THE NITTY GRITTY
I, Tyler Voorhees, am going to Morocco to launch The Jobs Project, a series of public murals that celebrate the workers of the world.
WHY STUDY JOBS?
Work matters. The average person spends ⅓ of their life at their job and our job title often immediately follows our name when we introduce ourselves. It is an essential component of our identity and can be both a source of stress and success. From the time we are little kids, we are asked what we want to be when we grow up. When we enter retirement, we spend much of it talking about what we “used to do”. Throughout our entire life, much of it revolves around our occupation. Work matters.
For over seven years, I’ve been studying the history of work through The Jobs of Yesteryear, a series of mixed media paintings that depict historic jobs using my distinctly lanky figures. I’ve completed 90 paintings and learned so many fascinating stories about how the life of the worker has radically changed in the past two centuries. Most of these stories connect to the history of the US, which is fitting since that’s where I’m from and what I know best. But what I’ve realized in researching this topic is that the evolution of work isn’t just an American story; it’s a human story and one that is important to tell. I’m ready to tell these stories worldwide.
WHAT IS THE JOBS PROJECT?
The Jobs Project is my vision of celebrating the world’s workers by creating public murals honoring them. With these murals, I aspire to tell the unique stories of each community's jobs and how they've helped shape their cities, towns, and villages.
Work can feel small and insignificant at times, but I don’t see it that way; I see every job as serving an important purpose in the greater good. By creating large-scale murals depicting these jobs with my distinctly long-limbed figures, I hope to make these workers feel larger than life, highlighting the important roles that they serve in their community and promoting local pride.
It's a small gesture presented in a large way to say "THANK YOU".
WHY TETOUAN, MOROCCO?
Our inaugural foray into The Jobs Project will take us to the northern tip of Africa, into the ancient streets of Tetouan, Morocco. Tetouan, nestled at the foot of the Rif Mountains, is a hive of traditional craftsmen who still make beautiful objects by hand using techniques handed down for generations. The old city (medina) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and this central, walled area is where the craftsmen of Tetouan live, work, and peddle their wares. Leather is tanned and tooled by hand, beautiful carpets are hand-woven, ornate tiles bake in the sun, and stunning silver-inlaid jewelry adorns the local Muslim women. These narrow streets are the perfect place to study the history of the worker and this is where I will be painting my arms off for six glorious weeks this coming Jan-Feb.
Green Olive Arts in Tetouan has offered me this momentous six-week residency and they have been vital in helping me plan the launch of The Jobs Project. They are a wonderful arts organization devoted to promoting cultural exchange through the residencies they facilitate and will serve as the perfect base of operations for my initial launch of The Jobs Project.
WHO IS IN YOUR CREW?
On December 30, 2018, the Voorhees family (me, Ashley, Ivan, Orin, collectively "The Fourhees") will begin our journey to Tetouan, Morocco to launch The Jobs Project: Morocco! Ashley and I have been married for over seven years now and we're an unstoppable force. She's the brains, the boss, and a most inspiring muse for my work. I come at her with a thousand new ideas for our art business and she's able to pick out the one good nugget in the heap. I provide the creative energy, paint the paintings, and close the sales. But this whole endeavor wouldn't be the same without our two little balls of energy, Ivan and Orin. They go with us everywhere. Ivan is five years old and a kind soul. Orin is two and is our little wildman.
About four years back, we both decided to take a leap of faith and quit our jobs to go all in on our art business. It's been a wild ride ever since but we really feel like it's what God made us to do. We still can't believe that it's our job to make and sell art.
HOW CAN I HELP AND WHAT DO I GET IN RETURN?
To help make all of this happen and begin to realize this dream of ours, WE NEED YOUR HELP! We have set up this Kickstarter campaign that is running for the next month in hopes of raising some of the funds necessary to launch The Jobs Project: Morocco. This is an all-or-nothing campaign, which means that if we don’t raise the $7,500 in its entirety by Nov. 30, we get nothing! Oh the drama!
The $7,500 we are trying to raise will cover the basics:
- Flights and Transportation - $4000
- Housing - $2000
- Studio Fee - $1500
Anything above our target goal will go towards the additional expenses of this project.
There are levels of giving starting at just $5 and with each level you get a reward! These rewards range from handwritten postcards from Morocco and personalized Jobs of Yesteryear sketchbooks to original watercolors and paintings from my time in Morocco and even a mural of your own! This is an exciting way to not only help us make this project a reality, but acquire a piece of the action in the process. How exciting!
$5 - Moroccan Mountain Shout-Out
I will shout your name from a mountain-top in Morocco and post a video proving it. Imagine your name reverberating through the canyons of the Rif Mountains, echoing down to the sailors on the Mediterranean Sea. The locals will perk up in astonishment as your name washes over them from the heights above. Where did that come from? Why is that man yelling? Because Kickstarter told me to. That's why.
$25 - Postcard from Morocco
Receive a personalized postcard from Morocco, complete with a hand-drawn sketch! When's the last time you got a postcard in the mail? How about one from a distant land? Disclaimer - your postcard may or may not be dusted with sand and/or curry.
