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Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 3 of 70

Your Timeline is Nonlinear

Brooke Shaden

Creating a Fine Art Series

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

3. Your Timeline is Nonlinear
How to incorporate the idea of wealth into your journey as an artist.


Class Trailer
1 Class Introduction 07:25 2 Overview of Brooke’s Journey 20:13 3 Your Timeline is Nonlinear 05:37 4 Using Curiosity and Intention to Build Your Career 03:26 5 What Factors Dictate Growth 08:24 6 Organic Growth vs. Forced Growth 05:18 7 Niche Branding 04:57 8 Brooke’s Artistic Evolution and Timeline 24:27
9 How Can You Get Ahead if You Feel Behind? 10:02 10 Ideation and Conceptualization to Identify Meaning in Your Art 05:54 11 Idea Fluency 10:33 12 How to Represent an Idea 07:01 13 How to Innovate an Idea 07:07 14 Creating a Dialogue With Your Art 05:48 15 Conceptualization For a Series vs. a Single Image 03:43 16 Transforming a Single Image Into a Series 03:12 17 How to Tell a Story in a Series 03:28 18 How to Create Costumes From Fabric 07:20 19 Brooke’s Most Useful Costumes 02:19 20 Using Paint and Clay as Texture in an Image 02:56 21 Create Physical Elements in an Image 10:22 22 Shooting for a Fine Art Series 05:45 23 Conceptualization: Flowery Fish Bowl in the Desert 04:08 24 Wardrobe and Texture 04:54 25 Posing for the Story 05:32 26 Choosing an Image 01:23 27 Conceptualization: Rainy Plexiglass 11:34 28 Posing for the Story 04:17 29 Creating Backlight 02:37 30 Photo Shoot #1 - Creating a Simple Composite 17:51 31 Photo Shoot #2 - Creating a Dynamic Composite 06:31 32 Photo Shoot #3 - Creating a Storytelling Composite 07:40 33 Shooting the Background Images 06:14 34 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Working With Backgrounds 24:35 35 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Retouching the Subject 04:20 36 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Color Grading 02:45 37 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Floor Replacement Texture 15:24 38 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Final Adjustments 03:21 39 Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Cropping and Editing Backgrounds 05:25 40 Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Selective Adjustments 03:55 41 Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Adding Texture + Fine Tuning 03:21 42 Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Compositing Models 06:58 43 Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Expanding Rooms 02:17 44 Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Selective Color 02:47 45 Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Selective Exposure 04:04 46 Editing Composite Shoot #2- Masking Into Backgrounds 10:45 47 Editing Composite Shoot #2- Creating Rooms in Photoshop 06:11 48 Editing Composite Shoot #2- Compositing Hair 05:07 49 Editing Composite Shoot #2- Global Adjustments 04:49 50 Editing Composite Shoot #3- Blending Composite Elements 05:00 51 Editing Composite Shoot #3- Advanced Compositing 08:46 52 Editing Composite Shoot #3- Cleanup 03:34 53 Materials for Alternative Processes 06:20 54 Oil Painting on Prints 05:41 55 Encaustic Wax on Prints 03:09 56 Failure vs. Sell Out 05:14 57 Create Art You Love and Bring an Audience To You 03:35 58 Branding Yourself Into a Story 05:40 59 The Artistic Narrative 05:26 60 Get People to Care About Your Story 03:36 61 Get People to Buy Your Story 11:36 62 Getting Galleries and Publishers to Take Notice 03:41 63 Pricing For Commissions 06:43 64 Original Prints vs. Limited Edition Prints vs. Open Edition Prints 02:11 65 Class Outro 01:00 66 Live Premiere 16:14 67 Live Premiere: Layers of Depth 1 04:41 68 Live Premiere: Layers of Depth 2 07:12 69 Live Premiere: Q&A 16:10 70 Live Premiere: Photo Critique 47:33

