The Art of the Personal Project: Kris Connor

- - 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.

Today’s Featured Artist: Kris Connor

Artist’s statement:

“We knew that it would need to be his decision,” says Amy Rough, the mother of  Dawson, an energetic nine-year-old boy from Meyerdale, Pennsylvania. About his decision to have limb lengthening done in the summer of 2012. He was born with achondroplasia, the most common type of dwarfism. The same type of dwarfism that I was born with. 

Achondroplasia was not the only thing Dawson and me had in common. In the spring of 1994, I had my first limb lengthening procedure done by the same group of doctors as Dawson. Over the next five years I would go through an additional three operations to gain 12 inches on my legs and four inches on my arms. 

Limb lengthening and the complex reconstruction of bone materials is not only possible but has been performed successfully for about 50 years, starting in Kurgan, Russia. Limb lengthening and reconstruction techniques is used to lengthen and/ or straighten deformed bone segments. The limb lengthening and deformity correction process works on the principle of distraction. In this process, a bone that has been cut during surgery can be gradually distracted (pulled apart), leading to new bone formation, or osteogenesis, at the site of the lengthening. In this way, bone segments can be lengthened by 15 to 100 percent of their original length.*

The story has been told more than once by other photographers, but the one thing that would separate me from these other photographers. Is that I have traveled the same path as my subjects…in a sense I would be looking into the mirror. I would have an understanding about the pain, doing hours of physical therapy each day, spending my summer in a wheelchair and getting to miss out on some of the activities that my childhood friends were able to participate in.

Starting with his fixatures being put on July 17th, 2012 and standing at 3.5 feet. I followed Dawson’s journey through his first procedure over the next six months that would see him gain four inches from the surgery. “First couple of days were rough! He is smiling again through it all,” said Amy a few days after the surgery.


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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