Ensconced in a studio on her parents’ Obley Road property, Gail Stroud sometimes fretted about not having a mortgage or a definite career path.
Then the prestigious Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) made the artist an offer she couldn’t refuse and she fully recognised the value of more than a decade filled with opportunities and adventures.
Ms Stroud, 30, who has been on an odyssey involving art, fashion, history and film, is off to Sydney as one of only 55 students chosen from throughout Australia to study full-time at the school in 2005.
The film-fanatic daughter of Bob and Joy Stroud, she will study costume design, just one of the sought-after courses at the school where entry is intensely competitive and life experience a prerequisite.
“There will probably only be about two or three others in my course,” said the former pupil of West Dubbo Primary and Delroy High as she came to grips with the honour of making it into the school that boasts graduates like Jane Campion, Gillian Armstrong and Phillip Noyce.
“I didn’t think that I’d get in at all,” she said.
Ms Strong has been back home for a couple of years after an exhaustive foray into the creative and business worlds.
After finishing secondary school she attended the University of NSW’s College of Fine Arts, majoring in sculpture.
Then came part-time study at the Whitehouse Institute of Design where Ms Stroud learned the technical side of fashion.
“Our grandmother was quite a good seamstress and we were always designing and making clothes,” she said.
Soon after she was off to New York where, minus a working visa, she took in all that the “idealistic city” had to offer from its people, galleries and museums.
“I gathered a data base of inspiration,” she said of the almost five-month stay.
Back in Australia she launched her own fashion label in a city studio and “wore myself out”.
The subsequent sabbatical in Dubbo gave the artist a chance to trawl second-hand shops finding items and the “stories behind them”.
The successful application to the AFTRS followed an urge to “study again”.
Ms Stroud hopes the year ahead will be challenging and that her example will inspire others to take the time to find their true calling.
“Sometimes it takes a little bit of time to decide what you really want to do,” Ms Stroud said.
“Sometimes it’s worthwhile trying on different things to see what fits you properly.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.