a great deal to what we're looking at on the screen keep that in mind. Um, because I think that it changes how I would critique your Siri's so I'll go through the visuals. Um, and the visuals are easier to critique outside of that context of the story behind it. So keep that in mind as well. I would actually give you a similar critique to what I said to Veronica about the texture in the images you borderline with the texture on it, looking a little bit messy in terms of not understanding quite where one thing ends and the next thing begins. Um, particularly for this image in the bathtub, I totally get that I can understand that this sort of outer hes going around the image. It makes a lot of sense because it's a dream like thing to Dio. So it's almost like saying, you know, what's outside of this specific spot doesn't matter. Um, you know, I'm gonna sort of create this dreamy sort of look almost like a reverse Been yet like adding white around the edges. But I think that you run the risk of it looking just like an overlay, and it doesn't really. It almost looks like it's just attempting to cover up the outside edges rather than work with what's there and add texture intentionally. So you're really writing a line there in a lot of these images, particularly this one as well, which you probably can't see very well on your screen. But I can see how the sort of the dark sky blends into the tree here, and I think this is a very strong image. So I want to say that because my critique of all of these images please take it with a grain of salt, because I think this is an incredibly strong Siris of images, Um, but the black night sky kind of bleeds into the brightness of the tree, and I can see that you've done a lot of work to darken down that tree so that it does blend. But I think that it's just too stark. And what's happening here as someone who uses Photoshop regularly, as I could guess, is that you probably had, you know, little roots and dirt and branches and stuff that would have shown here on this tree, except that it was covered up with the black night sky. This transition there isn't quite clean enough. So when I say use of texture being heavy, I also just mean how one element is blending into the other, which we can also see right here. There's some of the sky kind of coming up over the shoulder and on the arm, and it's those little things that take people out of the story. So that's just something that comes with practice and with maybe reshooting to get more contrast in the subject versus the sky so that the over light comes on a little bit neater. But in other instances you do this very well, particularly this image right here, where the subject is kind of almost falling through the floor. Um, I love this image. It's very dynamic, very unique. You've got the opening in the ceiling, you've got this. Um, wouldn't beam that comes down. There's a lot of visual interest in the triangles being created here in multiple ways. You know, the larger triangle, the smaller triangle here, Um, there's a lot going on in this image, so I think it's really beautiful and the texture works well because it almost reads as like, the debris from falling through the roof has sort of come down and trickled in. So I think that's a prime example of where the texture is being used really beautifully, and it's not covering something up. So I think that's an important note visually for your Siri's Elizabeth. That I think is really, really just wonderful to play with because you have a lot of room to play in these images. Um, okay, so I think I just wanted to note that the red dress images really very striking, has the most contrast. It has that pop of color, and I would never I'm not want to say that an image is better because it has color in it. I genuinely don't believe that. I think that all of these images have their own merit. So I'm just pointing this out is how it has a lot of light on the dress on the skin of the subject, contrast to the background. So it really works in that way. And I think that this image with the moon could benefit from having a little bit more of that brightness contrast on the subject because I think that it would really let the subject pop, which I can already see you're doing. I'm just talking about a slight, slight bit more of a pop there. Um, last thing that I want to say visually is the poses. In several of these I would point out the red dress here, the police tape and laying down here with the moon. They woke a little bit forced with the pose holding the dress out the way that you I always say you like it's you in the image. I can't, you know, guarantee that so I don't know, But the way the subject in the police tape kind of has won the hip cocked out to the side it's a little bit posey the way that the hands are kind of underneath the cheek thes air, a little bit of poses that you would do when you're wondering how to pose a character. And, you know, like if if you're in a play and somebody says, Okay, you play somebody who's going to sleep You would probably just immediately do that because it's the universal symbol for sleep. But then ask yourself, Is that how you really sleep? Like what exactly are you trying to convey their? So I would say, Just be a little bit cautious about posing. But it's like this bathtub image really on point, this falling through the sky really on point, and the others are very, very close to being very on point as well. Um, so conceptually the concept is just very much heightened by the story that you shared. If I looked at these images, I would have a sense that that something happened with a storm, I would have a sense that the character is maybe scared because of the bathtub image. But I would also relate this to dreams because of that tree with the moon image and how the subject is laying down. So I think that without the context, it becomes a little bit difficult to navigate, and that is not