Marina Proskurina always has worked hard to learn all she can about art.
For the past six years, Proskurina, a digital design and photography instructor at Manatee Technical College, has focused on photography, serving as an instructor for photography classes and workshops.
In February, Proskurina was one of 24 people in the U.S. to receive a Master Artist degree from Professional Photographers of America, which is the largest and longest-standing nonprofit photography trade association with more than 34,000 members.
“This means a lot,” Proskurina said. “I feel that my road in this area is finally complete. I’m satisfied with what I have done. When you get a master’s degree, it’s an academic degree for your academic knowledge, but this is a completed professional degree.”
She focuses mostly on combining portraits with art, trying to capture the person’s personality in a single snap of the camera.
“Pictures speak louder than words,” she said. “Design and photography both are visual languages. Every image, whatever I’m doing, is talking to you. It has emotions and conveys some kind of meaning. It’s a very powerful area.”
Proskurina’s love for photography stems from her childhood when she would spend days in a darkroom developing film with her father.
“He dragged me everywhere to take photos,” she said with a laugh. “I wanted to be with my friends but he was dragging me to all these places to take photos.”
She spent time after school going to art school to learn more about painting, drawing and other art forms.
Proskurina went on to earn a master of fine arts in art and design as well as a doctorate in fine arts and design from Stroganov Moscow State University of Arts and Industry.
Since 2012, Proskurina has shared her knowledge and experience with students at MTC.
Proskurina herself always has been a student, learning to keep up with any changes in the industry while also learning new skills and techniques.
While teaching painting, drawing and design at Daytona State College, she was enrolled in her own art classes to expand her abilities as an artist, focusing mainly on digital photography and design.
“I was taking digital classes because I wanted to do art with the computer,” she said. “I didn’t want to change direction, I just wanted to change technology. I wanted to do something advanced and learn to meet industry demands.”
She continues to take classes, most recently a digital painting online course.