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: Joel Salcido

ALIENTO A TEQUILA by joel salcido

Tequila, like Mexico, is meztizaje. (a coalescence)

When pulque, the fermented nectar of Mexico’s indigenous world, embraced the copper alambiques of the Spaniards, tequila was born.

Mexico’s iconic drink is earthly and deep-rooted in a past that is both complex and immense.

As early as the 16th century, the national drink of Mexico was known as vino de mezcal, from the Spanish word vino for wine and the Nahuatl word, mexcal for agave.

The mezcal of the Nahuatl culture played an enormous role in the lives of Mesoamericans. Not only was the agave critical for sustenance, but it also provided shelter, wardrobes and tools.

Not surprisingly, mezcal was considered divine and endowed with supernatural powers to the extent that Mayahuel – a Venus-like goddess that personifies the maguey plant – became the symbol of fertility for the Aztecs.

The town of Tequila or Tecuilan, also Nahuatl for a “place of work and cutting,” is where land, agave and man came together to produce the iconic spirit of past and present Mexico.

It is there in Tequila, and in other towns of the state of Jalisco, that I set out to explore the contemporary world of tequila.

My search led me to the original distilleries that literally founded the industry, as well as a series of artisanal tequileras totally committed to the ancestral ways of tequila-making, from harvest to bottle.

In this landscape of blue agave, I also discovered traditions of culture and religion – both ancient and modern, indigenous and foreign.

And still, in the midst of all this, the everyday toil of man becomes unified with the land and the sky, to produce a spirit that is true to the legendary character of Mexico and its people.

This photographic series reflects that mystical space where the weight of history and the bounty of earth, blend into a spirit called tequila.

Tequila is the elixir that faithfully remains the guardian of Mexico’s landscape, tradition and national identity.

It is indeed, that ancient lord of fire with a savage smile.

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.


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  1. The headline has the name wrong. It is Joel Salcido.

  2. Great work and the book is amazing…but the first name on the header is incorrect. He is not Paul but Joel Salcido.

  3. Hi Suzanne

    I enjoyed this. Just seeing your name put a smile on my face.

  4. You have Joel’s name wrong on your headline…not Paul Salcido!
    Joel Salcido. Please change.

  5. Great article about an old friend!

    • And he was such a pleasure to work with for me to feature his beautiful project!

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