From Creator to Fine Artist: Exploring Conceptual Thinking & Self-Portraiture in Photography | Thea JaCobra | Skillshare
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From Creator to Fine Artist: Exploring Conceptual Thinking & Self-Portraiture in Photography

teacher avatar Thea JaCobra, Multidisciplinary Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction

      2:52

    • 2.

      Class Orientation

      1:53

    • 3.

      Self Awareness: Who Are You?

      4:39

    • 4.

      Being True to Yourself: Your Background & Positioner

      2:51

    • 5.

      Being a Critic to Yourself: Space for Interpretation

      4:03

    • 6.

      Passion & Motivation: Understanding the Type of Artist You Are

      4:05

    • 7.

      Responsibility: Why People Should Waste Their Time Seeing Your Art?

      1:52

    • 8.

      Transforming Knowledge Into a Selfportrait

      3:46

    • 9.

      Considering Your Body & Yourself

      4:37

    • 10.

      YOUR TOOLS: Light & Shadow

      2:57

    • 11.

      YOUR TOOLS: Color Psychology

      5:10

    • 12.

      YOUR TOOLS: Space

      2:28

    • 13.

      Preparation + Shooting

      2:52

    • 14.

      Editing

      2:16

    • 15.

      Reflection: Creating an Annotation

      3:32

    • 16.

      Conclusion

      2:51

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About This Class

In this class, you will learn how to use Photography as a tool to explore yourself as an artist, by thinking conceptually about your artworks.

You will learn:

  • How to make authentic self-portraits
  • The five essential aspects of a good artist
  • How to critically analyze your work
  • How to create concept driven art
  • PLUS all the little things that I pay attention to during the creative process.

I designed this class for art students, beginner professionals and anyone who loves to dive deep and explore themselves. We'll expand our thinking and explore a lot of important questions that shape artistic identity.

These questions can stay with you for many years, and you can always go back and see how much you grow since the time you answered them. Plus the conceptual thinking will give you a solid base for creating meaningful artworks.

For this class, you can use anything that you are used to in terms of creating visual work. The self-portrait can be taken on your mobile and edited in any editing app, or you can use your camera and edit in Adobe Photoshop. It is completely up to you. Don't feel constricted by your tools, but work around barriers with creativity. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Thea JaCobra

