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Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 69 of 70

Live Premiere: Q&A

Brooke Shaden

Creating a Fine Art Series

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

69. Live Premiere: Q&A


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
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

Live Premiere: Q&A

Okay, So let's, um let's start with just again talking about Siri's. Um, the most recent question was from Arena, who said, in terms of style, What about changing style? In between Siris, for example? One. Siri's being bright and abstract and another dark and moody. Realistic, um, going sort of across career. How does that feel to you? Yes, and it feels great. And I'm so glad that you brought this up because there is this idea that once you've done one thing, you have to be that thing forever. And it's true. Audiences love that. I mean, like, when you think about us as consumers, we are so boring, and we are so limited in our mindset of what we want to consume. So if you find a music artist that you love and then they put out an album that's so different, they might lose you. But here's the thing is that that band is still represented by a record label, right? So the record label still gonna put the music out just to a different audience. So that's how you want to think about your fine...

artwork. Is that Yeah, if you're making one Siri's and you move on to do something else, allow that transition toe happen in your next Siri's because you can still find people to represent that type of work. And it might not be your core audience that you had before, but who cares? I mean, people come and go like this. Life is transient, you know, like who cares if someone that was there for the first thing isn't there for the second, you will find more people to view it, and you will find people to represent it. So, um, I actually tried to use my Siri's work as a jumping off point to start a new style within my body of work as a general body of work. So definitely recommend that awesome eso Some follow up questions on this topic. This is from photo maker who's a longtime regular here on Creativelive. Um, does that mean that we should have separate social media sites dedicated to our different styles? It depends on how different they are. I would say genre, not style. That's where I tend to fall. I don't think there's a right answer to this, really. I think that it's to each his own. I am the kind of person where I recognize fully that if I change my style, people will leave. But I don't want to do the extra work to accommodate other people by making extra social media platforms just so that the people that are on one don't leave me. You know what I mean? Like that, That's that burden is not on me. So if you have separate genres of work, yes, like if you do wedding and you do fine art, sure separate them. That would make a lot of sense. But if you're just if your style is evolving within your fine art or within a specific genre, just keep it. I mean, I think that people will either come with you and at least you're giving them that opportunity to grow with you or they won't. And oh, well, it's so freeing, right just to let let go. Yes, you know, every day of what other people think, right? Especially when you're in artist and you're you know you're the creator and it's like, you know, people always. We talk about releasing our work, like people would say, Do you have a new photo to release? Do you have this thing, but we use that word in, I think a way that we shouldn't like. We say, Okay, I'm gonna release this new picture on social media. But then, do you really release it like, do you really let it go because it's not yours anymore? Like when you decide to share it, it's gone. It's out there. And when people comment on it or like it or dislike it or don't care about it, it adds to the art. It adds to the the meaning of it and the depth of it. So I say Release it and release it. Let it go. The double release. Love it, Um, Nancy asked a question. Nancy Greene. Earlier, you were talking about evergreen images. And so she's wondering, How do you determine if an image is evergreen? It's a very good question, and there's going to be a definite sliding scale of what this could mean for somebody. So, for example, on this is just a really basic example. Let's say you have somebody, um, wearing like a certain outfit that's really indicative of like the early two thousands. Let's say they're like we're in a crop top and holy jeans. And I don't know. I'm trying to think of like a choker necklace that's going to immediately pigeonholed. That image is being from a certain time period, you know, on DSO that's just one quick example of how an image may not hold up is being evergreen because it's going to be from a certain time period. But like I said, it's not necessarily about Onley creating evergreen content. It's about understanding where your image falls in the spectrum of it being evergreen or not. So if you know that an image looks like it's representing the year 2000, then play on that and be able to say, I know that this image does this and talk about that. So really, it's just a matter of understanding where your image falls. And this this might be