a problem. There are people who will say, If you're Siri's doesn't totally speak for itself, then you failed. I very much disagree with that. I think that if you're Siri's needs an artist statement to support it, great. We are multifaceted human beings who have the ability to share about our work. So use that, and I'm glad that you did, and it really made it a lot better. Um, for the business side of things, Ah, Siri's like this that tells a story would be a really great thing to be selective and smart about how you pitch it to galleries and other public spaces that you might put it in. So, for example, approach galleries who are in natural, disaster prone areas who have perhaps, you know, the community has experienced similar things to what you did and pitch it to them like that, like this will relate to the community because of the shared experience, and that could be a really interesting way to go. Also great for magazines to publish as a story. Um, you know any sort of blogger news article or something like that? So I would pursue those avenues if I were you, Elizabeth. And thank you so much for sharing them. They're gorgeous. Well, thank you. That was again. Another amazing critique. Brooke, we've got to Deborah Grass. Mark, who's tuning in on Facebook saying This is terrific. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for the photographers who have put themselves out there. We had Stephen saying a great photo. Siri's and critique for Elizabeth and Elizabeth is in the chat room here on creative life dot com slash chat. Uh, she says, I'm watching that. It is me and all of the images. Uh, and she says, Thank you so much, Brooke. Um, and so once again, it's it's so vital to not only have your own work critiqued, but just to learn from listening. Thio. You know, folks like you, Brooke, do that for other people's images on, you know, I want to say thio, you know, Veronica and Sophia and Elizabeth and of course, anybody else. Um, please keep going with your Siri's and and please do submit it through the course page I'll be checking in on there periodically, and I have the ability to comment through the course pages well, to give feedback. So, um, you know, if you want to submit even just a single image, go ahead and just, you know, Ping me. Let me know that you've uploaded something and I'll take a look at it because I really am very, very invested in just helping you as much as I can Thio get to the next level in your career, and I'm always happy to give you an honest review, so don't hesitate. Thank you for saying that, because again, for all of you out there, it's great to see the student work that's in that student work gallery on on the class page itself. And so, if you are tuning in right now on social media and you can click on the link, go to Creativelive search for creating a fine art. Siri's search for book shade in, and you can also comment on other people's images as well as posting your own. So we love that community aspect to learning that is what we're all here for. Uh, okay, so now, Brooke, I would love to dive into some Q. And A. Brook had posted on her I G stories and done a call for questions. So we already have a number of questions heat up, but also highly encourage you. If you are in again the chat room on the course page. That's where I'm going to see them first and get your questions in. So again, these are questions that have come in people who have already watched the class, um, and our learning and and continuing to follow up, which is why, why we're here. So, Brooke, let's start with Joy Snyder, who had asked when creating a Siri's. Do you worry about the tonality being different between the images? Yeah, it's a great question, and it's one that has two different answers. To be honest, and I want to be very clear about something. When when we talk about a Siri's or anybody of work, there will always be an outlier, so you might be the outlier, Okay, but in a series of work, you want to make sure of one specific thing, and that is that you've made a clear choice about how you're presenting the Siri's. So if you're clear choice is that every image needs toe have a certain color palette, then, yes, make sure that it does. But if your choices that every image has a different color palette, that's also very valid. So like I said, there are multiple ways to answer that. But the choice has to be clear, and that's where it starts. So if you have an image where and and like we've seen in the images that we just critiqued if you have a Siri's, where there's a pretty clear color palette going through it, But then there's one image that's an outlier. It can really take you out of the Siri's. So just be really clear about, you know, is this all going to be the same? Or am I going to allow differences? And if you're going to allow differences, do so in a calculated way, so that if there's a single image that stands out like, let's say, in Elizabeth Siri's there's that one red dress image. Maybe you add tomb or images with red so that you have that kind of connection, that ribbon that runs through some of them so that there are multiple connections you can make. And here's a really good way to think of this. So if you imagine they're all of your images are up on your wall all around you. How would you display them? Are you going to choose to put that one bright red image next thio another one that doesn't have any color? You might. But then you're going to want that red repeated on multiple walls because this is how galleries think. Or you're gonna want to pair all of the red images together because maybe they'll be more willing, you know, to sell together by a client. So think about it that way. Just the intentionality of the decision that you make. Well, I love that tip about thinking about how it would be displayed with the galleries. And speaking of galleries, Natalia via Nat Eyes had asked, Is it OK, um, to just send