Multidisciplinary Artist

Teacher
Level: Beginner

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Let's uncover the secrets behind what truly distinguishes mere creators from fine artists. Self portraiture can be a powerful tool to develop conceptual thinking and to translate visually how you understand and position yourself as an artist. Join me in my class where I teach self development and how to transfer your personal ascents into artistic expression. Hi, my name is a Jacobra and I'm a multidisciplinary artist, founder and consultant. I hold bachelor and master's degree in fine art, photography and new media. And I have been in the creative industry for the past ten years. My journey in fine art started with photography In my early years, self portraiture helped me to develop my identity. In recent years, my work shifted more into video performance, community projects, and research. My biggest focus is the human body and future vision. I love to explore everything that is connected to human body, such as gender identity, sexuality, relationships, feelings, but also politics and community. Many young people want to pursue fine art, but don't know how to start Well, In this class we will go beyond technical aspects of creating an artwork. And focus on how to think conceptually about the art you are creating. By exploring your position and context as an artist, you will develop more intentionality in your art and feel more confident in exhibiting your work in public. We will start with analyzing of what we bring into the world as artists, how your personality influence your artwork, and what type of artist you are. For your final project, you will create a self portrait that will translate visually your identity as an artist based on the self reflection done in the first section of the class. Throughout the process, you will also learn the five essential aspects that make a good artist different strategies to analyze your artistic identity. How to transform this knowledge into a visual representation of yourself. How to write an annotation to communicate your vision with creators and the public. And various tools for taking a self portrait, such as considering your body light and shadow, and the importance of choosing the right space. Whenever you are an art student, a beginner, professional, or just someone who loves to explore themselves, this class will dive deep into the topic of identity and how it influences your work. Because the greatest power of art lies not just in creating beauty, but in questioning the societal norms and challenging perceptions. 2. Class Orientation: Hi, this is a class orientation when I'm going to give you the idea of what we're going to do and why I decided to structure my class like this. This class is divided into three sections. The first one is a theoretical one where we will explore deeply our identity and position. The second one is dedicated to self portraiture, because the self portrait is a category where we can express visually everything that we will gain in the theoretical part and the last section, which is about the real action of shooting the self portrait and editing. I will share insights of what is important to prepare for shooting a self portrait and how to think about post production. Is it something that will serve us just to enhance the picture to look better? Or is it an important part of creating the final result as digitally manipulated photography? Your first task will be to answer all of the questions from the theoretical part before moving into the second part of the self portraiture. As your worksheets, I created a PDF which you can download now. It will serve you as nodes where all answers are prepared and you can write directly into the document. Your second task will be to create a self portrait that represents yourself based on everything we've been talking before In the theoretical. Also, do not forget to upload your self portrait into the project gallery of this class. So I can give you a feedback and we can discuss what will be your next steps. All of this we will talk about in this class from creator to fine artist. I hope you're ready so we can move into the first lesson. 3. Self Awareness: Who Are You? : Welcome to the first lesson where we explore the process of self discovery as artists. My first question is, who are you as artists? You will often find yourself in a situation where someone is going to ask you for a quick introduction, whether it's a curator from the gallery editor of some magazine or just a random person at the opening. Because you never know who is dead, it's always better to be prepared. In order to put together a description of yourself, you must take into account everything possible around yourself and go in all directions, dip inside, and also out to the surface. Why also on the surface? Well, that's what people see first, where people perceive us, for example, on social media, or it is simply the way you dress at the exhibition opening. Everything is basically a statement of you that speaks out to the people. As an artist, you need to consider as many points of view as possible. Not only how you perceive yourself, but also how others perceive you. Trust me, no gallery wants to collaborate with artists that have dirty clothes or trash issues. It can be your image, but it's good to be in balance. You should keep in mind every detail, because outside, there are thousands of other artists waiting in the line to get your spot. This brings me to the first aspect of a good artist, and that is self awareness, vectorial aspects of artworks, being aware of ourself, being aware of what we are doing, what we are communicating, how