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Create Your Story Challenge with Brook Shaden – Part I

In early December, Brooke Shaden (one of my personal heroes) opened up one her challenges as a pay what you can. I have always wanted to attend one of her classes or challenges, but the funding seems to be always an issue (they can sometimes be a little pricey – but oh so worth it). So this time around I was like YES! And I believe a good portion of the funding went toward a charity she created – so it went toward a good cause too! 

The challenge started January 1st, but you could do it at your own leisure. I wanted to do the full fourteen days as she intended and complete it by January 14th. Oh my little naive-self was so happy to just get started.

And for the record, it was a GREAT, AMAZING, TIRING, AMAZING, SCARY, AMAZING experience. I wouldn’t have done it any different and Brooke is amazing. But I think looking at yourself the way she wanted us to – it was scary. 

The first day- she had us answer a bunch of questions. I used this beautiful faux leather notebook I bought a year ago with a tree and cool designs on it to follow through with the challenge. (I am still using it to sketch out potential shots – but more on that later). 

The first question she asked was – WHO ARE YOU? 

*insert shrug emoji* 

I literally wrote. I don’t know

The other questions dove deeper – how do you work creatively, why do you pursue creative work, what quality hinders you…

Some deep reflection stuff that scared the shit out of me. 

Toward the end, she had us focus on the WHAT, HOW AND WHY.

My what: To be a full time artist.

My How: Planning, working hard, setting goals.

My Why: to be fulfilled/ to feel fulfilled in life. 

Each day she had us ask tough questions – sometimes the same questions. I think day two was really great – she had us answer each question three times. You would honestly be surprised about how honest you get if you have to answer a question three times (or the answers you get from others). 

Day 4 we made a list of words – any words – in a minute. Afterwards you circle the words you feel the strongest connection to. I circled, searching, lost, wind, rain, forgotten, and remembered. Of those words you chose one, and wrote down visuals to represent that. I chose forgotten. The visuals were an empty box, an overgrowth of greenery, hidden in a corner behind things. 

And thus I did my first sketch. From that we were told to shoot and edit. I had this original concept of a hand coming out of the overgrown grass, but it just looked like a zombie coming out of a grave (albeit, a graceful zombie – thanks to years of dance). I ended up using a shot of my cousin, Madde, I got back in December, but then used new images that I shot that day to create the final image. 

 

 

So of the photo of Madde, the grass in my backyard, and an empty shoe box I tore up – here is the image I got: 

I was pretty proud of it – being the first image I created from the class. This challenge really made me feel and look deeper into myself. It sounds silly – but hey – ask yourself who are you? Do you know? Answer it three times. See what you come up with. I really think I focused on the word forgotten, because I really had forgotten myself. I decided with the rest of the challenge, I was really going to try and get to know myself again. I will post more soon about the challenge, the questions, and what I discovered! 

 

 

 

 

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