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:  William DeShazer

The Kentucky Derby

I was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s the place I still think of as home. Even now living in Nashville, Tennessee I miss it. If you’re from Louisville there are three things you identify with regardless of your personal relationship to them… Bourbon, baseball (Louisville Slugger) and of course, The Kentucky Derby. In my youth I played baseball, so I saw Louisville Slugger bats everywhere. It was commonplace. Obviously, I was too young to enjoy bourbon and my parents weren’t big drinkers. But there was always a pageantry leading up to the first Saturday in May. It was akin to that anticipation of Christmas. A city came together through fireworks displays, parades, airshows, hot air balloons, and elaborate decor.

I never attended the race as a child, but I was always glued to the television with my family. Yes, we watch the race, but mainly we would take in the atmosphere and see the spectacle of it all. The hats and outfits. The cheering spectators and celebrities in attendance. It was always either the focus or secondary to the derby party we hosted in our home. So, when photography entered my life, I knew I had to be there to capture it. Fortunately, I’ve covered it every year since 2014.

They call it “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports.” and “The Run for the Roses.” Sure, the racing aspect of it is incredible, but what always appealed to me was what’s happening outside of the racetrack. Whether it’s the backside stables that start working horses before the sun rises, the day drinkers in the infield, the gamblers looking to hit a trifecta, or the men and women dressed to the nines. Every year I’m like a kid in a candy store. It’s a homecoming for me and a reminder of the magic I experienced in my youth growing up in “Derby City”.


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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