it will be viewed, and what we are causing is an important part of thinking like a good professional artist, because only a good artist can convey a true visions. And with thought, provoking artworks can change how society views or think about certain things. I will give you an example of myself. I'm fully aware of my gender identity and together with sexuality, how it shape my artistic practice. I'm an non binary person, so naturally the topic of binarities in our system we live in will influence my artworks. I came out when I was 14 and it completely changed my life forever. I experience the dark side of human beings and our heteronormative society by being bullied and many times physically beaten up. I had to accept these things first, fully to be aware of them and aware of how these things are shaping myself, my personality, and my artistic practice. As artists, we also need to work with vulnerability. Our art should speak from our hearts and our souls, and that is really not an easy thing. I experienced many times my schoolmates at the universities being embarrassed and struggling of showing their artworks simply because they were afraid that people will judge them. And they were not ready for that because simply they didn't accept that part of themself that we're showing in the artworks, you know, our artworks can also challenge us. Sometimes it becomes more as an art therapy, which is a very important moment to ask yourself if you really need to put that artwork into public space, maybe it is just something that you needed to create for yourself. You need to be always honest and think twice. Now, I want you to start thinking about yourself, about your background, and reflect on your experiences that shaped you into the person you are today. Take a moment and get through your timeline. Write down the most important parts of yourself, the ones that are the most vulnerable and you are shy to show to the world. And the ones that you are most proud of and you are likely to show them. Take your time, make notes in your PDF, and in the next lesson, we will explore another level of your identity, your position, and your background. He. 4. Being True to Yourself: Your Background & Positioner: So in this lesson, we're going to explore your position in the realm of art. It's crucial to understand where we stand, where we come from, and where we're going. I was born in the 1995 in the Czech Republic, in very small village on the east side of Czech Republic. My country was under communist regime several years. In 1989, the velvet Revolution took place which set up democracy. Even so to this day, I can see the traces of this past regime in the Czech Republic and how badly it affected people and the whole society, both economically and also mentally. We were all born somewhere. Our countries have histories. Some of us came from the position of privileged descendants of the colonizers, and some of us from the opposite of position of colonize. There is a deeply rooted culture in all of us. In language, in family history. So all of this you must consider in your process of understanding your artistic identity. Which brings me to the second important aspect of a good artist, and that is being true to yourself. People who will look at you, at your work will look at it through the boxes and labels, whether you want them to or not. Sometimes it can feel that you can't win, but you can stay true to yourself and always feel good no matter what. Being aware of your identity and your position means being one step ahead of these people, because your topics and your artworks will determine how people see you. So being ahead of people simply means avoiding problematic understandings of your art. Or it may mean to being prepared to defend your position. Now I want you to ask yourself first, what culture did I grow up in? Second, how has the culture influenced me? Third, what are its positive and negative aspects? Fourth, how have various cultures intersected in your life? Fifth, what does the concept of family mean to me? Think about yourself from a social political point of view. Take your time and make notes now that we have reflected on our past, where you came from, your origin. In the next lesson, we are going into the present and how to see yourself from different perspectives. 5. Being a Critic to Yourself: Space for Interpretation: Art has the power to evoke emotions and provoke thoughts. In this lesson, we will get into the topic of our purpose and the space of interpretation. Let's explore the impact of our art and messages we aim to convey. Researcher says that people with strong life purpose live longer. Well, I personally think it's beautiful to have some kind of purpose in life. But let's think about the strategy of a simple coin. And it's two sides. If you have a purpose in life, it must be always connected to something. Whatever. It's work, your hobbies or people. And what if you lose it one day? You will also lose your purpose of life, which is not nice, isn't it? And so what about life without purpose? How would you feel about that? Well, it can feel pretty free because even though your hobby and work will fail, you can still continue just living your life. But also not everyone is able to handle that kind of freedom. This is a demonstration of the coin strategy which I like to use. It pushes you to think about the opposite situation and find the advantages or arguments on both sides of one thing. Which brings me back to the first lesson when I spoke about why artists should go around trying to count on every point of view on things. It develops your ability to argue, defend, and be sure about what you do. So if we