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:  Grady Mitchell

“In 2017 I worked on a documentary crew covering niche wrestling cultures around the world (we’re talking WWE-style professional wrestling, not the kinds of competitive wrestling you see in the Olympics). One of our episodes focused on Catch Fétiche, loosely translated as “Voodoo Wrestlers,” a unique subculture in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

As the name suggests, these wrestlers, or Féticheurs, employ magic in their matches in addition to the standard arsenal of wrestling moves. They use spells, sorcerous powders, and talismans to hypnotize, paralyze, and generally bamboozle opponents. With blaring brass bands, plenty of fire, and a few pints of animal blood, each match is a spectacle.

The wrestlers are usually unpaid, and the matches are free events. Besides the fear and/or adoration of the crowd, the performers use the stage time to advertise the potency of their magical offerings in the hope that, later on, some of the spectators will seek out their services. That might look like soliciting a love potion, divining the future, or removing a curse.

Each event begins with a parade through the neighborhood, centered on the fighters and a brass band, that amasses a crowd as it goes. Despite the inclusion of magic, many of the wrestlers are accomplished athletes and run training academies in various neighborhoods for other wrestlers and local youth.

It’s thought that professional wrestling first arrived in Congo with Belgian soldiers. However, it got there, in the time since it’s combined with local customs and mysticism to create something entirely unique, fascinating, and entertaining.”


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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