The Art of the Personal Project: Ryan Dearth

- - 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:  Ryan Dearth

“Whenever possible, I’m a huge proponent of shooting personal work while on a project to make the images work towards my own personal goals (important note: this is great so long as nothing interferes with the project goals). Sometimes that means an extra setup of my design, or when I’m traveling, getting out before call time to shoot for myself. I use it as a time to take creative risks, and I’ve noticed that this practice can help inspire me for the rest of the day, week, or longer, and occasionally ends up working in my portfolio. This work came out of one of those cases.

I spent a week this summer shooting on a ranch in Montana for a job. Like most working ranches, the ranch hands bring in the horses from pasture early every morning to prep for the day. I made it a point each morning to get up early with the wranglers and shoot for myself before I started my client-oriented work. To be clear, I had no preconceived notions to make this into a full project. I noticed that every day the crew was made up almost entirely of women, which struck me as very cool and inspiring, and lent itself to a great narrative.

I love the idea of the badass cowgirls wrangling horses in Montana because I love the idea of flipping societal scripts. Women horse wranglers are not a new or unusual concept by any means, but I do think it goes against the grain of how many of us visualize ranch culture and who works physically-intense jobs. These women work their asses off to do what they love, and I certainly think it’s pretty cool.”

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

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.


Suzanne Sease

Comments are closed.