as artists want to convey some message and show people our conclusions, we should be always prepared for that one person in the audience that use this coin strategy on us and refute our conclusion. And this brings us into the third aspect of a good artist and that is space. Have you ever wonder why movies with no specific endings are the ones that stay in our head the most? Why does it challenge us and our emotions? That's because there is a space for interpretations. And every human being will project their interpretation into that space or into the ending of the film in general, which will make them even more attached to the thing. If your art presents definite and fixed opinion or conclusion, it can very easily fall into kitch propaganda or patos. So I always advise you to create your art so that there is enough space for interpretation. People love secrets. They love to go deep into something. Let them have that space for exploration in your artworks. There are some ways how to practice giving space for interpretation in your art. For example, take some quote and consider different interpretations of it. Or think about one of your artworks that you have. A strong conclusion. Play the role of a critic of yourself and consider how the work can be interpreted differently. Or the best way is to ask a friend with who you always have very different opinions. In the previous lessons, we went from past into the present of looking and criticizing our artworks and consider the different ways you can be interpreted. In the next lesson, we will start to look into the future by understanding what type of artist you are and coming up with strategies for more thoughtful artworks and how to fuel your passion. Yes. 6. Passion & Motivation: Understanding the Type of Artist You Are: In this lesson, we will explore the artistic categorization and we're going to ask ourselves, what type of artist am I? As artists, we often explore various medium and styles. So let's find out our unique creative path. First of all, in my opinion, there are two main types of artists. The ones that shows reality to people and the ones that take people out from reality. Both are valid and absolutely, okay. Those who shows reality have it a little bit harder because they have to focus extremely on all the issues we are discussing in this class. They need to be super aware of themselves, their position, and must be very educated and do a lot of research before they publish something, whether it's a documentary photographer, or illustrator, or conceptual artist. For those of you who take people out of reality, the hardest thing to do is to connect with your intuition and let it flow clearly. To let it guide you and to feel through it, the new visions you want to deliver to people. Which is also very challenging. Because we were, or most of us, we were raised in our whole lives to think rationally about things and to calculate, calculate, and calculate so much that to turn off rationality seems almost impossible. But if you are at the beginning, how are you going to find out? Well, the best thing is to try it all and find out what fulfills you and your aim. For example, me. I used to dance professionally as a kid. Later on, I realized that dance and movement in general really makes me fulfilled. So naturally later I tend to do performance art that requires working with the human body and real time movement. Suddenly I was able to express things that I couldn't reach in photography, for example. As I said in the previous lessons, each of us has some story and some experiences shape us into the people who we are today. Don't be afraid to fail to make mistakes, because it will just show you what is not working. And so you will be able to move faster and grow. And if you move, it means you have a passion, which brings me into another very important aspect of a good artist, and that is passion is the motivation. Don't worry about money, don't worry about recognition. It will all come in the right time. People will feel your passion and they will be amazed by that, trust me. And for that amazement, they will start to pay you. And don't be afraid to combine uncombinable. It's 2024 and there are new technologies, new medias, new approaches, new topics, new societal issues, new context. And everything is waiting for you to find your unique way in it. Think about things that you really love and that fulfills you. Write at least ten things and then try to combine them. So it will appear for the first second, really ridiculous and crazy. But I want you to think about them in the serious way. How can they be combined together in fine art, in your artistic practice? Think about that. In the next lesson, we are going to finish our reflection, considering the most important part of yourself as an artist, you. Why. 7. Responsibility: Why People Should Waste Their Time Seeing Your Art?: If you want to become a good, fine artist, you must carry a very crucial and the last aspect which is responsibility. Let's explore the ethnical dimension of art and how creations impact the world around us. Responsibility is the main thing which separates mere creators from very good artists. The basic question you have to ask yourself as an artist, why should people waste their time looking at your art? Why I'm exhibiting this art publicly? And is it something that should be displayed in the public space? Or is it more a creative process that I like and I'm so excited about it that I want to show to the world. Well then it happens that it will show only to people what you are excited about and what you like, but you don't offer any visions for them. No new questions, no new answers, no new