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: Bonnie Holland

I’ve always considered myself to be a good writer.  In fact, in college I even got an A in creative writing.  But with this story series I experienced writers block for the first time and I’m not sure why.  It took awhile, but I think I’ve figured out why.   You see, all of my work is playful, creative and very colorful, even the editorials where I’ve “toned” it down.   My work is optimistic and designed for pure pleasure like a bowl of good ice cream with chocolate chips.  I seek to find and put under a magnifying glass the silver linings in life. Does that make me a Pollyanna? Maybe, and maybe I am.  I always felt a certain inadequacy with my work that it was all fluff and had no substance.  Like cotton candy, too sweet and bad for your teeth to boot.   War journalists…. now there was a group of photographers that had purpose, mattered and reminded us of the very real horrors in life.  Not only that, but they risked their very lives to do it.   How could I compete with that?  I almost quit….. almost.

This story was a personal turning point in my photography career and helped me define what inspiration is.  This was the first story that did not spark from daydreams and imagination.  It evolved from a phone call.   My dear friend Marlene was diagnosed with cancer.  Very bad cancer.   The kind that starts the phone call with, “are you sitting down?”  And I felt awful, helpless and devastated.  I wanted to do something, anything…. I wanted to fix her but I couldn’t.  So many emotions…. like a war zone.

My gift to her was a visual story of hope, optimism and the beautiful things in life worth fighting for.  We’ll put the best things in life under a microscope and as she always says, “think good and it will be good”.  She is the physical manifestation of my work… she is happy, optimistic and a fighter. And she has been winning for over 5 years now and going strong.

Her gift to me was vision:  To be able to see my work as a whip or shield against the darkness in life.   Part of problem solving is not only identification but also creating a path toward resolution or the end goal.  I’d like to optimistically believe that our world is moving toward a kinder more inclusive tolerant end goal and put that under a microscope along with Marlene’s beautiful life.

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 @SuzanneSeaseInstagram


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