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Student's photo art earns high accolade; COMPOSITION SHORTLISTED FOR PRESTIGIOUS CONTEST.

THE career of a talented photographer is developing nicely after she was shortlisted for a prestigious media award.

Ivana Milchanska, 22, was among 16 finalists contesting The Irish Times' Amateur Photographer of the Year Awards 2015.

More than 7,000 images were whittled down to just 16, with Ivana's picture Artist's Life among the chosen few, just missing the top prize.

She is confident her decision to take the plunge and become a photographer was the right one after receiving such an accolade.

Ivana studied at Glyndwr University in Wrexham last year and plans to return in 2016 to complete her BA.

Having come as part of an Erasmus programme, the Bulgarian says lecturers at the University's North Wales School of Art and Design (NWSAD) were "inspiring" during her time in the region.

She was accepted to study Graphic Design and Multimedia last summer and also spent time on the institution's Illustration degree having earlier been a student back home in Sofia at the National High School of Applied Arts and the National Academy of Arts, where she is currently.

She looks forward to returning to North Wales, and said: "The experience of being a student at Glyndwr University made me more confident.

"I've developed skills in oil painting, drawing, design, photography and I've always combined my knowledge no matter what I do, so at Glyndwr I experienced new ways of doing things which was refreshing and surely helps me as a photographer. I'm looking forward to going back to Wrexham and finishing my degree, and hopefully getting to work as a photographer there too."

So what inspired the imaginative and unique image Artist's Life, which depicts different characters atop paint pots and brushes? "The photo was inspired by the atmosphere in which I've lived all my life - art," said Ivana. "It was a spontaneous moment when me and my colleagues from the National Academy of Arts were having fun and talking about what our day as artists is like. Then I happened to have my camera with me and decided to create this little scene."

She added: "I was shocked to find I'd been nominated for the prize. I was having a dull evening, scrolling through social media when suddenly I saw my photo on the Irish Times page! I was very proud to see I was featured in their article. I felt good seeing I was the only finalist not from Ireland."

NWSAD senior lecturer Pauline Amphlett was equally as proud, and said the ability levels of past and present students is as high as those from any university in the UK.

"Ivana is one of a long line of NWSAD students who've gone on to do incredibly well," said Pauline. "She has a brilliant career ahead of her: we look forward to welcoming her back to Glyndwr University next year."

| To see more of Ivana's |photos visit relti.allyou.net For information on art |and media courses at Glyndwr University, visit glyndwr.ac.uk or attend the next open day on August 15, 10am until 2pm.

CAPTION(S):

Main, Artist's Life by |Glyndwr University student Ivana Milchanska, left

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 14, 2015
Words:521
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