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Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 5 of 70

What Factors Dictate Growth


Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 5 of 70

What Factors Dictate Growth


Lesson Info

What Factors Dictate Growth

so think about intention is testing it Z throwing a stone in the pond and seeing what the ripples do and if they take you where you wanna go. So then what dictates growth? What factors dictate growth? And if I think about that, it's There are a lot of answers, and I want to try to provide this roadmap for you, too, to intentionally grow to intentionally follow that curiosity. One thing that obviously dictates growth is technical improvement. But I have a very specific philosophy about this that I feel very passionate about telling you, and it's that were given to many tools. We're so often taught that technical growth is necessary in our careers, and it is. And so we sit down and we'll watch five hours of Photoshop tutorials and someone saying, Okay, here's my studio. This is how you take pictures, and I'm not saying that those air not valuable resource is. But what I'm saying is that it's too much information all at once, and we're not equipped to know how to put those technical aspec...

ts into practice in our own lives. So ah, lot of people lack the clarity of vision to know when those tools are appropriate to use in their own artistic process. And if you lack that clarity of vision to know when to use those tools, then they're just tools and they're not going to help you. And I have met so many people so caught up in mastering technique at the sacrifice of vision and style that you can't tell that their images air there's. And now that is totally okay when you're starting out when you're practicing, when you're trying new things, I am all for new techniques. But what I'm saying is, think about how it relates to you and how you can incorporate that into your vision and your style. Conceptual. So how do you grow in your career and in your heart? Well, you think about conceptual improvement. How can you take a concept and actually make it better and better and better and grow with it? So part of that is that there is a depth of concept that we often don't think about, and I would like to introduce the idea of the cosmic onion to you because I think that this is a very important concept. Okay, I made it up so don't try to like Google cosmic onion or anything. But everyone says that art is like an onion and that there are all these layers, right? Like there's just like, Okay, there's the concept, and there's like how you achieve it and there's the technique, and there's the blah, blah, blah. There's all these pieces that go into making an image and especially a conceptual image. But then that implies that you peel the onion and then you get to the center and that's it. And I like to call it a cosmic onion because there is no end. It just keeps peeling over and over and over, because really depth of concept does not come from a single image or from a Siris of images. It comes from exploring your own depth within. And how much deeper can you get to know yourself and your curiosity and the way that you're going to navigate this world? And it's endless. Every day I wake up and I asked myself, How can I go deeper today? And there is always somewhere deeper to go. I remember sitting with someone once, and I went through this exercise with them of writing down, over and over. Why do you create? Why do you create over and over and eventually they said, This is it. I know why I create now because I like I wrote this thing and it's perfect. It's exactly why I create. And I said. But then every day after that, you have to ask the same question because it will change. The answer will change. And if you think that you have found that that reason why you create and that's it and you're ready to go, you're wrong. There is always something deeper to find. There is always a deeper place that you can get to to explore the endless cosmic onion of your being thing is the weirdest thing I've ever said. Yep, probably Okay. So once we think about conceptual depth and we have to think about clarity of voice and vision, and when we think about clarity of voice and vision, then you think about your art. Your brand being recognizable is yours. Can you put any five images from your portfolio together and recognize them as yours? And I have a slight problem with this way of thinking, because I believe that if your curiosity leads you to different types of art. Do those different types of art. I am not going to say no. You have to pick one thing. But within those portfolios that you create within those interests and those pieces of curiosity, can you create a clarity of vision that says that this is your work? And this is where Siri's comes in Because you may be thinking, No, the answer is no. I can't pick out five random images from my portfolio and say, Yes, these all go together. I could tell that their mind. That's why it's so important to focus on a Siri's. Because if you could make one Siri's cohesive as opposed to your whole portfolio. It's a much more manageable way of thinking, and it's going to help you with getting recognized for a certain style, a certain voice and vision and also getting into galleries, museums, contest grant, stuff like that. We will talk about all of that eventually, I promise, and then impact. This is the one that I think we most often don't focus on. Enough. We, you know, you confined classes Gloria about voice and vision technique concept, but impact is much less spoken about what is impact. It's the connection that your heart has to other people the way that you intend for your art to leave you and go out into the world. That's impact. It's It's the legacy that your art leaves behind. And I am obsessed with legacy. And I am obsessed with this idea that we can hone our story and our narrative. We can put something specific, vulnerable, beautiful into our art that has impact for other people. There's an argument that I get in with people sometimes which I always win, I think. But that's just me, which is that art can be and often should be created for other people as well as for yourself. And I talked to a lot of artists who say No, my artist for me on Lee, But then equally those same artists will say, But I wanna make money or I want people to look at my work on Instagram. Well, then, it's not just for you, it's just not and there is no shame in that. As somebody who has been in the fine art world for over a decade, people have made me feel bad for thinking that I can't create for others. And the perfect example of this is that I went to a portfolio review in 2015 and a really, really big gallery looked at my work and I was so excited. It was like one meeting that I was most eager tohave, and she looked at, like, three of my prints, just dead, silent, just looking at them. And she said, I think you're not a real artist And that was her feedback to me and I asked why and what I could do And she said, Well, your online you're creating for other people That's not what a real artist does And I fundamentally disagree with that statement because what she was saying was, You can't create for art for yourself or for other people. It has to be one or the other. Either you're a commercial photographer or you create work. That's fine art for yourself. But I think that the best art takes the audience into consideration. You say, How can I impact people with my work? How can I create something that resonates internally that I can then flip to the outside and give to other people because art is a gift. The best art in the world makes you feel something and changes your perspective. And I think that the best artists in the world know that they know that their work is going to change the world somehow in some way. And that's why I fully believe that artists should consider their audience To some extent. I'm not saying that should dictate what you create or how you create. But when you're ready to share that thing that you have made, think about how you can do that in a way that will most serve others because you and your art or our gift, and if you don't give it to other people in that spirit, then it won't be received in that spirit.

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!