even conceptually so. If you've been creating covert images this year like quarantine images, well, that's going to have a date attached to it, you know, we're going to remember that as being from 2020 10 years from now. Please, I hope that that's what we will think of and that we're not still like Oh, yeah, we're still quarantined. Um, but you know, it's it's all a matter of perspective that from that 40,000 ft view, I think, like being able to say from If I pull back to that big perspective, where does this image fall in the timeline? So I'm looking at all these questions coming in, and I'm I'm wondering if we could even just take a step back. This is a question that came in from Sherry Pratt, who said, How do you even define a piece for fine art? She said she's just getting new at this concept, like what is fine art So fine. Art is just personal work, and it doesn't have to be any more complicated than that. And essentially, how you can think of it is there's fine art and there's commercial. Commercial work is when you create something for the benefit of the client, there's somebody who is usually paying you to make something for them. So the idea comes from that collaborative effort or straight from the client saying I need this. The idea of fine art is that, yeah, you may have clients, but they come after the fact, so you have a finer image you think to yourself. I want to make something. I want to do this for me because I want it and you do it. And then after that, you find somebody to buy it. So that's kind of the difference. It does not have to mean a certain style. You know, a lot of people. I always worry that somebody will watch a class of mine and say, Well, fine art has to be what Brooks work looks like. Not at all. Fine Art could be portraiture. It could be documentary. It could be landscape. It could be wildlife. It could be anything you want it to be as long as you're doing it, because you feel that there's a cause inside of you, an idea that has to get out. Okay, A layer of the cosmic onion. We have a question from Catalina that has actually seven votes on it. People are voting on the course page in the chat as to the questions that are asked. So Catalina says, Do you do you people from the art market have issues selling work that you've done that you've posted on social media? Not at all. Um, this has never been an issue for me, and the only time that I've remotely run across this is when I've had a gallery say, um, if I'm creating a new body of work to show in their gallery, then they might say, Please don't post it until after it debuts. But as faras general bodies of work go, I share everything and no one's ever complained about it. And if anything, they're glad you know, to get more eyes on it and to get more people into the gallery. But yeah, unless they say specifically, can you make something for us to debut? Then you shouldn't have any problem. Awesome. I mean, you would think right? It creates that demand that people actually want more of. Yeah, and I will say that there's like depending on how you come at fine art. I know that in the commercial world Ah, lot of magazines, for example, will say, like you better not show this toe anybody before it's in my magazine. That's not true with fine art magazines. So if you find an art magazine, it's I don't think anyone's ever asked me to, like, hold off on publishing something till it was shown in their magazine. So it's just a huge difference, I think, between the markets. Yeah, super valid point, uh, Eric, Bassanio says, are Ohno says, Thank you so much for inspiration over all the years, Brooke, about approaching galleries. Do you always go to them, or do they come to you? In any case, are you always ready to show a body of work or completed, or maybe an ongoing project? So maybe for somebody who's new, can you talk about galleries? Definitely. Um, I approached so many galleries when I started out, and I still do. I mean, I think that people have this perception that I just like people are just contacted me all the time. That is not true, and it's not that it doesn't happen. It certainly does. But I make it a point. I haven't reminder in my calendar every three months to write to new galleries, and I dio and I have this massive spreadsheet of galleries, grants, contests that I submit to regularly. I just submitted to five grants and contest last week, so definitely go after galleries. They will almost certainly not come to you, and I don't say that to you in particular. I say that to you know, the artists in general. You have to put yourself out there so they know to look for you in the first place. So contests are great to get into juried shows and exhibitions. Great to get into emailing galleries. Wonderful. Specifically, look for the closest big city to you, even if it's like four hours away. It doesn't matter. Just look for the closest big city and see if they do an art walk. Granted, not many people are doing that right now, but you'll still find the website that says, like these are the galleries participating in the art walks. Look there, see if there's a gallery that looks right for you and specifically look for submission pages because a lot of galleries have a submission page where they'll either say we do not take submissions and