Promoting Passion Week 55: How Do You Create?

Promoting Passion Week 55: How Do You Create?

There is nothing that I love more than being in the forest creating a self-portrait, because that means I am spending time where I feel most alive and I get to see myself as a character filled with magic. I want so badly to be a woodland creature, spending my time among the animals, communing with them. Self-portraiture allows for that to be a reality.

When I create I’m often running back and forth between my spot where I’m posing and the camera, checking things like focus and angle and composition. I usually find myself flipping my hair about, or tensing my muscles – bringing the character to life. Sometimes my shooting process is so quick that I invent other things to do while I’m out – a different take on a shoot. Sometimes I collect sticks or leaves to take home with me, though they never make it far into the house.

Editing is always such a journey, and I get lost in it. Hours pass and I have no idea. I forget to look up from my screen until my cat meows for food and I realize darkness has fallen, and the only light comes from my bright screen. I imagine how if I could see myself from afar, my face would be lit blue from the blue fabric I’m editing together. Everything in life is so cinematic, and I draw inspiration from that to go wild with blue in this edit – take it to the extreme.

I love playing with extremes when I edit, often adding a lot of saturation and pulling back later to finesse it. Sometimes I wonder how I find the discipline to do anything but shoot and edit all day long, but when I finish my mind returns to normalcy and I feel fulfilled – transported – alive.

How do you create? I would love for you to share your process with me, either in general or in relation to a specific creation. If you write a comment here, share a blog post on the subject, or record a video response I will be sure to choose one to feature – just make sure you share a link with me in these comments.


19 thoughts on “Promoting Passion Week 55: How Do You Create?

  1. My creations often come from theoretical journeys I travel, struggles or in trying to make life decisions. For instance, the image I created and blogged about here is about determining which path to choose. I felt it was like choosing a door that would take me in the right direction.

    My dad had gotten these old doors from a building that was being torn down and had been storing them in a pole barn just because he didn’t want them destroyed. When I went to visit for Thanksgiving, I dragged the doors out (they were much heavier than anticipated!) and started to shoot. Originally I wanted to show myself going through the door, but the photos didn’t display what I felt as a difficult decision.

    Like you, the editing usually sucks me into a time warp, and I often work late into the night without realizing it.

  2. love this image Brooke. The hair looks so cool. I envision a sister piece with the dress and everything on the opposite side of this but with pastel pink hair and red dress with a cardinal maybe.
    My biggest creative kick right now is to make my work look as much like a painting as possible. I’m not talking “painterly” either. I’ve been experimenting with some methods as of late that require me to keep recycling an image through a few different editing programs and adding effects a little at a time until I achieve a look that makes it very difficult to tell that it was ever an actual photo. I’m not sure I’ve completely perfected it yet and I am sitting on a bunch of work till I get the process perfected but I’m getting there. I want people to look at my stuff and say, “oh yeah. That’s Tom for sure.”
    Hope all is well in India. Safe travels:)

  3. For me, inspiration comes out from a long time strolling by the sea.
    It enables me to let my mind free. Normally, that happens after a long day of university classes and hours studying, when my mind has been so much time focus on learning new stuff while real life has been passing by without me to notice.

    The best moment is when you are alone, walking on the humid sand, listening to the waves breaking on the shore while the stars are shinning upon your head and anything else seems to matter because the world has stopped suddenly claiming for you to fulfill a new task.
    And then is when you start thinking about the things that really matter.

  4. This is so beautiful, I love it SO much! It’s so.. you. What you wrote about wanting to be a woodland creature, the music in the video, the colors, it all came together so perfectly and it’s such a wonderful representation of who you are.

    I often share my editing process on my blog, but this is the first video I ever made:
    I also post before/after GIFs sometimes:

    I hope you’re having a wonderful time in India! <3

  5. I SO know what you mean about being out in nature and just wanting to exist among the critters. I’m one of those weirdos that still likes to climb trees and just sit for a while and listen.
    As far as my creative process goes I find it is one of constant experimentation and pushing the limits. If I always do the same exact thing my work and myself will start to become stale, so I love trying new techniques.
    I recently wrote a blog post called, “Sometimes You Have To Get Your Feet Wet” about my process of just going for it and trying new things. Otherwise your never going to learn and get better.

  6. I absolutely love the intensity of the blue you used in this image. It really captivates one.

    How you described your journey while editing is exactly how I spent much of my day today and I just posted my new image, together with a little before & after video of all the processing steps (my 4th such video – love doing them!) and a blog post where I explain the inspiration for the image.

