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.

“A new documentary about photographer Jay Maisel is opening soon, so I thought I would share this anecdote about Jay. Don’t miss JAY MYSELF, directed by Stephen Wilkes, when it opens in theaters July 31st!”

I was sent to NYC to train as an art buyer at Scali, McCabe and Sloves with the amazing Linda Marso.

During my first week, Susan Froomer came in to show the work of her husband, Brett Froomer.  The next day, a guy came in and showed us some mediocre at best portraits and when he could tell we were not impressed, he pulled out several sheets of slides (yes, I am showing my age).  When he left, I told Amy Schuster (Art Buyer with Linda Marso) that some of the work was not his as I had seen it the day before with Susan.  We called the work back pretending it was for an assignment for Nikon.  Linda noticed the work was Brett, Bob Krist and Jay Maisel.  Linda called the photographer in to the agency and sat him down telling him the work was not his and in walks Brett, Jay and Bob’s agent.  The photographer was in shock and Linda required him to sign a document stating that he would never show the work again or he would face legal charges.

When I returned to Richmond, Jay sent me one of his books inscribed with “Great detective work, Jay”.   And of course, I still have the book that I fondly treasure.

He got the work of Jay’s when he worked there and almost burned down his studio.  The other work came from another lab he had worked.


Today’s featured artistStephen Wilkes on Jay Maisel

Stephen’s film, Jay Myself, is opening at the Film Forum in NYC on July 31. Stephen & I will do a Q&A on Wednesday July 31, Thursday Aug 1 , Friday Aug 2 at the 7: 45 PM show. On Saturday and Sunday the Q & A will be at the 4:10 PM show.

Q&As with JAY MYSELF Subject Jay Maisel and Filmmaker Stephen Wilkes

Wednesday, July 31, 7:45 show

Thursday, August 1, 7:45 show

Friday, August 2, 7:45 show

Saturday, August 3, 6:00 show (Wilkes only)

Sunday, August 4, 4:10 show (Wilkes only)

how to get tickets for Film Forum in NYC show, click here

click here for LA showing at the Laemmle Royal theater for tickets

To see more of this project and the full schedule of showings, click here.

Trailer for the film click here

Instagram: @oscopelabs and hashtag  #JayMyself


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

Success is more than a matter of your talent. It’s also a matter of doing a better job presenting it.  And that is what I do with decades of agency and in-house experience.


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  1. I look forward to seeing the film in LA. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Slav,

      I hope you will be able to also attend the Q&A

      Have a great day!

  2. I saw the film earlier this year as part of the Cleveland International Film Festival and it is thoroughly enjoyable and a window into the somewhat quirky life of Jay Maisel. He is an incredible photographer.

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