knowledge, no challenges at all. This is very important and I want you think about it. If you stick to the previous aspect that we've been talking about, it should help you to answer all the questions and identify with this responsibility that we take on as artists who are putting something out into the public space. So as I ask you in the very first lesson, in the beginning of this class, I'm going to ask you again and hopefully now you already have an idea about your answer as artist, who are you? 8. Transforming Knowledge Into a Selfportrait: Hi. Let's open the second part of this class that is more practical, one about the self portrait. Now that you have considered who you are as an artist, you also answered all the questions in your PDF. You consider your position and your why. We are going to take these reflections, integrate them, and figure it out. How to translate them visually into self portrait. Are you more of an introvert or extrovert? Does your environment influence you a lot? And how much of you do you want to share with the world? In my case, I love to depict myself in abstract or Nutra space because my self portraits go deep inside of me. The environment, in my case doesn't play a huge role. It is more about feelings, colors, light shadows my body, position of my body, and expression. As you can see, my early self portraits were about accepting myself, finding self love after a very difficult period in my life. And asking existential questions about life in general, or death, and also the soul. Later it developed into questions about my body and about my queerness and expression. I started to use clothes and accessories because they were a big part of building my identity. When I was 21, I finally accepted my non conformity in the binary system of genders. It immediately showed in my self portraits at the time where I was playing with the typically feminine or masculine attributes. My recent self portraits go back to the beginning. I'm interested again in the topic of our souls, but this time in the context of the physical human body. How is the relationship between those two? How energy influence what we radiate? How do we transfer our feelings into our expression? All these self portraits are questions that are asking myself. And also a playground where I'm trying to find answers. Mighty for you is to think in which way you communicating in your daily life. For example, are you often talking in the metaphorical way or ironic way? Or do you use symbolism? Or are you just straight to the point type? Step by step, you should create a visual communication of all your aspects. And by that I mean if you like to talk a lot in the metaphor, use a metaphorical language in your visual style as well. Take some metaphor, translate it visually into the self portrait. And Walla, for example, in my case, I'm a scorpio. First of all, I love contrast and second of all, I'm just mysterious all the time. My self portraits, as you could already see, they are very mysterious. They are asking questions that are very deep, that are hidden, that normally human beings would ask themselves on a daily basis. But also, I love to be straight to the point. So these two are my main aspects in my self portrait. You work and I love to combine them. Don't forget that you are the creator. You are in full control of your outcome. So let it be the best of you. In the next lesson, we are going to talk about how much of yourself you are willing to reveal. 9. Considering Your Body & Yourself: Hello again. As we consider things about self portrait, one of the best thing to actually consider is, are you going to depict yourself and your body in the picture? And how much you want to share your face and your body, how much you want to share your identity. Basically, self portraits can have various forms of approaches. It doesn't mean that you need to be always in the picture. Sometimes it can be only your hand in the picture that represents one of your aspects that you just want to communicate right now. Or it can be another part of the body which represents for you something very important. Sometimes you can be in the picture but not really visible as you can see. For example, in one of my, the self portraits. All of these are possibilities, but don't forget one thing, it should always make sense. You should have a solid reason why are you taking self portrait like that, and come up later with the explanation if needed. Because it's really not automatic to include your body in the self portraiture and especially your naked body. And that brings me into another thing which we're going to talk about and that is ethics of portraying naked body. Let's do it really quickly. Where is the boundary between porn and nude? For example, do you consider this still acceptable? What about this and this? In 2012, a Leopold Museum in Vienna prepared an art exhibition, which sparked controversy even before opening with posters of three naked football players across the Australian capital. The original photograph by French artist Pierre Gil called Viva a France, of three men of different races wearing nothing but blue, white and red socks and soccer boots. Later the museum said it had decided to cover the football players intimate parts on large posters advertising the exhibition, after they caused an outcry. This is a great example of how society is hypocritical and has a double standards for female bodies and male bodies. My definition of the boundary between nude and porn is that the subtext or the reason must not be about using sexual desires or at least not explicitly. Body can be a playground, it can be a protest, it can be a canvas and many other