MATT MAHURIN: Your Dream Job
Orientation Sunday, May 3rd, 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Monday, May 4th – Wednesday, May 6th, 9:00am – 4:00pm.
Thursday, May 7th, 9:00am – 11:00am (Optional)
PSPF is proud to introduce a wonderful, and most assuredly transformative workshop by the world-renowned photographer, artist and director Matt Mahurin.
The heart & soul of this workshop is to summon the focus, strategy, and guts to answer one question.
If I Could See My Photographs Anywhere I Wanted, Where Would That Be?
Answering this question will go further than any single query in helping you determine a plan of action toward getting your career started on the right track—or if you feel you have lost your way—back on track. It is this very answer that must be declared as Your Dream Job—that professional photographic challenge, that when accomplished, will turn your most daring hope into an empowering reality.
The best result for any visual creative product is for it to be seen—yet for each and every Imagemaker, where their vision will be unveiled to give its creator maximum satisfaction will be different. Will your finest work be exhibited in a high-priced gallery or emblazoned on the poster for a blockbuster movie? Could it be printed on the cover of a major magazine or nestled in the pages of a best-selling children’s book? How about plastered on a billboard or preserved on a postage stamp? Maybe on a viral website or a global product?
NO CAMERAS ALLOWED
Although many photographic workshop attendees benefit from bringing their cameras and shooting an assignment for critiques and insight, to look out through our cameras can also be an escape when attempting to gaze into our true desire as artists. This workshop will not involve taking photographs, but will sharpen the focus of the internal creative mission that must be brought out into the light of passion and purpose to be shared with the world. The goal of the workshop is to have an artistic awakening so personally profound that you can’t wait to get back to your camera.
THE COURAGE TO ASK
The above question is not some gimmick to mask fear, bury doubt, or thwart action. When pondering this query, it is essential to approach its potential value with honesty and thoroughness—as there are many serious and complex aspects to consider when insuring you will arrive at the answer that will give you the most tangible and workable goals in your quest for success.
In addition to its initial value, this question can be asked and answered again and again during a long and fulfilling career—helping to guide and inspire your evolution as a creative professional.
I ask this question of every Imagemaker I meet when helping them discover their true creative path.
It is stunning how few can answer.
THE COURAGE TO ANSWER
The most vital prerequisite for giving this question any chance of producing an honest answer is that you must answer it without any fear of how seemingly unattainable, terrifying, or bold the answer may be. For only when you are completely free of all fear of failure, can you be absolutely free to discover what you truly want.
Despite this daunting challenge to answer such a consequential question, it is important to be comforted by the fact that the courage required for you to resolve this daring query needs to be summoned only long enough to get an honest answer.
Once you have truthfully declared your Dream Job by answering this question, =you have boldly struck a bell that cannot be un-rung—as you are now stuck with that genuine, yet fleeting moment when you have given yourself the guts to glimpse your one creative goal that rises above all others. This realization of what you truly want will now provide the beacon to guide you through the joys and struggles that await any life-defining journey.
Finding your answer may take some time—or may even change. Yet when you do finally and fearlessly resolve this question, you are declaring a purpose, setting a goal, and establishing the need for a plan by pinpointing that definable destination to the journey you must now begin.
Although this exploration of the profound value of a Dream Job may sound a bit melodramatic to some, during a career when I have had a packed theater watch my movie at the Sundance Film Festival, watched the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art tell me she’ll take four of my photographs into the permanent collection, flown on U2’s private plane when shooting their album cover, walk the streets of Nicaragua, Belfast, Paris, and Tokyo searching for the next photograph for my next book, seen my work on the cover of TIME, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and Mother Jones Magazines, and watch a music video I directed hit a half-billion views on the internet, no one can tell me these Dream Jobs I have experienced are not an utterly mind-blowing and soul-soaring adventure.
FACING YOUR ANSWER
Just as with every aspect of life, facing the truth is the first and most important step in taking responsibility for your professional future. Answering this question of where you want to see your creative product forces you to confront those fears and doubts, real or imagined, that stand in your way. When you have given yourself that honest answer, it will compel you to admit whether or not you are ready to get on with it.
Keep it Simple.
Just follow what you love. There’s a good chance if you are drawn to a particular Image maker’s work in a particular publication, website, gallery, product, or company, your images will also be suitable in the same platform, project, or purpose.
Use Common Sense.
When you take the necessary time to look at how and where other images are being used, a form of natural selection will begin to occur. You will start to feel where your images belong, and based on your personal opinions, concerns, and philosophies, the best potential venues for your work will begin to rise up and show themselves to you. Eventually this vision will become focused and you will see where your images belong—making you able to answer that quintessential question—Where do I want my images to live?
Open Your Eyes.
If you seem to be falling behind or becoming confused when pondering this essential question, get to a museum, gallery, library, bookstore, concert hall, theater, or internet—anyplace which offers an abundance of images and celebrates creativity. Try taking an ironic tact and capitalize on your lack of direction or motivation by setting yourself free to wander amongst the brilliant creative product being realized by those talented and tenacious pros with a proven vision—all with the hope you will come upon the insight that will inspire you to discover your own answer as to where you want others to find your most personal and purposeful images.
