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: Kate Woodman 

When I was a kid, my mom told me I could be or do anything I imagined.

I underwent various phases of imagined identities—adventuring archaelogist a la Indiana Jones, and apprentice to Leonardo DaVinci, to name a few–but before long, reality struck and I found myself in an office crunching numbers. Not that being an engineer and designing buildings isn’t a fulfilling career—it often even requires imagination—but gone were the days of building medieval castles in my head, replaced with the very real tasks of writing field reports and running computer analyses for seismic strength.

At what point does our imagination give way to reality? When do we lose that childlike sense of wonder and resign ourselves to our inevitable fates? More importantly, what happens to us when it does?

When I transitioned to full time photographer three years ago, I approached my job as any pragmatic adult would. How would I work within the parameters of the real world? Was there a formula for creating the “right” image?    How could I fit into the industry mold, ensuring commercial success and financial stability?

But I realized one day that my love for photography was not predicated on career viability; rather it is rooted in the idea of limitless imagination. You see in photography, imagination is everything. Your creativity is not bound by the laws of the universe, and whatever you can imagine, you can (with a little creative problem solving and some Photoshop know-how) create.

With that in mind, I embarked on a project in an attempt to honor that creative reawakening that photography has inspired—and continues to inspire—in me. “Imaginarium” is a photo series that explores the surreal creativity of children, untainted by the burden of reality. Accompanied by text from my supremely talented friend and author Nicole McKeon, this series serves as reminder to us all that those with their heads in the clouds rise above the rest.

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.


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1 Comment

  1. I would like to share a quote that sums up your post. “Design at it’s core is about solving practical problems while art is in many ways about creating problems…”
    I don’t know who said it, but it talked to me since I was in the design field before I became a fine art photographer.

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