things. It never really is just a body. Body is a very powerful tool for liberation and for political attitude as well. The body is how we speak to the world. A very nice example is also artist Debora De Robertiz with her performance called The Origin of the World. It is a reaction to the very famous painting of Gustave Cubert. It is a declaration of a message about women by women, to women, to men, and to society. For example, did you know that in the '90s, less than 5% of the artists in modern art section of New York's Metropolitan Museum were women, but 85% of the nudes were female. Who knew that a vagina that in art is so treasured, becomes so disturbing and hated in real life. Another point of view on naked bodies in self portrait is also the topic of body dysmorphia and gender dysphoria. Now I want you to know that we all struggle at certain moments when it comes to our bodies, nobody is perfect but accept that and share it with the world. That's something that takes a lot of vulnerability, which is actually very valuable. How much do you feel connected to your body? How sensitive this topic is for you? Think about which parts you want to think about if you want to show body at all, or which parts you want to hide and why. With this, the best tool to think about is light and shadows. About this, we're going to talk in the next lesson. 10. YOUR TOOLS: Light & Shadow: In this part, we're going to talk a little bit more technical about taking a self portrait. First of them is light and shadow. Light is the essential element of photography. Without light, there wouldn't be any photography at all. Did you know that the first ever made picture was by Joseph Ferns and it was taken with the technique called heliography. The word helium is from the ancient helios, which means sun. He literally named it by the sun. Have you ever wondered? Also? When was the first self portrait ever made? It was in 18 39, by Robert Cornelius. Since this self portrait, the photography changed so much, it transformed and developed into the most popular form as we know today, which is selfie. Selfie culture was in its peak, maybe around like 2015, 16. But let's say probably it will stay with us forever. Here you can enjoy a small selection of artists who work with shadow and light in a very interesting way. As a light source, you can use just the daylight, which is a sun or artificial one with lead or bulbs, or studio flash light. You can also think about other sources of light, such as your iphone television or for example, you can use the moon during the Full Moon, There is a lot of reflection of the light. You have basically many possibilities. Think about also that different lights will create a different atmosphere. For example, if you're going to create a self portrait with let white ring light like I'm using right now here. It's not going to give you very like atmospheric sense. But if you're going to use, for example, this type of light, which its shape can be also part of the self portrait. We're going to talk about completely different story. You just need to try something and find out what suits you the best. Remember one thing, light always reveals with the light. We take observers to the journey. We take them on the way we want them to go. 11. YOUR TOOLS: Color Psychology : Okay, in this lesson, we're going to talk about colors, how about them? The psychology of colors explores how different colors can affect human emotions perceptions and behavior. While responses to colors can be subjective and culturally influenced, certain general association and psychological effects are commonly observed. Here are some of the basic understandings of how colors can impact emotions and perceptions. We're going to start with Red, often associated with energy, passion, and excitement. It can also evoke feelings of love or danger. Red can stimulate appetite and grab attention, which is why it's frequently used in advertising. Blue known for its calming and soothing effects, Blue is associated with serenity, trust, and stability. It's often used to promote productivity and can create a sense of security and peace. Yellow, yellow represents happiness, optimism and warmth. It can stimulate mental activity and creativity. Green symbolize nature growth and harmony. It has a calming effect and it is often associated with health, fertility, and freshness. Purple often linked to luxury, creativity, and also spirituality. It can evoke a sense of mystery. Orange, Orange combines the energy of red and the warmth of yellow. It's associated with enthusiasm, vitality, and creativity. Orange can also stimulate appetite and is often used to create a sense of excitement. Black. Black represents power, sophistication, and formality. It can evoke feelings of mystery or elegance. White symbolizes purity and innocence. However, it can also appear cold or sterile in excess. Pink often associated with femininity, sensitivity, and romance. Lighter shades evoke a sense of calmness, while brighter shades can be energetic and playful. Brown represents earthiness, stability, and reliability. It can evoke a sense of warmth and comfort. Brown is often used in natural rustic or even skin themes. It's important to know that individual experiences, culture, backgrounds, and personal preference can influence how people perceive and react on colors. Additionally, context and combination of colors can significantly impact psychological effects. For example, in my case, as you could already see in the previous lessons, in the beginning of my self portrayed career, I was using mostly black and white photography. I wasn't realizing how colors can help you express even more in certain