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:  Paul Edmondson

State of Main

For the last 25 years I’ve been taking extensive road trips across the American west, searching for desolate locations for my landscape photography work. Most often on these trips I try to avoid driving on major highways and instead choose the smaller, county roads that crisscross the country. As a result of this slower, off-the-beaten-path approach to road travel, I started to become curious about the towns, street corners, buildings and farms that occupy so much of rural America.

After Trump won in 2016, it felt like many of the communities I was passing through started expressing the MAGA ethos in ways that I never could truly understand or grasp. And the visuals relating to American patriotism suddenly seemed politically charged and deeply partisan. But there was also the timeless and sometimes quirky small-town iconography that often caught my eye. I wanted to see if there was a way to combine these different elements into a cohesive body of work that expressed my own interpretation of today’s small-town America. I was also deeply inspired by Walker Evans, Stephen Shore, and many others.

When I started the series in late 2020, the working title was simply ‘Main Street’, but as the project neared completion I asked my gallerist Jenn Singer what else she thought might work – was there a more effective way of describing what the images conveyed? We agreed on ‘State of Main’, which I think more accurately describes the work. In many ways the series is an expression of the American dream – for opportunity, independence, and patriotism. But it’s also a study of hard times, abandoned homes and shuttered stores. It’s these dualities that interest me the most, and how in the end, it’s nature that almost always seems to win.

Paul Edmondson is an award-winning photographer best known for his minimalist landscapes of the American West, often in the places where humans and the natural environment intersect. He lives with his family in Seattle, Washington.

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 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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