The Art of the Personal Project

- - 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 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:  Kris Davidson

At best, photographs offer a thin slice of truth; a photographic portrait of a person is a fleeting depiction of someone within the relentless rush of time, revealing a mere sliver of who they are. My new art series, tentatively titled American Memory Portraits, considers the curious process of Americanization, a memory-laden journey that unfolds over a lifetime. The collaborative series is comprised of large mixed media/collage portraits of first and second generation Americans with personal images from the subject’s life collaged in, usually into what they are wearing (Klimt’s paintings are an inspiration point for this series). As a whole, the idea is to create a more nuanced illustration of the varied immigrant experience, allowing for deeper glimpses into how cultures collide and cross-pollinate over time in America.

Pictured here, second from left: In-progress piece (45″ x 36″ print) of Miguel. I hired Miguel to be my driver for a story about the Valle de Guadalupe wine region in Mexico (tearsheets below). As he drove me to my locations, his story came out in pieces —  he had been deported from the United States last year, after having lived there for nearly 30 years. He is photographed here on the Tijuana beach with his American-born son a few yards away from where the border fence disappears into the ocean. Miguel’s best friend drives the child down every month from Los Angeles. Miguel only had a few blurry snapshots to share with me — the collage will be comprised of a plaid pattern on his shirt featuring repeated a repeated image of his son and the American mother.

I am actively looking for project participants — if you are a first or second generation American (or if you have a lead) I would love to hear from you!


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 @SuzanneSeaseInstagram

Suzanne Sease

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