situations. Some of the photographers use makeup as a demonstration of symbolism of colors. Now I want to talk about another thing. The other day I saw one photographer who is based in Europe. She is a white woman and she made herself in all black outfit, and she painted her face fully black. As for defense, she argued that she wanted to appear fully covered in black color, because for her, it represents the topic of death. Well, there is a very problematic position and argument. First of all, black face is a black face. There is no defense for a white person to paint their face black without being deeply problematic and racist. There is a history behind that. Act as artist, as good artists, we need to be aware and know these histories. And to aware of not only what we think, but also what we're referencing, either consciously or unconsciously. There are many other ways to depict the theme of the death without perpetuating problematic and ignorant behavior period. Me personally, I work with colors within light. I like to play with the atmosphere and the aesthetic of combination of my body and the feeling I'm depicting and the colors that support everything in the picture. But of course, there are cases that black and white pictures works better, no doubt about that. They are usually the ones which focus on the core of the subject or on the shape of the object. Think wisely and decide on your own. 12. YOUR TOOLS: Space: Hello again. This is the last lesson before moving into the action of taking self portrait. Now we're going to talk about the topic of the space. Why is it important? There are many options how to approach this. You can either pick up a space when you feel actually really comfortable and it is a safe space for you. Or you can pick up completely new environment and step out of your comfort zone. Another possibility is also to create completely artificial environment with backgrounds, and props, and objects. You name it. I was once at one artists residency in the south of France, where I was completely in a new environment. I decided I'm going to take some self portraits and I just walk around the city, which I have never been in. Then I walked into the fields and I was trying to come up with something, and suddenly I was in the field. And it happened that this photo was made. If you are completely new to self portrayed, I would maybe recommend to take the comfort zone and be alone in the space and just feel comfortable. You're going to be alone and you're going to really think and have the time to set up everything. But for those of you who are very intuitive and creative and you like to throw yourself into the challenges go. And you are going to be surprised when you set the intention to make some self portraits. What will come up, because when you go to a new environment, like for example, a new city, there is a huge difference between walking in that space as a tourist, as a local person, and as a photographer whose intention is to make a self portrait. Because you will think more about how you feel in that space, in that environment, in that city. How you can communicate yourself through this environment and so on. So space is a very important aspect when it comes to self portrayed. Now you should have a clear plan of what, where, and how you're going to probably shoot yourself portrayed. So in the next lesson, I'm going to demonstrate you how I did one of them. 13. Preparation + Shooting: Preparation and shooting. Welcome. In this practical part, as you can see, I'm preparing slowly, a set up for taking the self portrait. You see I'm doing it at my home. It's really DI Y, but there is nothing wrong about it. We're going to start setting up the camera. Make sure that you have enough memory on the card. Make sure you have a proper tripod, or if you don't have a tripod, it's okay. It will actually challenge you to put the camera into an ordinary angles. Choose whatever lighting you want for your image. It doesn't matter where you're going to put the light or how many light sources you're going to use. Just imagine how it would look and just give it a try. And as you can see, this was my first try. And after setting up properly the timer and other things, I get this which I still wasn't happy about. So I decided to take off the orange filter and just shoot myself with a daylight color temperature. And there is a first tip for you guys. As you can see, I'm using my shoes to define exactly the position when I was on the previous picture. Whatever, I come back, I know exactly the spot when I was standing so I can continue shooting more images. I wanted to create two photographs that I will merge later together and it will serve as a base for the final picture. Now I'm going to shoot a second image, which should be a moving one with the long shutter exposure. So as you can see, I got what I wanted, but I don't like the background of the cloth. It would be difficult to edit it later and take off all the shadows from the cloth. So I decided to change the set up a little bit and shoot the next image in front of the white wall. I'm also using the Led light, which is very particular and it gives me a lot of colors together which I use also as a symbol of the rainbow, rainbow flag, which is the symbol of queerness. Okay, let's see what we got now. And this is the result. Okay, so that's it. I've got all the images I wanted, and now the editing part is waiting for us. 14. Editing: In this lesson, we're going to do editing in the Camera Raw, which is program connected to Photoshop. I selected the final images that I wanted to work with. As you can see, these are the three main ones that I want to merge