Empower your creative voice; sharpen the focus of your internal professional mission; realize a profound artistic awakening.

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The Power of the Imagemaker

Be it a painting or photograph, sculpture or song, every piece of art is a discovery—an invention of the imagination—compelling the artist to become an intrepid voyager on a journey through life and self. Not taken for the glory of any final destination of victory—but chosen for the privilege to pursue a passion with purpose.

Your creative voice is a universal form of expression—not only capable of crossing boundaries of language, culture, and the ages—but transcending the human failings of hate, fear, and ignorance. To be in possession of such a unique and potent gift is to not only be blessed with great potential, but also to be charged with great responsibility.

Matt Mahurin’s “The Imagemaker’s Handbook”, a five volume, 1,600 page manifesto on life as a creative professional will be published in 2020.  This workshop is an intensive distillation of the handbook’s mission to support your journey to success.

Although many photographic workshops benefit from bringing 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 to be shared with the world. The goal of this workshop is to have an artistic awakening so personally profound that you can’t wait to get back to your camera.


Workshop Outline

Each discussion, exercise, and demonstration during the workshop will be a spirited and supportive Q&A between Matt and his students.  Matt freely shares with students all he has learned over a successful forty year career as a creative professional.

Classroom Discussions

  • The purpose of passion — nurturing an unapologetic love for all you want to create and achieve
  • The journey of failure and success — embracing the challenge of overcoming adversity on the path to welcoming audacity.
  • Your creative product and your convictions — empowering your personal pride and creative conscience through standing up for yourself.
  • The spirituality of discipline — doing your best to do the right thing.
  • The curse of perfection — embracing the truth that your flaws and failures are essential to accomplishing your loftiest goals.
  • Being good vs. being great — giving yourself permission to strive to become one of the best.
  • Honesty is the best policy — the value of integrity, respect, and trust in guiding your creative journey.
  • Taking criticism — summoning the courage and maturity to learn from your mistakes.
  • The workaholic —  the pros and cons of being a multitasking maniac.
  • F*ck luck — your actions, passions, and guts will be responsible for your success—not some random cosmic lottery you plan on winning.
  • Being prepared for anything —surviving the unwelcome and celebrating the unexpected in discovering a unique opportunity.
  • The value of time — controlling the clock to maximize productivity and prosperity.
  • The growth of therapy — how professional help with the struggles of life and career can support the healthy journey of fulfilling your true potential.
  • The power of the list —  crafting a daily, monthly, and yearly hierarchy of tasks and challenges to propel your life and career forward.
  • The diplomacy of letter writing — relying on words to achieve your creative goals.
  • Editorial vs. advertising vs. fine art — choosing the goals, purpose, and audience of your creative product.
  • All the world’s a stage — trusting the reality and humanity that surrounds you to inspire your most personal artistic endeavors.
  • The payday — how to ask for a lot of money if you’re offered a huge job.
  • Working with the famous — the thrill and challenge of collaborating with the renowned, the brilliant, and the notorious.
  • Making a book of your work — preserving your finest work through publishing
  • Getting some help —  accepting the need to hire support and the responsibility to be a good boss.
  • Starting a new creative career —  making the decision to take on that next professional purpose.
  • The creative circle —  being sustained by the profound value of receiving outside validation of your professional purpose.
  • The burnout and the rebirth — transcending the afflictions of apathy and predictability to invigorate a new creative mission.

Classroom Exercises

  • The presentation — You will share up to ten of your images to fellow attendees with the purpose of celebrating your unique value as a creative professional.
  • The dream job — You will present a description of that yet-to-be completed assignment or project that offers personal fulfillment and professional acclaim.
  • The art of the sketch — After a detailed demonstration on transferring a concept from the mind’s eye into the light of day, regardless of your drawing ability, you will be given an exercise to create a concept sketch on a creative topic that I will critique.

Students will be sent a detailed worksheet prior to attending the workshop that will help focus and structure exercise presentations.

Classroom Demonstrations

  • A digital painting on a photograph.
  • Creating a concept sketch on a drawing tablet.
  • Composing photographs using imaging software.
  • A presentation of my music videos, short films, and animations to discuss the exciting yet challenging transition from still photography to motion work.

All Images:  ©Matt Mahurin

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Instructor: Matt Mahurin

Matt Mahurin has spent over thirty years as an illustrator, photographer, film director and teacher.  His political and social illustrations have appeared in Time, Newsweek, Mother Jones, Rolling Stone, Esquire, The London Observer and New York Times Op-Ed pages. He has published three books of fine-art prints, and releasing “The Imagemaker’s Handbook” in 2020. His photographs and films are held in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  He is the recipient of gold and silver medals from The Society of Illustrators and his films and documentaries have received numerous honors from Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Channel, Hampton Film Festival and others. He has directed music videos for U2, Peter Gabriel, Tom Waits, Tracy Chapman, Sting, Bonnie Raitt, Ice-T, Metallica, David Byrne and Joni Mitchell.