photos to galleries without previous experience? Yes, it's totally okay. And there are instances where you wanna be careful with that. For example, if you go to a gallery website and it's very obvious that they represent, like, you know, really well known artists or artists who are and we're just gonna be honest here, above your station, as an artist, currently, because we all go through different stages, there's emerging mid career, you know, there are all sorts of stages that you will fall into as an artist, so just make sure that you're not emailing like blind emailing, a gallery that doesn't take submissions that takes, you know, Onley shows Ansel Adams or something like that. But generally speaking, if they take submissions submit because at worst, they're gonna forget you. And that's really not all that bad, because you'll still have opportunities to submit later, and at best they'll notice you and they want to have a conversation, so there's not a lot of downside to it. Unless you're like a serial email or where you're like follow up, follow up, follow up. Why are you emailing me? It's very important to know that galleries usually follow up with people either quarterly or bi annually or even just once a year. So keep that in mind when you're thinking okay, it's been a week. I haven't heard anything. Should I follow up? Probably wait at least 2 to months actually to follow up, because that's how long they usually take to get back. All right, you're hearing it here. The tips from the pro, which is what this class is all about. Again continuing on this the business front Torino had asked, How do you price original prints, for example, Painted art as you in this class, you're getting into Multimedia versus limited edition. How do you price original prints? You painted Art versus limited edition. Okay, so this is a great topic because we do talk in the class about originals versus limited edition versus open edition. So there are three different ways that you can sell your art. And as a quick overview, open edition is where you can sell as many as you want. Limited means you put a specific number on it, so you only make X amount, and then an original means there's only one now. A caveat to that is that you can photograph your original print and make prints of it, so that is an option. So think about that when you're thinking about your originals. Are you going to sell this as a one off and or are you going to make prints because you can do both? You can sell the original, but then also make prints. You just have to be clear with the gallery and with the buyer that that's what's happening. Um, so when I pricing is so fun to talk about to me because nobody ever wants to talk about it with fine art. And I don't even know why it's so weird. But it's really fun to price fine art because, first of all, not a lot matters within very wide parameters. Okay, so like if you're under a certain price, that's not so great. If you're over a certain price, that's probably not so great. But there's like a probably $20,000 spread in which you're probably OK to price your work. Like for a mid career artists. Let's say so. Um, so my prices range between $600.4800 dollars currently, and that's for my various limited editions. My pricing I've sold, I've only made one original print that I have put out so far, and that sold for, I believe, $3400 and it was my medium size. They would normally sell for $2200 so we basically took the price up about $1000. I felt that was a little bit low for what I wanted to sell it for, but it was my first one. So it was OK, So how do you price it? Think about it. This way you can think about it. Like if you were to sell open edition prints. What price would you put on that? You probably want it to be about $100 or less for open edition prints. If you're going to do limited edition, you probably wanted to be around $300. to $300 at minimum. All the way up Thio. However many thousands, you feel that you should go based on the size and limited quantity. And then when you look at your originals, maybe just think about the size, what it corresponds to with your limited, and then add X amount onto it and just let that be your guide. And when I say X, I used $1000 and when I say I used $1000 I mean, my gallery said this is what I want to sell it for and I was like, Okay, that's fine. So my $1000 increase in price for my original was based on a galleries input, which I think is very important for everyone to know that that's what my gallery suggested. This is a slightly higher end gallery, so it depends on who you ask, and everyone will be different. If you think like if you're searching for this industry standard, you're not gonna find it. Trust me, everyone is different and it's just a myth. Wow. Well, thank you so much for Ah, lot of people like you said, Don't talk about the actual prices or what they sell things for, So it's This is the thing. It's so valuable. And how are we going to know if we don't talk about it on and again, but also knowing that there's leeway in terms of where you are in your career, what type of gallery or working with? And so to follow up on that question or that topic? Calvin Old Way eyes watching on YouTube and asked, says, Thank you for this useful information. I would like to know your opinion about submitting our work to galleries versus building our own online store or both. You can definitely do both, and I think that right now galleries air becoming a lot more savvy with artists selling their work online. You can also ask your gallery if you do submit to one, and they accept you to represent you online. There are different sites that you can, you know, upload your work to where the gallery gets a commission because they do the work of uploading everything and representing it still. So it's not really a deal breaker anymore. I think if you had asked me this even five years ago, I would have probably