The Art of the Personal Project: Tom Nagy

- - Personal Project

Personal Projects are crucial in showing potential buyers how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or show something I have never seen before. In this revised column, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: projects are found and submissions are not accepted.

Tom Nagy: Lost Animals






Years ago I was flying in a helicopter over Alaska and the landscape was incredible but I noticed there were no animals. Even with the sun shining and flying a long distance, I didn’t see any animals. I wondered how the animals would look in that space and it made me think about what nature means to us.

As human beings we have created a completely separate environment far away from nature. We spend so much time away from where we came from. So what is our relationship with where come from? And how can animals help us see it?

Through my travels I end up in cities all over the world, cities that are populated only by people, and I began wondering what it would be like if wild animals crossed the line between our world and theirs. I created “Lost Animals” as an exploration of what that would look like. Wild animals come and visit our environment, the cities we have built far away from them and in a new context, and it is at once jarring and hopeful. They join us in exploration, welcome but feral. Unexpected but longed-for. 

The images are black and white because I didn’t want it to feel that contemporary, I wanted to give them a more timeless feel. I wanted to separate them clearly from my other work, pulling them away from the clean, creamy colors in my commercial work. This is much different. At the same time I want to leave it up to the viewer to decide how the images were achieved, and leave that magic intact.

I don’t have an answer to the central questions of our relationship with our roots, but I hope that “Lost Animals” is the beginning of what the answer could be. 

View the full Lost Animal Series here:

And view more of Tom’s work online:


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

Suzanne Sease

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