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:  Christian Tisdale

Whenever I travel, I love to just walk, especially off the normal tourist’s path. You get such an authentic and casual view into the lives of people who actually live there, rather than the curated spaces that line the beachfront. Real people and real moments and real spaces. I’ve always been magnetically drawn to those scenes.

On a recent trip I was walking down a side street in Old Puerto Vallarta, and I saw this incredible courtyard inside of an art gallery, with a lone figure working on a canvas painting inside. I didn’t have my camera with me at the time, so I asked the gallery manager if I could talk with the painter about shooting some photos later in the day. He said I could ask the painter directly and introduced me to Efren Gonzalez.

It turned out that Efren is a well-known Mexican artist, and an incredible person. He allowed me to spend a couple of hours shooting with him that afternoon and answering my endless questions about the exceptional things he’s done for the arts in his local community of Ajijic, Mexico. He told me about the museum he’s opening in his home to support Ajijic artists, and about the Day Of The Dead Wall sculpture work he had just completed that commemorates members of his community that have passed away.

I walked away from that afternoon with some great images, but more importantly, with a connection to this amazing person. Photography has given me so many opportunities to meet people like Efren over the years, and I’m forever grateful for that.

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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