said it's a little bit of a murky area because galleries aren't really savvy with online sales. But now they are. So it might be a turn off for some galleries, generally speaking, not so much and just make yourself amenable to their terms as well, because I still find much, much, much greater value in selling my work through a gallery than online. Personally, that's just how my sales have broken down. So if a gallery were to say to me, You know, I really want to represent your work, but I'm not comfortable with you selling online Fine. I would just probably poof get rid of it, and that's just me. So just consider where your sales coming from. Where do you see yourself moving in the future? What kind of relationships do you wanna have? But generally speaking, it's okay. All right. Thank you for that. Okay, this question is from Sarah J. Who had asked, is your process not to release images in a Siri's until the Siri's is complete? Yeah, you know, it goes for me. Yes, The short answer is yes. I try not to release the images until it is completed on specifically until it has debuted until it's printed and hanging in a gallery. That said, it depends on how I view the Siri's. So if I'm really serious about it, um, like I have been with my Siri's fourth wall with my Siri's begin again with my Siri's Samsara. I'm very serious about those Siri's, so I'm not going to release them online until they have a home physically, which is, you know, like throwing a bone to the gallery because then it's a premier and they really like that. If the Siri's is not so serious for you, which I have many like that so like I'm really into these. Paint a graphs right now or like I photograph, paint and overlay them and and that's a clear Siri's, because it has to be. They all go together, but I'm not withholding them because I'm just experimenting and doing it as I go, not really thinking it out ahead of time, so it really just depends. But galleries will certainly appreciate it. So if you do have a Siri's that you have withheld, or even if you've only withheld it partially, you know, like some of them will debut. Put that in your pitch letter, you know, to a gallery and be able to say I've released these images, but I have 10 more that I haven't released yet. And I'd love to debut them in your gallery, and it's really helpful. Thank you for that, because it is like the strategy around how to make things more valuable. How to make things more. Now that building up the demand is super important to think about, especially as you evolve as an artist. Definitely. Okay, Another question has come in, um, from Christie, Fritz Martin, do you ever feel pigeonholed into your style? Like if you break away, you aren't feeling true? Yeah, I dio And this is kind of an interesting thing to talk about because it's everyone will feel differently about this. I feel I have felt pigeonholed, but I'm very lucky because my style is really born completely from within. And it's what I love. And that hasn't changed too much. Um, you know that said people still email me regularly to tell me that my style is so different and they can't recognize me anymore. And they hate it. And other people are like, Why don't you ever change? Everything is always the same And I'm like, Oh, you give me a headache. You know, there's no point in listening to those people. Not that their opinion isn't valid, because I very much believe that every opinion is valid. But if I'm going to let those opinions dictate how I create my art, that I'm going to lose the sense of self that I have in my art, so I try not to worry about it, just be the thing is, on one hand, I want to say, Don't worry, but actually do worry. Just do it in a really specific way. Don't worry about losing followers. Don't worry about your style changing, but think of it strategically. Be very calculated about how you're going to do this, and the way that you do that is you recognize your style. Now you recognize where you wanna go. Your super clear about that path and understanding where the changes are, where the differences are, and then you start to promote yourself. Market yourself, brand yourself in that direction that you're going intentionally, and that sort of provides a cushion for your followers to come with you because it's not jarring if you share something that doesn't quite look like you, but you're able to speak about it in a way that's still very intrinsically you. So that's my advice for that. Just Well, I think What's what I love about the way you start off this course? Brooke is talking about that evolution, and you know that that you it all we all have our own path and how wherever you know evolving. But again it always comes down. Thio, You're the artist and you get to choose what you create, and that's one of my favorite parts of this class. Actually, is that segment where we break down the evolution that I've been through in my career because it's, I think it's something like I've never just like seeing it laid out in a timeline of other people's, you know, journey through their career and their art to like, What did it look like in 2009? What did it look like in 2013? And it is really interesting to see, because a lot of the times what people personally find really jarring for themselves as being, like, so different. Ah, lot of people barely noticed those differences, So it's kind of interesting to see, and people will always have different opinions. All right, we have questions coming in. Uh, that are about sort of again this this contacting outreach to magazines to galleries. But it was This one came from Veronica. So I'm gonna ask her questions since you submitted for critique. Uh, Veronica says, I wonder. Brooke sends or has sent in the past in the beginning of her career, press releases to magazines hoping to be featured. If so, what is best to put in a press release toe art magazines or photography magazines and if not a