The Art of the Personal Project: Clay Cook

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:  Clay Cook

While stationed in Tanzania in 2015, the crew and myself met a man named Adrian McCrae who had been casually enjoying a Kilimanjaro Beer at the Mount Meru Hotel bar. Adrian owned a mining company in northern Australia and did a lot of humanitarian work throughout Tanzania, but his passion was paragliding. We soon came to discover, Adrian led an expedition entitled Wings Of Kilimanjaro, in which a group of brave paragliding pilots trek up Mount Kilimanjaro and sail off the top. He and his expedition are the only group allowed by Tanzanian law to make the jump, as they are one of the leading charitable organizations in Tanzania. Top paragliding pilots from all over the world raise thousands to have this adventure of a lifetime.

When I learned I would have the opportunity to scale the highest free-standing mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro, I was on my death-bed at 311 pounds and 50% body fat. One year later, I set foot on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Then, along with an expedition of 16 professional pilots, attempted to paraglide off the summit. I had lost nearly 130 pounds and helped raise nearly half a million dollars for clean water and education in Tanzania, Africa. Although our project Wings of Kilimanjaro pulled off an amazing feat and set a Guinness World Record, I believe our greatest accomplishment was not sailing off a volcano at 19,341 feet. Our triumph was raising nearly a half-million dollars for the progress of education and clean water in Tanzania. Kilimanjaro had set a beacon, sparked a fire and cleared a black cloud. It was a gift, that solidified my wellness journey and provided a new sense of strength. I guess you could say it saved my life.


To see more of this project, click here.

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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