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:  John Dyer

Mariachi-John Dyer

They file in one by one, these kids, carrying their instruments. A young man with his harp, three more with trumpets, two young women with violins. A tenor guitar or vihuela, a large bass guitar or guitarrón. These are mariachi musicians.

They arrange themselves on the stage in two semi-circular lines. Violins and guitars in front, trumpets in back.

Finally, the singer walks in and takes her place in front of the group facing the audience.  She is dressed in a colorful, form-fitting floral, floor-length dress.  Her black shiny hair is pulled back in a bun fixed with colorful ribbons. She carries a large black sombrero trimmed in gold.

These are high school kids from La Grulla, Texas and musically refined beyond their years.

They wear Charro-inspired uniforms. Men in beautifully embroidered pants with rows of buttons down the outside of their legs, a short, waist length jacket also embroidered, a white shirt and colorful silk ties.  The young women wear the same uniform except they wear long fitted skirts that fall to their boot tops.

Mariachi is a Mexican style of music dating from the 18th century. The groups play a variety of musical styles including rancheros, corridas, cumbias, huapangos, boleros, etc.

The music begins. A bolero, a romantic song. The singer is very dramatic and emotional in her delivery.  She holds the microphone with one hand and with the other gestures with outstretched hand to the heavens, then makes a fist and pulls her hand to her heart. Such emotion! She sounds like a mature woman who has loved and lost and loved again. I think to myself: this is a 17-year-old girl!  How did she learn to sing like that? How does she know to make her voice laugh and cry?

These portraits were done at the Mariachi Extravaganza in San Antonio, Texas.  It’s an important yearly contest that has been going on for more than 20 years.

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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