Lesson Info

Your Timeline is Nonlinear

I think that a lot of people make a mistake when it comes Thio. They're sort of overall arc of their career, your creativity in thinking that it's going to be linear, that what you are doing is going from one step to the next step to the next step, and each one will build on itself, and eventually you will get to the top of the mountain because you've put 1 ft in front of the other. But of course, as we know from life in general, careers don't work like that. Art doesn't work like that. You will very, very frequently think that you're moving in a forward direction and then find that you were walking the wrong way the whole time. And you have to backtrack and you have to find a different thing to Dio. And this is natural because humans don't know what they're doing, like ever, And I will make this point several times because I really believe it. I have met people who I think are at the top of their game, people who are so professional and so amazing, and only to find that they don't rea...

lly know what they're doing either. and equally I have met people with no confidence. You think that they have no idea what's going on, who blow me away with their philosophies. So you never really know where you are on your timeline. A timeline on Lee works as a timeline when you're able to look back at it and you will always be on it. So never assume that what you're doing right now is the epitome of all the things you're going to do or the bottom of what you're going to dio. It's just a moment in time. So your timeline is nonlinear. See it that way. You can see it is a circle if you need to. If you're like a visual person and you're like Brooke, I needed a line. I need to see something here. You could make it a circle, Okay, but either way you were on a journey, and it's not going to be 1 ft in front of the other the whole time. It's gonna be an ebb and flow. And the problem with ebbing and flowing is that people quit that when you're in an ebb, you think Okay, I'm at the bottom, You know, I was riding the wave. Now it went down. Things are bad for me. And when you talk Thio, you know people own small businesses or people who do art of any kind and you ask them if there are in a creative slump, how much more willing are you to quit when you're in your creative slump than when you're at the top of your game? Of course, you're going to want to quit at that point when you're at your lowest. And I'm not trying to say that there aren't reasons to to pivot and shift and things like that. But this is when people start toe fail if you want to call it that in their artistic journey because they think that that failure defines the rest of their timeline. But it doesn't. Conversely, when you're in the flow, people become complacent, which is exactly what I'm describing. In the middle of my journey so far, I became really complacent. I thought people like what I dio. I'm finding success with this. Why should I push it any further? Why should I do something else? Why should I do something that will rock the boat and spill my followers over the edge so that no one is supporting me. And the problem with this up and down throughout your artistic career is that you either become addicted to the flow or you become depressed by the ebb and it happens, and it happens to everyone. But here's what I want you to think about. The timeline that we're talking about this squiggly, weird, dotted line whenever you want to call it of your journey is is it's time on a line and you have set that timeline for yourself. We go into our careers and our creativity, and we give ourselves deadlines. We say, Okay, I'm gonna in one year I'm gonna make this much money in one year. I'm gonna find the success in one year. I'm gonna do this. And I think that's great to set those goals, to have those moments in your mind where you want to achieve something. But if you don't achieve it by that time, you have to remember that your timeline is arbitrary, that whatever timeline you have put on yourself, whatever constraints you have put on yourself that is arbitrary. You did that to yourself. Nobody else is asking you to do that. So never ever see a missed deadline as a failed deadline. They don't exist. I think that in our timelines we have to consider wealth. And I talk about wealth because, ah, lot of people fail to see their timelines is wealthy. And when I say wealthy, I mean a few specific things. One might be money, one might be support, one might be re sources. And there are certain situations, periods of our lives, different circumstances that take away that wealth that we perceive or don't perceive in our timeline. So it's up to us to create it by giving to other people when we can, by supporting other people by being a resource for other people. And in my experience, I found that when I give wealth to other people, I received wealth in return. And that's why I think that wealth is such an interesting thing to think about in the journey of your own timeline and how you start to think about your journey. When you think about wealth as something that could be exchanged, then you will be more open to receiving it and toe letting that in. I have talked to a lot of people who are afraid of wealth, who are afraid of money, who don't think that they're worthy of those things. But the more you start to give it to other people, the more you find your own worth in those experiences of giving. So I want to encourage you to think of wealth as something that is a currency that you can give and you can receive, and that you are worthy of seeing wealth in your timeline in all periods of that timeline.

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!