Soundscape of Croatia: Mislav Mesek and his Roadtrip

Mislav Mesek is an International Business alumnus but chose a photography career. For a while now, Mislav had a project in mind where he would combine his three passions: music, photo/video creation, and motorcycles. He called it the “Soundscape of Croatia - Roadtrip” and applied for the Fujifilm GFX Challenge Grant 2023. He was selected as one of the 15 recipients out of over 2000 applicants, and now his dream is coming true. The GFX Challenge Grant Program helps aspiring creatives bring their imaging projects to life. It nurtures and develops the skills of promising content creators. It is also a great way for creators to gain experience and create content that has a specific meaning to them using FUJIFILM GFX System gear.

The main idea for Mislav's project is to have Croatian features in artists' music. It could be through lyrics, traditional instruments, or specific music scales, such as the Istrian scale. The two-part type of folklore singing is accompanied by traditional instruments developed around Istria. When it comes to expectations from musicians, the most important thing for Mislav is for them to share the same vision of “preserving Croatian culture“. “Part of the reason I want to have elements of Croatia is that I see it as a way to preserve elements that make our music unique. Alongside we have our breathtaking landscape. I imagined recording some traditional music in a field where it was written hundreds of years ago, and now getting the chance to be recorded in high quality for generations to come.“

Combining all hobbies and turning them into business

Mislav graduated from an International Business program with a co-major in Marketing. Knowing both sides of creating images and videos, and the message behind them, helps Mislav understand better his clients' needs and he knows how to create what they want. He started practicing his photography skills as a student at RIT Croatia and captured countless moments. Now as an alumnus, he is our official photographer for major events like commencements, graduation dinners, and more.

“I have always been interested in the creative arts, especially music, photography, and video. I bought my first digital camera while still in primary school“, Mislav says. While always enjoying those things as a hobby, he wanted to know the business side of it to make it into something he could live off of.

The Soundscape project was something Mislav had in his mind for a while. He wanted to do a trip along the coastline of Croatia – “even when I was still in high school, I dreamed of going on such trip on my bicycle. As I got older and got my motorcycle, my means of transportation changed, but the idea stayed“. Recording artists performing was an idea he developed during his guitar music sessions. Combining the idea of traveling and recording artists was what made the Soundscape of Croatia – Roadtrip.

Exhibition in Tokyo

The final work of all recipients will be showcased in the exhibition held in FUJIFILM Square in Roppongi, Tokyo in November. The organizers also hinted that they plan to expand the list of cities where the exhibition will be presented. “I can only say that I feel very proud to be chosen to represent the natural beauties and music from Croatia to the rest of the world“, Mislav explains.

Soundscape is a testing ground for this project. Recording music sessions was the main motive for this trip, but Mislav had more plans. “I plan on shooting daily vlogs to show the behind-the-scenes of what it means to travel with a motorcycle, explore landscapes, and work with musicians”. He put the logistics in an Excel sheet and found the best path for this project. “It will take me about three weeks on the road to record all the sessions I want to”.

Future projects

Soundscape is a personal project for Mislav. It is a great opportunity to explore ideas, develop a style, and get a sense of fulfillment. ”For me, it’s a big confirmation that I am on the right track because I am supported by Fujifilm. Working on such a project is a way to give yourself direction and a creative break from commercial projects, focus on yourself, and think about what matters to you”.

Apart from filming and cruising in Croatia, his dream motorcycle destination is Iceland. Combining riding a motorcycle, music, and video would be a dream! In addition to that, he already started to work on portraits and would love to have an exhibition in Croatia.