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: Taylor Roades
A RIBBON OF HIGHWAY – BETWEEN THE EAST OF MY YOUTH AND THE WEST OF MY FUTURE.
A Ribbon of Highway is a personal retrospective and an exploration of a Canadian Identity. It is a collection of photographs taken between 2010-2020, a decade of my twenties where I moved and travelled extensively across the country, coming of age and questioning both my own value systems, and what being Canadian might mean. The photographs depict my individual lived experience, visiting landscapes that vary drastically in geography, history, and socio-economic status, and overarching lifestyle.
I have photographs from every province and territory except Newfoundland, and Nunavut. I took three trips across the country on a greyhound bus over this time, and travelled on photography assignments to some extremely remote locations. These photos were not taken with a final goal in mind; the scenes were interesting to me in the moment. I’ve always been deeply intrigued by the cultural threads that hold Canada together, and though I won’t claim this collection to be all encompassing of “Canadianness”, it is a reflection of the place and the person I was when I took the images.
The title of this project: “A Ribbon of Highway” is a lyric in a song called This Land is Your Land. It is an American tune and was re-made by a Canadian band called the Travellers (originally named The Beavers). Naming this project a Ribbon on Highway was an analogy for how we are constantly defining ourselves as separate from the Americans, and yet are still so influenced, for better or worse, by our southern neighbour.
Canada, as we know it emerged from a series of outposts, and in a sense still operates this way. Kindness here is born out of a season of scarcity. We are a vast landmass with incredible differences and we cling to the similarities because they give us something to identify with.
Our patriotism is steeped in contradictions. We are friendly even if we don’t want to be friends. We are hardy people, but complain about scraping the caked ice from our windshields at the break of dawn. We have feelings of moral superiority to the USA with a robust public healthcare system, and yet we have a history of deeply unequal and morally horrific policies when it comes to the treatment of Indigenous peoples on this land.
Some of these photos are stereotypical, and some are personal. It is my hope if you have spent time in this country you will see your own experience, even if only partially. This thread of shared experience is what holds us together, in the space between the places that make up most of this Country.
To see more of this project, click here.
Behind the scenes video
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 @SuzanneSease. Instagram
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.