Personal Project: Grace Chon

- - Personal Project

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 new revised 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: Grace Chon

Ten years ago, I was a stressed-out art director working at an advertising agency. It was supposed to be my dream job, yet there I was, a miserable and workaholic wreck. It was at this moment in my life that I ended up adopting a street dog from Mexico named Maeby. Adopting her was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If we’re being honest, I had found my soul mate.

Maeby’s sweet smile was better than anything else I could have turned to after a horrible day at the office. Suddenly working on ad campaigns felt meaningless when all I wanted to do was spend time with dogs. I bought a camera and started taking headshots of other rescue dogs to help them get adopted. My volunteer work evolved into a bustling pet photography business, and nine months later, I quit my job in advertising to become a full-time pet photographer. The rest, as they say, is history.

For nearly a decade now, I’ve devoted my life to capturing the faces and personalities of thousands of pets. While I love all God’s creatures, great and small, dogs will always be my favorite. Their loyalty, faithfulness, and unconditional love have filled a million tiny holes in my heart that I never knew existed. I’m now convinced there is no better therapy than a tail-wagging, butt-wiggling, smiling dog. Perhaps after reading this book, you might agree (unless of course, you already do!).

May the uncontainable happiness of these dogs touch your heart as much as they have touched mine.

Back story: This book is the result of a Tumblr + Instagram page I started back in 2014, to showcase my very large collection of smiling dog images that I’ve accumulated over the last near decade of photographing dogs. ( I pitched it as a book back in 2014 and couldn’t get any “bites” but when a book editor approached me in 2016 to do a book together, she loved this idea. The moral of this story? Don’t give up your “dogged” determination to make your projects into a reality.


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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