The Art of the Personal Project: Kip Dawkins

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:  Kip Dawkins


In my everyday work as a commercial photographer I photograph luxury interior products, interiors and lifestyle. Everything, the setting, the light, the styling, is very tightly controlled. We have people combing fringe on pillows. The moments in my personal projects tend to be forgotten places, negative space. They have been allowed to decay or weather through neglect, poverty or the forces of landscape.

I happen upon them by chance. My only control is my ability to see and capture the fleeting moment when light and space and structure come together. I create an atmospheric moment that suggests chaotic forces at work. I got my original start photographing punk rock bands. I liked the chaos and the lack of control, trying to find the happy accident of the moment that comes together.

I’m drawn to these moments because I do the exact opposite every day of the week, but they’re all taken with the technical knowledge that I’ve gotten in all my years of photographing interiors and products. Technically they come out as highly refined as I can get them. It’s the highest level of processing I can do. The same amount of time goes into them as for the luxury projects, but there is no staging, no styling team and no tons of equipment. I have to wait for the clouds to part or the rain to come down on some castoff place.

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.  And on Instagram

Suzanne Sease

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