press release, like How do you go about getting published? That's a great question, and I am super not qualified to answer this. I have never To my knowledge, I have not sent anything like a press release to anybody. Um, not that I think it's a bad idea, though. And I wanted to say, like as a little caveat here that I my whole career is based on, just like having an idea and thinking that might work and then doing it. And so and mostly it works like mostly people respond. So if you have an idea to do that, just do it like don't listen to me about if I have done it or not, I think you should just do it. Um, in the past, though, I have mostly just use social media to put my work out there, and then publications have contacted me through that. So that's like the one area that I haven't been really proactive about. I've always emailed galleries. I've always emailed publishers and bands and, you know, managers and things like that, but never a magazine. I think so. But you do it and then tell us how it goes. There we go. Veronica. Always learning and getting ideas from each other, right? That is the point of community. Uh, let's see. OK, maybe just a couple more questions. A few more questions. Let's see. We had creative, intrigued design. Who said any tips on an artist statement and bio to make yourself more profitable, which I think is interesting. Yeah, it's very interesting, actually. So I have a really good, um, kind of story to share about this because I did it. I had I submitted my Siri's begin again for a portfolio review a year ago, and the reviewer wrote back, and they were like, I don't really have any notes about your Siri's, like, visually or conceptually like Well done. But, um, when it comes to your artist statement, they were like, I don't wanna know, um, generalized questions about the Siri's. I want to know your specific reason for creating it. So the one thing that they said was, when you write an artist statement, you know it will be very tempting to do things like like deposed these existential questions, like in this Siri's. I want the viewer to like think about identity and like that's fine as like an opening statement. But if you're going to continue sentence after sentence of just posing questions or like using really vague terms, people aren't going to really get that much out of it. And it's just going to seem like another over written artist statement. So be really personal in your artist statement. Don't be afraid that it's going to come off as unprofessional or, you know, not orderly or something, you know, definitely have some proof. Read it. But outside of that, pay more attention. Thio talking about how you connect to the Siri's, how it impacts you, why you had to create that kind of stuff. And I think that's what buyers look for. So I have been in galleries where, like I have an exhibition opening and I'm talking to people around the room, which is like, makes me want to throw up. I hate doing that more than anything, but I talked to people and they'll ask me questions like, Why did you make this? And, you know, like tell me something interesting about this and people want to know the details like they want to know why you had to do it. Why it was so important. And then, like what's interesting about the piece that I should know about. So really Focus in on and and think of it like if you are an art buyer and you're standing in a gallery and you have the opportunity to talk to the artist, what would you ask them about their work and answer those questions for yourself? And that's how you can really hook the buyers. Fantastic. Thank you for that. We have another question from Monica Melgar, and this is This is definitely a question we see often. How long did it take you to build a connection with your audience? Uh huh. You know, I don't even know how this happened. No, I'm kidding. But I didn't have a plan. Certainly. Um, I started photography with the intent, Had to intentions. One was just I just really wanted to do it, so I wanted to please myself. The second one was that I wanted to make people uncomfortable like that was my pretty clear intention from day one. I always knew that I like dark things, and I had just been through college where I studied film and I made some fairly controversial short films in school, and I just like I felt the high of that experience of doing something that made people feel uncomfortable. And I thought, Well, let's do that in photography too. So I started creating images with that in mind, and having that goal opened up conversations to start your goal might be very different. You know, your goal might be to bring joy to people or to make people curious or, you know, whatever it could be. Anything. But starting with the goal is really helpful. Because if you have that kind of singular goal, then everything that you share can further that goal, then that helps to create engagement. So I would say the things that I've done Thio build an audience and to create that connection with the community or toe have clear goals in mind even if they change. And they have many times change throughout my career, Um, to be present, to be constantly, truly in touch with people and to actually care about the answer is that they give and the things that they say a za, much as is possible. And then I guess even further. How I see community is that my art belongs to everybody. I always say that when I released my art, I release it. It belongs to the public and I want people to know that whatever their opinion is of that that's valid and I will listen to that and enhances the art no matter what it is. So I think that that kind of openness with your audience is really helpful, along with the specificity of your goal.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Student Practice Images (large 1.9gb zip file)

Ratings and Reviews

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!

Student Work