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:  Damien Carter


No one can forget the images of the senseless and heartless murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, and many are also aware that only a few months earlier on Feb 23rd Amaud Arbery was also murdered.

It was Amaud’s murder that was very personal and the genesis of this project. He was chased down and hunted while jogging in a neighborhood in Georgia.

When watching the footage on the news, my son walked in and before I could turn it off, he saw the story and began asking questions.

Besides the expected, “why did they do that to him” he also asked the more jarring, “is that going to happen to you dad”?

I wasn’t even thinking about myself, but I stopped for a minute and struggled to say, “no that wouldn’t be me” to try to reassure him but immediately started thinking – it could have been me.

Any of these murders could have been any of us black men. Across all walks of life, from boys to men we are targeted. And whether we are sleeping, walking, running, driving, putting our hands up, putting our hands behind our backs, or riding our bikes, we are targeted.

The vilification of the victims is an age-old tactic to dehumanize them and to in some ways justify their murders.

But I reject that. I believe that all these unarmed men deserved to live.

So, my objectives with this personal project are simple:

To shine as much light on the issue and to “speak their names” so they aren’t forgotten.

Some of the names will be known but many others most people won’t be familiar with, so we speak their names to honor them and remember them.

And every black man in America realizes: It Could Have Been Me.


Images from the ongoing series: “It Could Have Been Me” By Damien Carter,

(@Dcarterphotography) a portrait and lifestyle photographer out of the Washington DC area.

Note: on the back of each card that had a victim’s name on front, was the news story about the actual killing and the men read those while I captured their raw reactions and emotions.


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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