    Much of my inspiration comes from reaching to my emotions – as I did for this image <3

    Here is my new image "Déjà Vu":
    Blog and processing video:!Déjà-Vu/c20iz/C1DAFE37-69ED-4FD9-A337-B910B900E6BE
    or YouTube link direct to the video:

    You can read my other blog posts for some of the recent images I have done that include my processing videos:
    What the Future Holds:!What-the-Future-Holds/c20iz/5A22B46F-1971-4CA4-A93A-26F131AA5831
    Elvin Majesty:!Elvin-Majesty/c20iz/FE428230-8C64-4BB9-B45A-75155CD6A72B
    Fortress of Emotions:!Fortress-of-Emotions/c20iz/A61E8189-C5F0-4BBC-8C56-1491CB33FE75

    Thank you for letting me share this here. I love sharing my process and discussing inspiration and the healing process of creating. It is why I am so interested and believe in your project in India. Hoping my little donation to your cause is able to share this magic further <3 xx

  7. OMG… everything, music, words, stop motion, editing, the final result give me goose bumps… I love it Brooke… thank you so much for sharing <3 Have a great 2015…big hug from Portugal

    Mickael Fjaere

  8. I creat from random images that pop into my head. I don’t normally sit and think about anything on purpose in order to be inspired. I work best when I don’t force myself. But I always go in with a clear knowledge of how I want an image to look, though I don’t always have a clear knowledge of how to make it look the way I envisioned. But I like that. I like that I’m learning and experimenting as I’m creating. I also love creating with people. It makes me open my introverted self up more and making relationships I probably otherwise wouldn’t have made. I’ve recently made two videos that show a bit of my creating process. I’ve really enjoyed sharing these and want to incorporate behind the scenes videos, etc., more in my creating process.

  9. Here’s one example of how I edit my photos 🙂 I usually take self portraits in my bedroom (though this one was taken in the shower) and I edit them using a Wacom tablet and Photoshop to my desires. Most of the time my inspiration comes while I edit photos so when I first begin editing I can’t predict what it’ll end looking like.

  10. Another excellent work, Brooke! I Love the image and that blue hair, is divine! Love it! I started in this type of art 8 months ago and every time I create an image this passion increases. I never tire of study, research, explore and test myself in this world. I get inspired in my emotions, in sentences, in looks, color, (…), and friends. It’s been an emotional adventure that’s marking me as a person. It´s so fun, that when I’m creating or editing, I lose all sense of time. Sometimes I think that only spent 30 minutes but in reality have gone about 3 hours. When I create or edit, everything is beautiful! Everything is magical! I feel that butterflies in my stomach and the heart to speed up … It’s like being with the person you love. I not yet shared any video showing the preparation in field or editing in software of my work. However, I shared the before and after for two times. In one, I did a description of how I did, accompanied with photos (Path of Life). The other, was a short video showing the evolution and the processing of the photo (Two paths, one choice). Thank you for letting us to share these links in your blog. Warm hug to you my dear.

    Path of life:

    Two paths one choice:

  11. One of my goals is to learn to create a video or slideshow of how i create….cause i think in watching myself…maybe i’ll understand more about the creative process…methinks. 🙂 Tis on my list of goodie good good things to do. Have fun in India – happy creating!

  12. hey Brooke!
    It’s been sometime since I have wrote something! It’s not as easy to show work on your page. It used to be easy! Over 500,000 likes! Good for you!
    How do I create? That is a loaded question! I recently finished two out of three projects.
    I sketch my thoughts first. It’s gotta get out of my head and it’s gotta get out someplace so it goes down on paper. Then I start to organize and see what I will need for my project. I painted my own props. Then I brought in my model and airbrushed her skin orange and red. The custome that I designed in my sketch came to life from some purchases at a local thrift store.Then I shoot and bring the best images into photoshop and Lightroom. This is where the magic happens for me. I also wanted to bring in my graphic design knowledge and create a movie poster.
    So in the end my challenge from beginning to end was to see the whole process for a movie poster.
    So that is how I create!:)
    Brooke ,thanks for all that you give us as artists! You give us things to think about. You challenge us!
    I hope to come to one of your photo inspiration weekend seminars. Someday, someday. Come back to this side of the country.. Please!:)
    Thanks again Brooke!

  13. Hi Brooke,
    Thank you for your generosity and encouragement to fellow photographers that want to try a hand at Fine Art Photography. You are an inspiration artistically and personally. I started the end of last year, following your passion videos and thoughts around creating. Its been a huge help and boost for me to start creating again. I used your question, ‘How do you create?’ to breakdown by creative process to help me in the future and was a fantastic exercise.
    Thank you

  14. Hi Brooke, thanks for sharing your story. You’re one of the best I’ve seen out there.
    Looking forward to seeing more of your works.

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