then listen to them. Don't just email anyway, or they'll say, Yeah, we do take submissions and here's how you can do it. So just start looking. And I know that a lot of people are already thinking, But how do I just look for galleries? Well, look per city. That's the easiest thing to do is to say Okay, Los Angeles Art Gallery, You know, Tokyo Art Gallery, Whatever. And then you'll get lots and lots of lists. You can also look at art fairs, and if you look up in art fair, they list every participating galleries, so that's another good way to do it. You can goto websites like len scratch dot com lens culture dot com. Um, they list a bunch of contests and galleries that air open. So, you know, just look into resource is and you'll find that as you get more attuned to those fine art resource is, you'll find more and more such great advice. And this is just our live kick off. And I know if you guys are doing in, what's gonna happen is we're gonna play Brooks. New course. These air just Q and a beforehand. It's going to stream for 24 hours. Maybe a couple more cues before we do the Sony giveaway. Thank you, Sony. Um, so let's see, Do you talk in the class about titling images? There is a question about do title, every image and how do you go about that? In terms of the Siri's Yes, we do touch on titling, but this is one of my favorite things in the world. So let's go a little bit into more detail right now about it. I believe, just as my personal philosophy, that every image should have a title. Because when I walk into a gallery and I see untitled one entitled to, I just feel like this sinking feeling in my stomach like what a missed opportunity like I've I've gone to look at the title just so that I can learn something deeper about the image that I'm looking at. And then I get nothing. I get untitled. Now. I know that that's like you might be thinking, but there are reasons why I don't title my work, and that's fine, too. So, you know, it might be that I look at that title and it says Untitled, I'm sad, but that's how you want me to feel. You want me to not have the guidance of that title. So that's just my personal opinion. I believe in titles very strongly, and I tend to find my titles in two ways. One is through the theme and the idea of the image so I might keep it super simple, like I did an image recently where there were, like snakes around me. And so I titled it Risk because that's what I thought of when I looked at the image. Super simple, just like an emotional thematic reaction to the image. Sometimes, though, I titled my images with poetry. So I do this a lot because I just love like I love the cadence of it, and I love having long titles on something every once in a while. So for example, um, this year I did an image with my hands covered in red paint, and they made like a crown around my head, and I titled that image. I blamed 100 hands for my violence, and I just thought like, that sounds so beautiful and it's so sad. And I wanted that I wanted the image toe have that extra poetry to go with it. So I title either by you know, the theme of the image and keep it really simple or a title poetically like that. Um, however, you title your work, though, consider that it is a deeper portal into the work that you're creating. So knowing that either don't title it or think really deeply about how can you enhance the work by giving just a little clue to the viewer about where you want them to go in their mind? E I love that answer. Thank you for that. Yeah, um let's see, uh, Laika. And maybe this will be the final question. Uh, is theme again so many great questions coming in. But a lot of these were going to be answered in the course itself. Uh, let's see. So Lake Anna says, is theme cohesion or visual cohesion. More important for a Siri's? I knew this question. Leica. I knew this question is going to be asked, Um, I have to say equal because I have never witnessed ah successful Siri's by an artist that didn't have both of those things. 50 50. I'm not saying that it can't be done. Um, but it would be really wild, I think to see that so I can see for sure an argument for having super strong visuals. But then having each image represent a different thing. You'll see this really soon when we kick off the course that I'm sharing one of my first real major Siri's that I created called Fourth Wall. And in this Siri's, it's basically shot from above, looking down into a room with no windows or doors. And in every room there is a different scene going on visually, super cohesive. There's every single image, has four walls and like the same perspective, it looks like the same image with, like, a different person plopped in it. But conceptually, it's not as cohesive. It is to me that there's one hole connecting theme off the work, which is the things that you feel inside that you feel like you can't tell other people. But each image represents it so differently that you may think. But how does this image connect to this image? So it's a sliding scale again, you know, like that image. I would say it's 70% visual cohesion, 30% you know, conceptual cohesion. But it has toe have both. So when you're creating that work constantly think about how it flows in both ways.

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!