Recently completing her Advanced Diploma (art major) in December 2015, Elma Gradascevic keeps herself busy with photography, after PSC. Working in the HR industry for more than 20 years, Elma decided to learn photography part time so that she had a creative outlet that she could express herself with. Essentially, she wanted a life change that would make her more fulfilled.
After conquering the challenge of building her technical skills within the first few months at PSC, Elma discovered a newfound ability to produce creative projects within short deadlines.
"I never thought I had it within me to be so creative week after week and deliver results for each assignment - I surprised myself!"
- Elma Gradascevic
Making the most of the business unit our students take during their final semester, Elma constructed a solid business plan, combining her passion for photography and fashion. She is now following that through with her own venture of printed scarves - using her photography. She's also developing a series called 'Rodeo' based on the community at Lang Lang and Stony Creek, Victoria. Quite varied from her usual focus, which is art and fashion photography (a style which she recently exhibited in the Queen Victoria Women's Centre), Elma's Rodeo series shows her varied range of subject matter.
This series will soon be published as a photobook; a medium which has been Elma's latest inspiration as she currently manages the Boyd Studios (Southbank) - the same venue that hosted the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive.
Elma produced her own photobook (titled 'Sarajevo Roses') last year as part of her digital class assignment with teacher Nic Kocher. She plans to revisit this photobook and work on it more, in the long run. The class gave her the confidence and skills to pursue her own personal book assignment after leaving PSC.
"I think photobooks are a wonderful way of sharing our images and stories. It is becoming a growing industry."
PSC is driven to make students independent thinkers in the field of photography; encouraging them to expand their skills and self-publish to get their projects seen by the wider public. Under the guidance of Daniel Boetker-Smith (course director), our 2nd and 3rd year students have created their own photography books which are promoted and showcased during exhibitions - such as the upcoming NGV Art Book Fair (April 29 - May 1). Our students will be setting up their booth, where they will be selling photobooks created by students from our college.
Elma attended the NGV Book Fair last year and was awestruck. She bought her first ever photobook at the event and looks forward to this year's showcase:
"I was overwhelmed by the variety and styles of the NGV Book Fair last year and cannot wait to go again this year, especially now, to see some of the students' books on display."
The Boyd Studios still hosts an eclectic collection of photobooks published by distinguished students and professional photographers alike. Elma Gradascevic is enjoying her time managing this space every Friday (11am - 5pm) and still visits PSC, as teachers and staff members are always happy to give advice. This is one thing that Elma feels proud about, the fact that the campus is accessible to students and graduates as a creative hub, where they can still rely on their peers and mentors as they hone their talents in photography.