Dare To Dream
As you focus in on your answer, allow yourself the indulgence of imagining yourself actually doing your Dream Job. If your Dream Job is photographing a record album cover, do all you can to picture yourself in a sleek studio shooting an evocative portrait of your favorite musician. If your Dream Job is a photo essay in a nature magazine, transport you and your camera into the wilderness to capture the beauty and brutality of the untamed world. Whatever your Dream Job, to boldly envision yourself fully immersed in your greatest photographic adventure, can offer the greatest motivation to pursue your Dream Job.
WHAT IS EXPECTED IN THE CLASS
The Dream Job workshop attendees will be required to bring a prepared presentation of their Dream Job.
- 3 concept sketches that explore your Dream Job. You don’t need to be able to draw. Simple stick figures that clearly convey your idea will work just fine.
- 3 examples of your current work that best illustrate your Dream Job. If you do not have examples of your work that illustrate your Dream Job, bring 3 examples of another artist’s work that best illustrates your Dream Job.
- A short written description of your Dream Job.
- You must be prepared to verbally share the passion and purpose behind your Dream Job with the entire group of your fellow workshop attendees.
- If you cannot yet declare your Dream Job in detail, it is equally valuable to be prepared to discuss those concerns, questions, and hopes that will help you get closer to discovering your Dream Job.
Your Dream Job could be a:
- Record Album Cover
- Summer Blockbuster Movie Poster
- Celebrity Portrait For An Entertainment, Music, Or Lifestyle Magazine
- Photojournalism Essay
- Wildlife Photo Essay
- Fine Art Gallery Show
- Published Book Of Photographs
- News Magazine Cover On A Profound World Event Or Issue
- Images For An Advertising Campaign
- Children’s Book
- Poster For Broadway Play Or Las Vegas Show
These are just a few broad suggestions. It is absolutely essential to be as specific as possible when declaring your Dream Job.
As an example, my Dream Job was to illustrate the cover of TIME magazine on an important social issue. In 1984 I achieved my Dream Job when I illustrated a cover and nine interior illustrations on the issue of domestic violence.
The discussion of each attendee’s Dream Job presentation will explore the details and process of achieving their Dream Job. Because I have realized many Dream Jobs over my career, I will offer my insight and experience to help each attendee map out a strategy to begin the journey to fulfilling their Dream Job. Although the attendee’s various Dream Jobs may be vastly different, each individual discussion will invariably offer insight and inspiration that will touch on the Dream Jobs of fellow attendees.
In addition to individual critiques of the attendee’s Dream Jobs, there will be discussions on a wide range of creative disciplines delivered with honesty and humor.
- Relaxed yet immersive Q&A sessions based on attendee’s specific questions and concerns. In a teaching environment, I have no secrets and will answer any question regarding all I have to offer from a forty-year career as a creative professional.
- A Demonstration Of Digital Painting On A Photograph.
- The creative and business evolution from working alone in my apartment to owning a film production company with several employees—and then returning to a solo game thanks to digital filmmaking technology.
- The transition from photography to filmmaking.
- The journey of creating and publishing my latest book, Tom Waits by Matt Mahurin, a 240-page celebration of a 35-year collaboration with one of the great musical geniuses of our time.
- Share many of the adventures I have had from photographing a slum in Haiti, an abortion clinic, and a Rolling Stone Magazine cover—to directing music videos for U2, Metallica, Tom Waits, and Joni Mitchell; a feature-length Sundance documentary; 2 narrative films from my screenplays and various other projects.
- An overview of The Imagemaker’s Handbook—a 1,500 page, five volume manifesto on life as a creative professional that I have spent twenty years writing and will release in 2020.
The goal of The Dream Job Workshop is for each attendee to gain the clarity, focus, and motivation to return to their creative life with a personal mission to begin the journey to make their Dream Job a thrilling reality.
Includes daily registration for the days of the class, class transportation and a boxed lunch for each full day of the workshop..
Photographers should bring their laptops and be conversant with their hardware and software in order to facilitate downloading and projecting their work for critiques in class. Digital projectors with standard DVI / VGA cables will be provided. If you require DVI connectors and / or adapters, please bring one to class.
All Workshop Participants are invited to the Canon/Freestyle Digital Print Center at Korakia on Thursday, May 7th from 11:00am to 6:00pm to have an image of their choice printed out on a Canon Pro 2000 printer, using custom profiles and on their choice of several inkjet papers.
Over thirty years as an illustrator, photographer, film director and teacher.
Political and social illustrations for Time, Newsweek, Mother Jones, Rolling
Stone, Esquire, The London Observer and New York Times Op-Ed pages.
Photographic essays on The Homeless, People With AIDS, Texas Prison
System, Abortion Clinics, Mental Hospitals, Nicaragua, Haiti, Belfast, Mexico,
Japan and France.
Published three books of fine-art photographs.
Photographs in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in
New York City.
Filmwork in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Directed music videos for Peter Gabriel, U2, Tom Waits, REM, Tracy Chapman,
Sting, Bonnie Raitt, Ice-T, Metallica, David Byrne, and Joni Mitchell.
Documentary “I Like Killing Flies” chosen 2004 Sundance Film Festival.
Wrote and Directed the feature film “FEEL” which premiered on The Sundance Channel 2010.
Wrote and directed the feature film, “Mugshot” which won best film at the 1996
Hamptons Film Festival.
Gold and silver medals from The Society of Illustrators.
Continues to teach workshops and lectures on the craft of image making at
schools and professional organizations.
Lives in California.