$45 - Set of Three Tyler Voorhees Art Sketchbooks
One set of three Moleskine Cahier Sketchbooks, each with a custom design on the cover. These look sharp and will make you or any artist you know really hip. This set includes one of each design: The Lamplighter, The Ice Cutter, and The Knocker Upper. The first two are self-explanatory but some of you might not know about The Knocker Upper, which was a person who went around and "knocked" (British translation "woke") people up before their jobs in the factories. One knocker upper named Mary Smith shot dried peas at the windows of her clients to get the job done.
Each cover design also has a detail hidden in it that tells you how/why that job became obsolete. Don't read this next sentence if you want to find them/think of them on your own. Don't. You'll feel better if you just try first instead of taking the shortcut. Okay, I warned you. Here they are---------->The Lamplighter - power outlet, The Ice Cutter - ice machine, The Knocker Upper - alarm clock.
The sketchbooks are composed of 80 pages of acid-free ivory paper and feature a cardboard cover for a durable build. The last 16 sheets are perforated for easy detaching and this sketchbook features a flap pocket on the inside cover for stashing extra documents/bits of found inspiration. Moleskine makes the BEST sketchbooks, in my opinion, and the blank, unlined pages come ready for action.
$90 - Set of Three Sketchbooks w/Custom Sketch
The same set of three high-quality sketchbooks described above, but each will come with a custom sketch hand-drawn and signed by me! Each sketch will feature a worker from The Jobs of Yesteryear chosen by me and will be a one-of-a-kind piece of original art. I'll also include the reason that the job became obsolete somewhere in the composition. Finally, I'll be sure to draw it on the back perforated pages, just in case you want to tear it out and frame it.
$175 - IL BRENTATORE Panel Print
Receive a limited edition panel print of Il Brentatore (The Wine Porter)! This will be the only time that this print is available! There are only 32 panel prints of this image available, which tells the story of the wine porters of northern Italy who would carry the wine down from the vineyards to the port using a large cask called a "brenta" strapped to their backs. These workers' jobs eventually changed when vineyards started using glass bottles as vessels for their wine, which is why I painted bottles on the fenceposts lining the path. What a cool bit of history! Il Brentatore commemorates a job from Italy, one of my favorite countries that I've visited, and captures the spirit of discovering stories while traveling. The 12"x24" giclee print comes mounted to a wood panel on a 1.5" frame, coated with a protectant and ready to hang in your home.
$350 - Moroccan Watercolor Painting
Receive an original watercolor painting inspired by the scenes I encounter in Morocco! Each painting will offer a glimpse into a worker's life in Tetouan and feature my distinct long-limbed style. With this reward, you can own an original piece of art created by me in Morocco! Size will be approximately 16"x20" and I will personally choose which painting to send you. This reward is limited to only 5 participants.
$700 - Moroccan Mixed Media Painting (Small)
Acquire an original mixed media painting inspired by the stories of Moroccan workers! This will be a painting on wood panel (pine, birch, or cork) and feature a long-limbed worker made out of paper and adhered to a background painted with acrylic. The subject will be of my choosing and the piece will be created in my studio once I return from Morocco. There will also be details that tell the story of how that job has changed over time hidden in the background. The size will be approximately 12"x24". This one-of-a-kind painting will come ready to hang and this reward will be limited to 3 backers.
$2800 - Moroccan Mixed Media Painting (Large)
Acquire an original mixed media painting inspired by the stories of Moroccan workers! This will be a painting on wood panel (pine, birch, or cork) and feature a long-limbed worker made out of paper and adhered to a background painted with acrylic. The subject will be of my choosing and the piece will be created in my studio once I return from Morocco. There will also be details that tell the story of how that job has changed over time hidden in the background. There will be two size options: 36"x36" or 24"x48" and you'll also be able to choose the orientation on the latter size. This one-of-a-kind painting will come ready to hang and this option will be limited to 2 backers.
$5000 - Mixed Media Painting (Extra Large)
With this level of backing, I will paint an extra large painting depicting the job/industry of your choice! For the extra large painting option, it will be on a wood panel and can be up to 8' on the longest side. The exact size/orientation is customizable to fit your space. This will be a mixed media painting with the same process described in the previous two options, just on a much larger scale! This reward is limited to one lucky backer.
$8000 - Mural
For this, the highest level offered, I will come to you and create a mural depicting the job/industry of your choice! The mural can be in a private or public space and will be agreed upon by both the artist and the backer (225 sq. ft. max). Indoor or outdoor are both options. This is the ULTIMATE level of backing and I'll probably also make you a crown or something else befitting your generous spirit. Limited to one king/queen backer.
Please consider contributing the fruits of your job towards The Jobs Project: Morocco. It is an important project that I’m very passionate about and I cannot thank you enough for simply coming along for the ride, let alone trusting me with your hard-earned funds. From my family to yours, THANK YOU. Onward to Morocco!
Risks and challenges
The main challenge of this project is the initial funding. We have part of the funds secured but need your help to bring this project to life. Once that is in place, the launch is set and The Jobs Project: Morocco will officially be in the books! We are an ambitious and resourceful team and I feel that we are quite capable to overcome any other unforeseen hurdles.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)