My life is built on the foundation that I have control over my actions, reactions, and thoughts. I take extraordinary pleasure from that control. I love to test my limits, see what pushes me and what scares me, and live according to my own rules. The reason why I believe in this philosophy so strongly is because I believe in imagination. I believe that reality is what we make it, that we can choose to see or hide.
I’ve heard people counter the idea that with imagination we can create anything we want. Someone once said to me:
“I know that imagination is nice, but it won’t make the gray clouds outside go away.”
We can see through the darkness if we bring our own light. We can imagine and create and believe and see the world as we want to see it. If I didn’t believe in this, I would not be living the life I am living, and that is a life I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. We build our own fortune. We carve our own book of words to live by. We write the song of our life.
Art allows us to manifest these desires and visions. It allows us to spread our messages. It gives us power where once we felt nothing. It gives us hope where once we saw despair. And above all else, it gives us a voice. It allows us to speak through universal words that contain a thousand different meanings.
Imagination is the life-blood that flows through the veins of an artist. I believe all people to be artists. We do not manifest our art in the same ways. We do not all see the artist in ourselves. But it is there, sometimes sleeping silently, but always there, waiting. It is up to us to wake it.
What is your relationship with IMAGINATION?
jen shu - Thank you for this!!!!!!
brookeshaden - <3 you Jen!
Jenessa - I’ve always imagined that the storm clouds were more beautiful than any sunny day. The stories they tell are the most interesting, inspiring, motivating. The things seen are the makings of bravery. If the clouds could talk, they’d tell us the stories of what they’ve seen, from water to vapor and no one would ever wish them away.
brookeshaden - Jenessa, this is such a beautiful thought that I will absolutely take with me. THank you for that.
Nikki Mulkern - I simply love this!!! Thank you <3
brookeshaden - <3 <3 <3
Marcy Criner - Imagination is like a muscle. You’ve gotta use it. I make sure that I make at least one creation a week. The best part is seeing my work change and grow over time.
brookeshaden - Yes! Always creating 🙂 That is the way we use that muscle. Thank you Marcy!
Paulo Alexandre Carvalho - I totally agree! It’s necessary to exercise imagination as a muscle, otherwise the muscle or imagination, atrophy. 😉
John - Imagination is powerful. I agree, in a sense, that there are no limits to what imagination can create. It’s one of the most wonderful and transformative tools that humans have at their disposal.
The line about gray clouds being blue skies in disguise is intriguing. I’d like to hear more about what exactly you mean by that statement. There are lots of cases where things that might seem to be misfortunes can be viewed as opportunities for further growth or something along those lines. The situation is not as bad as it seems and it might even be possible to view the situation as a blessing in disguise. But there are horrible things that happen on this earth. The holocaust, sexual violence against women, many of the current actions of ISIS, etc. These grey skies are really grey and I think it is a fundamental mistake to view them as something other than they are via the imagination or any other mechanism. It’s true that the imagination can be a wonderful tool for picking up the pieces and moving in a positive direction when something horrible happens. But that does not change the fact that these things are horrible; no amount of imagination can or should try to change that, in my opinion.
Your pictures here are amazing. For me the most striking thing is the cognitive dissonance they create. The positive message and the dark undertones are a challenge to nagivate. Powerful and evocative work.
brookeshaden - Hi John!
I agree with you on this point very much. There are some things that happen that are just terrible and there is no way to change that. I was more pointing to everyday situations that so many of us overreact to or stay trapped in because we fail to see a way out.
Thank you so much for your insights, it is an honor to hear from you.
Micky - Hi Brooke!
Thank you so much for this. I love imagination, for it allows one to stretch beyond limits. I love photography for that reason too; I consider it like painting, but instead you take real images and convert them into pieces of art. The ideas and possibilities are endless, there is no need to stick to the rules or the boundaries. I take the literal and figurative grey storm clouds outside and convert them into pieces of art. Photography and imagination go hand in hand. Thank you so much for always sharing, I look up to you so much and you inspire me to strive to be the best I can be.
