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User / brookeshaden
Brooke Shaden / 751 items

N 186 B 3.1K C 11 E Nov 13, 2019 F Nov 13, 2019
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My first social media account was on Xanga. Basically, a very emo platform on which I wrote dark poetry and shared inverted pictures of my sad face. I was actually really happy, but I thought I was being artsy, as we do. My screen name was Absence of Light, derived from my nickname, Shade - that's what my love calls me, and part of how we made up our last name - but that's a story for another day.

Before I even thought of becoming an artist, I was focused on darkness. "Absence of light". Today I started thinking about that as I finished up this dark image. But dark as it may be, I can't help but notice that all of my images aren't the absence of light, but is rather the question of "Where is the light?".

What I do focuses on the beauty of darkness, the duality of it, the questions it presents, and, though the light may be absent, it is implied. I suppose if I were to make a new Xanga account, my screenname would be Implication of Light. A little more awkward to say, and not as poetic, but certainly more accurate. My goal isn't to make you feel dark, but to get you to question where we can let the light in.

"Holding Me", self-portrait, November 2019
All prints are available as limited editions on my website, brookeshaden.com.

Tags:   brooke shaden fine art photography fine art self portrait surrealism dark art square

N 114 B 4.6K C 5 E Oct 31, 2019 F Oct 31, 2019
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Day 31 of a #monthofdarkart and it's a massive breakthrough. All month I've been sharing my older, darker works and it's been amazing!

All my life I've had a narrative running through my head. It said, "You can't draw. You can't paint. You're not an artist." This stemmed from watching my sister be good at drawing from a young age, from trying so hard in school during art class and never succeeding at making what the teachers wanted. I assumed I didn't have a natural talent.

Creating this reminded me of the single most important lesson I could ever share: YOUR GENIUS IS WAITING FOR THE RIGHT EXPRESSION. We tend to try things in such narrow confines; instead of attempting every type of art there is, we stop at the first one we fail at, or succeed at. ***We are reduced to the outcome of our performance rather than the exploration of artistry.***

Yesterday when I edited this, I decided to go for what was in my imagination - a painted image of a girl whose head is exposed. To make this, I applied about 5 different brush techniques in Photoshop, manually creating strokes in the pixels. I photographed a sculpture I made as the head portion and blended that in. In this one image, I applied painting principles, photographic techniques, and sculpture. And it's one of my favorite things I've ever done. I've been smiling randomly all day thinking of it.

This girl, who thought she COULDN'T paint or draw or sculpt or do anything traditionally artistic, has just proved her former self wrong by creating a mixed media image that she loves. Thank goodness I've learned to be the type of person that constantly questions the narratives I've always told myself to find a better one. Thank you for joining me for a Month of Dark Art. Diving back into darkness, exploring my more expressive and abstract side, has lead me here.

Tags:   monthofdarkart brookeshaden fine art photography dark art dark photography surrealism skull death art butterflies transformation requiescat painting mixed media sculpture

N 158 B 6.1K C 8 E Oct 13, 2019 F Oct 13, 2019
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What a month it has been!! I've had really awesome opportunities lately to do work for Microsoft (I made 60 images for them in one day, it was insane!) and I'll be speaking for a couple other interesting companies, too. It's honestly been madness over here as we try to settle from moving, I've been traveling left and right, I've got deadlines upon deadlines, emails upon emails, and I'm attempting to start a new business in the midst of it.

But life has been deeply good lately. I've been bursting into tears at all the happy things happening around me, from greeting cards to Star Trek, so that's how I know I'm peak happy right now. How are you?

Tags:   brooke shaden fine art photography dark art dark photography self portrait hopeful

N 189 B 9.4K C 3 E Sep 3, 2019 F Sep 3, 2019
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I just got back from my first trip to Nashville where I photographed a really interesting/artistic band. What an experience. A massive studio that I couldn't even hope to fill, assistants upon assistants, and lights. I used lights. I never use lights.

But it was great. I've grown so much as an artist over the years and learned how to command my sphere of genius. I know what I do and I know how to do it. I let everyone know it on a set like that. It's so important that the person you're photographing trusts you, and they did.

I also stayed on a donkey farm and got to have some R&R, so it was all fantastic. Now that I'm home I'm moving in 2 weeks, have about 60+ hours of editing to do for this band, and I've got 3 trips coming up. Whew!

Tags:   growth loss fine art photography surrealism surreal photography self portrait self portraiture flowers

N 121 B 9.6K C 5 E Jul 6, 2018 F Aug 23, 2019
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Been feeling really triumphant lately...in between some bad days, but who doesn't have those? This image reminds me of that feeling - breaking through and reaching for more, more, more. That's been my life lately. Explosive moments of inspiration and ambition. Sometimes my ambition is too much for me to process and I have to intentionally step back from it for a little while.

I'm moving soon, preparing to do a couple of big shoots as well. I'll be in Nashville next week to photograph some album art, and then off to Chicago to teach my last in-person class in the foreseeable future. My schedule is filled to the brim with all things I love.

Just a chaotic life update from me. How are you?

Tags:   brooke shaden fine art photography surrealism dark art self portrait surreal photography hands


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