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:  Shaun Fenn

While many of us spend the winter months bemoaning the cold weather and counting down the days until spring, Minnesotans are playing pond hockey.

Huddling up on small, neighborhood ponds where the ice is continually undulating under foot to play shinny, northern communities know how to keep the winter doldrums at bay. And capturing the sport, a derivative of traditional hockey played at a smaller scale, had been on photographer Shaun Fenn’s project wish list for some time. “An opportunity presented itself to go up north and do this shoot, so I jumped on a plane and went for it,” he says.

“Anything that’s active and that’s outdoors, I love,” Fenn explains. He spent five days documenting the action at the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships. “It was fascinating to watch this pond hockey subculture and to draw similarities between what we do to have fun over on the West Coast. This is these people’s passion: they do it at odd times of day or night, when it’s 15 below out, drinking their Hamm’s or Busch beers with their babies bundled up, rolling around on the ice, having a ball.”

As Fenn explains it, pond hockey is played with far fewer people on the ice at a time, no goalie, and wooden two-by-fours at each end of the rink to serve as the goal. “The pond is frozen with a foot and a half of ice, which, by the way, is expanding and contracting and cracking the whole time, “he says.

Fenn’s series includes portraits of individual athletes as well as plenty of on-ice action shots—sticks and skates caught in motion, cloud-like breaths rising up from the movement. Rather than have the perspective feel like that of a spectator, he wanted the lens to focus in close, to allow the viewer to feel like they were right there, part of the game.

“I like my imagery to feel tactile, emotional, inclusive. Even if you haven’t ever played pond hockey and never will, I hope you can look at those and get the feel for the sport and can put yourself into the action,” he says. “These people just had such a wonderful attitude, doing what they love in the frigid, frigid cold.”

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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