The Art of the Personal Project: Nate Bressler

- - 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:  Nate Bressler

Between the fire lines~

With a fake press pass in hand, I made my rounds through town, gathering tools from friends, a water pump from the hardware store, enough Gjusta bread to feed a small Army and a small generator to bring the power needed. There are three major checkpoints between Venice Beach and the headland where the brave few stayed behind to fight the fire on their own. I’ve been through plenty of tornadoes and hurricanes in my life so there must be something I can do. All my adventure gear and camper were up in flames, along w so many of my surf and horse family homes, turning the mega fire into one of those nothing to lose but everything to gain situations.

As the fire raged on through the remaining drought stricken canyons, distress calls and rumors of starving animals cut off by the blaze made their way to our crew of unlikely hot shots. With thousands of horses throughout the windy canyons and a fire that moved like no other, many animals were left behind with no help able to get through. Luckily for them, a 250 gallon tank I commandeered from Larry Thorne’s farm, hay bails from anywhere I could find them and hoses that were brought in by boat with the rest of our gear needed to whoop this fire. The nights were spent driving the streets in groups of four, looking for flare ups that could possibly get out of hand and threaten the unburned houses. That left my days free to tend to the animals and distressed natives like Bonnie Decker who’s grandfather settled Decker canyon over 100 years ago. These fires were nothing new to a family that came out west in the 1860’s, when ranches covered the coastline and the PCH was nothing more than a couple of dirt ruts. Bonnie’s mom Millie had both the kids at the ranch house, all while keeping the 60 bee hives, feeding chickens and training horses to go along with all her daily chores. Even just shy of 100, Millie tried to stick this hell of a fire out but this was the biggest one yet and it would be just too much to handle. So to the nursing home she’ll go for safety as Bonnie and her married ranch hands fought to save what of the homestead they could defend with hoses, holding their livestock in turnout that they hoped to be safe. They took a gamble that day and lost a home, tack shed and most the corrals. “Of course moms place with all the clutter survived and mine burned down” Bonnie said as she sifted through her grandpa’s charred tack. Grateful to all be alive and with no shortage of spirit she had a lot to be thankful for. All her animals had survived in a canyon where so much had been lost in a community that suffered its biggest fire in history and a mass shooting at a country bar all within a day and a half. We know the rebuilding wouldn’t be easy but not much on a ranch is and if not for this settled chaparral landscape’s toughness…

the human spirit would’ve burned out a long time ago.

Here, my truck, Brutus delivers water, feed and insulin to the Decker’s ranch as the next canyon over burns in a matter of hours.

Bonnie Decker

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


Suzanne Sease

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