Josh Torkelson - Brooke! Thank you so much for this image.
I have been moving away from portraiture for a while now taking landscape photographs of empty, open places. It has turned into something that I absolutely love, but I have felt torn from not doing portraiture. For whatever silly reason, I felt that the two were mutually exclusive. But seeing this work amongst many others of yours, has reminded me that I can create whatever I want and that I am able tocombine the two.
Moving forward I hope to bring people to these empty places and combine these two interests!
poetic dinosaur - Excellent blog and fine art!! Your philosophy reminds me of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, according to which a speeding train is viewed and even measured differently based upon the position of the spectator. I suppose my relationship with imagination isn’t so confident; it’s more flightily and whimsical outside my powers. I’m almost susceptible to it. Perhaps Shakespeare expressed this when he wrote: “Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget’st so long
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might?
Spend’st thou thy fury on some worthless song,
Darkening thy power to lend base subjects light?
Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem”
In gentle numbers time so idly spent;
Emma Godfrey - Love it so much! Looks like the perfect response to when life gets you down.
My relationship with imagination is one of lots of paths not followed. I am constantly writing down ideas for all sorts of creative things from writing, to images, to cooking, knitting, gardening but so often they stay just written down. I need to make more of an effort to realise them because – like you say – they need a voice not to be forgotten in a drawer.
I also love stormy skies (these are some of my favourite images of recent timeshttps://www.lensculture.com/emma-godfrey?modal=true&modal_type=project&modal_project_id=47040 ), especially when they clear just long enough to see a speck of blue. It’s hope through the darkness.
Lieke Anna - Oh Brooke, I have felt blue for some days now and this image with your words couldn’t have come at a better time. I needed a ray of light to push me into the “creating mode” for myself again. Not for a client, not for money, but for me. And I will go out and create tonight.
Thank you, I can’t wait to create again together! Only a few more weeks now <3
Natalie - Brooke thank u so much!! I love it! <3 I love all of your videos… 🙂 how do u feel about them when posting them up? Mix of excited and scared? I would like to know . Best wishes, God bless u
Farraha barbre - I really feel connected to this one. Thank you.❤️it!
Paulo Alexandre Carvalho - Another great work, Brooke. Congratulations! And thank you for sharing. This post reminded me of an old work I did about creativity. And as you can see, sometimes I have a very fertile imagination! 🙂
Wulf - Thank you Brooke, was just given that boost I needed 🙂
Thomas Oscar Miles - this is just what i needed, been in a slump lately, but i think once i do something magical and special i won’t forget, i will get out of that!
Tyler Clay - Very inspiring piece! You’re very right about imagination changing the grey clouds in our life. It’s all about how we see them. Really, imagination is a gateway or a portal into a different reality. Isn’t it incredible that we can create a reality of our own choosing with a single stroke of imagination?
natascha van niekerk - Brooke, this is incredible… thank you
Margherita Introna - Brooke, this image is epic. EPIC! It is certainly one of my new top favourites of your work. And oh my hat, this must have been so much fun behind the scenes 😉 Somehow I find myself completely and utterly drawn to the colouring and tones you have used here. They seem so surreal and calming.
The concept and message here are so powerful to me at the moment as I let go of the parts of my life that are hurting me and paint myself a new future. Taking a massive leap of faith on myself and it is scary… but seeing work like this give me hope and courage. A powerful concept and beautiful image <3
Mira - It’s incredible!!!!!This is so your style Brooke, but it as yet another new level. We never know what to expect from you in the future, and it makes us tremble in anticipation……and…….thank you again and again surprise us.
A new favorite in your gallery!!!!!
Sarah Allegra - I truly do love what lengths you’re willing to go to for The Shot 🙂 I love the extremely painterly feeling the finished image has, which of course, makes complete sense with the context of the image. Another one out of the park, Brooke! <3