together. In the first hand, I put these two pictures together. As you can see, I'm playing with the layers. I put together first two pictures, I'm erasing from one layer to another. I'm adjusting it in the way that I wanted. It creates like a colorful blur between the two bodies, which will, as you can see, be in the final result as black and white picture. With this, it will help me to make main focus on the blurred colorful part. As the main symbol in myself portrayed, I decided also to blur the background. It has like more minimal and simple look. The final touches are about the format of the image and the deformation of the two faces, which helped me to blend everything together and make the feeling of fluidity. As you can see, I'm adding a little bit of visual noise. It's one of my best tricks that I learned recently. As you can see it, to blend a spectrum of very similar colors. It doesn't make these ugly maps, but it's seamlessly blend together. And that's it. See you in the next lesson. 15. Reflection: Creating an Annotation: Hi. I'm so happy that you got so far in my class and now that you created and edited yourself portrayed, we're going to think again of what we created. Look at your photo and think about what you see. Then look at the photo again and think, what will people see compare these two point of views? And write an annotation. And write a few sentences as a compromise. Let's say in annotation, you should tell people what was your intention, what this picture means to you, and what were you trying to communicate. But also tell them that you are aware that it might be interpreted in this particular way and also this way. And that way basically to contain more points of views as we already talked about in the beginning of this class. Annotation should also include your name, chosen, media duration, technique, place, and the year of the creation. Annotation is the text that serves curators to quickly understand your work or help people to interpret your work in the right way and in the right context. Now I'm going to give you my example of the annotation that I created based on the self portrait I have done in the previous lesson. Skill share Self Portrait Cobra Digital Photography le Italy 2024. In this self portrait, the presence of two bodies suggests a sense of binarity within the self and our society. The blurred phase between them serves as the main point, but its lack of clarity suggests ambiguity or fluidity. I decided that the final picture will be black and white with only one color point. The use of vibrant raybore colors symbolize often associated things like pride and inclusivity. This color differentiation help to enhance the main focus in the picture and communicate the main symbolic message in the self portrayed, while initially appearing somber upon closer inspection, subtuences of discomfort emerge, particularly within the binary bodies. These expressions hint at the internal conflicts and societal pressures associated with conforming to binary gender norms. However, amidst this tension, the colorful blurriness between the bodies serves as a striking symbol of hope and resilience. It represents the vast spectrum of gender expression and the beauty found within diversity. Despite the challenges presented by binary expectations, the vibrant blur symbolizes the possibility of embracing one's true self and finding strength in individuality. Overall, this image explores themes of identity, self expression, and the complexities of gender and sexuality. It challenges conventional notions of portraiture by incorporating elements of abstraction and symbolism to convey a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the self. And that's it. See you in the final lesson. 16. Conclusion: Hello. I'm so happy and proud of you that you came to the very end of this class. It is truly, so special for me because it is my first class. And I'm sure I will remember all of you guys who are gonna upload your projects into the gallery forever. I hope you were not bored with me. That's my biggest fear before the very end. I want to say a few more words and summarize everything that we have done. And by the way, also, I hope I haven't discouraged anyone from becoming a fine artist after my class. So in this class, we discuss a lot of insights, questions, and strategies to help you look at your art with a new perspective. In the theoretical part, we also put together five essential aspects of good artist. They are, self awareness, being true to yourself. Space passion is the motivation and responsibility. In the practical part, we were talking about taking a self portrait, its category, how to transform your knowledge into visual representations. We talk about color psychology and the importance of choosing the right space if you haven't uploaded your self portrait. I'm reminding you right now, so I can later give you feedback and we can discuss a bit. So congratulations again. The class is in the end. If there is one thing that I want you to take from this, it is, think twice about your work, but don't forget to have a fun during the creation. Art is here to show beauty, but also show another point of view on beauty. And it is also here to challenge the conventions to beauty and status quo. Art is here as an imprint of our time, our society, and ourselves as individuals. So instead of being just a creator, now you are on the new way to be a fine artist that takes responsibility and is aware of so much more things. It is not a but real artist whose role is to show to society new visions so it can grow into better versions and hopefully make the world a better place. And now let's show the world new visions.