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: Hugh Kretschmer
I first noticed a change when I moved back to LA from New York after twelve years. It seldom rains, and the weatherman is struggling to figure out when El Niño is supposed to arrive; a weather phenomenon that brings heavy rain to this part of the world every seven years. We’re past the seven-year mark. I remember as a kid looking at the weather page of the newspaper on an El Niño year and seeing in the satellite photo one rainstorm after another coming from Hawaii. It looked like they were on a conveyor belt, and they actually had a nickname for it – The Pineapple Express. Fire storms are more common than rainstorms, and I’ve been evacuated twice because of brush fires. And then there are oil derricks out in the bay, a lot of them, and there is a faint smell of crude and a rainbow sheen on the ocean surface. Like a siren call, it is alluring to the eye but toxic to the touch.
And, if all of this is happening in my home city, I can only imagine what the effects are elsewhere around the world. Add to the mix a prediction by experts that future wars will be waged over water, it is hard to sit on my hands and leave it to the experts, “more qualified than me”, to do something about this.
Then the idea came to me: create photographs around the subject of water but have not a drop of it in the images. It sat in the back of my mind until I was interviewed by an Arab arts and culture magazine while teaching workshops in Dubai. It dawned on me why this project was gnawing at me when she asked, “Have you ever considered having your work serve a purpose?” That one question brought it all together as if the universe was telling me to start the project.
“Mirage” has a double message: bring water back to where it once flowed and was pristine; and take a glimpse into dystopian future where the only way to see water in its purest form would be through artificial means. Think museum diorama!
My vision for this project is to ultimately expand my vistas beyond California to the rest of the country, and eventually other parts of world where natural water systems are in peril. By way of gallery exhibitions, print sales, and an eventual book, I will donate a portion of the proceeds to a non-profit organization dedicated to water conservation — come hell or high water.
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 new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease. Instagram