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:  Todd Antony

Each year, in addition to my advertising work, I try to undertake one or two personal projects to keep myself fresh from a creative standpoint. I get to go out and create work purely the way I want to, answering only to myself. These projects have led me down the path of shooting various subcultures and groups around the world. The lesser known the better. I’m fascinated by these small and compelling groups who have a unique perspective on life and the way they approach it.

‘Cholitas Escalators’ and ‘Dekotora’ are both their own series within this larger body of work that spans the past 9 years. The work crosses the globe, seeking out little known groups or subcultures of seemingly ordinary people who lead extraordinary lives in their own way. People that can lift a mirror up to show viewers both our differences and more importantly our similarities. In a time when the world is seemingly becoming more and more polarized, I would like the photography in these projects to hopefully be a bridge of sorts to narrow our differences.  (Note: Dekotora will be featured at a later date)

These ladies are the ‘Climbing Cholitas’ or ‘Cholitas Escaladoras Bolivians’. A group of Aymara indigenous women who are breaking stereotypes and shifting perceptions. In January of 2019 they summited the 22,841ft peak of Mt Aconcagua. The highest mountain outside of Asia. And did so eschewing traditional climbing clothing in favour of their traditional, vibrant, billowing dresses, and using their traditional shawls to carry equipment rather than backpacks.

The word ‘Cholita’ has previously been used as a pejorative term for the indigenous Aymara women of Bolivia. But these women are reclaiming it as a badge of honour.

In the very recent past, as little as 10 years ago, Bolivia’s indigenous Aymara women were socially ostracized and systematically marginalized. Known as ‘cholitas’, these women, easily identified by their wide skirts, braided hair and bowler hats, suffered racial discrimination and could be refused entry to certain restaurants, using public transport and entering certain public spaces such as the capitals central square, Plaza Murillo

While these women have been advocating for their rights since at least the 1960’s, their movement was further invigorated by the 2005 election of Evo Morales. Bolivia’s first Amerindian president. Since then, the majority indigenous population have seen greater recognition and autonomy. 

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 advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades.  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.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

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