Photography

The Art of the Personal Project: Ben Van Hook

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:  Ben Van Hook

SAVED FROM THE LANDFILL – A RAGGEDY STORY

SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC MY DAUGHTER SYDNEY AND I HAVE NOTICED A LOT OF PEOPLE CLEANING HOUSE AND DISCARDING FURNITURE, TOYS, AND CLOTHES TO THE CURBSIDE. WHEN WE SAW SOMETHING INTERESTING, WE WOULD TEXT EACH OTHER THE WORDS ‘CURB ALERT’ WITH A PICTURE OF THE ITEMS. WE ENDED UP REFINISHING AN OAK DINING ROOM TABLE, VARIOUS CHAIRS, AND CABINETS THAT WERE ALL DESTINED FOR THE LANDFILL. WALKING A FEW WEEKS AGO I CAME ACROSS A SCENE OF A GARBAGE CAN AT THE CURB WITH A RAGGEDY ANN AND ANDY DOLL SITTING IN THE ROAD AT THE BASE OF THE CAN. I TOOK ONE PHOTO AND CONTINUED TO WALK. THOSE DOLLS STARTED PULLING ON MY HEARTSTRINGS, IT WAS JUST SO SAD. I DECIDED I SHOULD SAVE THEM. I WALKED BACK BY THE HOUSE, BUT ALAS THE GARBAGE TRUCK HAD COME AND GONE. THE CAN WAS NOW BACK UP BY THE OWNERS HOUSE. I STARTED TO WALK AWAY AND SOMETHING TOLD ME TO LOOK IN THE CAN. SURE ENOUGH THEY WERE IN THERE. NOW RESCUED, I DECIDED TO TAKE THEM ON A TOUR AROUND CENTRAL FLORIDA MAKING PHOTOGRAPHS ALONG THE WAY BEFORE I FIND A PROPER HOME FOR THEM. THE RESPONSE ON SOCIAL MEDIA HAS BEEN FUNNY, TOUCHING, AND POIGNANT. ONE FRIEND WROTE:

“Don’t be too quick to give them a new home. Their new journey and story are only beginning. Like so many older objects, tossed in trash in a wasteful nation when a thrift charity store could have taken. This brings many feelings up. Like many older people disregarded. This roadside trash also makes me think of America’s homeless or those at the edge of homelessness.”

I FOUND AN ANTIQUE TOY CHEST ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD TODAY. IT WILL NOW SERVE AS THEIR TEMPORARY HOME WHILE WE CONTINUE TO EXPLORE. IT’S INTERESTING TO NOTE THAT RAGGEDY ANN HAS BEEN AROUND OVER 100 YEARS NOW AND BOTH HER AND ANDY WERE INDUCTED INTO THE NATIONAL TOY HALL OF FAME IN ROCHESTER, NY. IN THE EARLY 2000’S.

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 @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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