The Flash of Divine Inspiration

In any creative endeavor, there is a specific moment of inception when the idea of a concept is born. This flash of creativity can feel like divine inspiration as it pops into your consciousness. It usually comes when the mind is calm and not while you are stressed out trying to solve a problem.

In todays’ fast-paced world with constant external stimulation, it is sometimes difficult to quiet the noise so you can listen for the thoughts within your own mind. It is impossible for your internal creative muse to have a voice when it is being drowned out by conversation, music, news, television and the internet. I have found that my most creative inspiration comes when I am not actively looking for it, like when I’m taking a shower or when I’m driving alone with the radio off.

Creativity cannot be forced. Staring at a blank piece of paper with the pressure of a deadline looming is not conducive to inspirational thought.

Visual art, like music, is largely non-verbal. So it is difficult to describe the creative process in words. The cartoon image of a lightbulb turning on to represent the “eureka” moment when an idea is born is actually quite appropriate. When the flash of inspiration hits, it does feel like a light has been switched on inside your brain. Read the rest of this entry »

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~ In Memoriam 2016 ~

Cancer hit the taxidermy industry especially hard in 2016, taking most of the friends that we lost. 2016 will also go down in history as one of the most devastating years for loss of major celebrities. Dozens of musicians, actors, entertainers and world leaders who died during the year made for and endless parade of “In Memoriam” features across all media in the final days of December. In our little corner of the world, we had our own industry celebrities as well as associates, family members and friends whom we have lost. At the start of a new year we pause to reflect upon the lasting legacy of those who will be missed and mourned within our extended taxidermy family. Here are some of the people who left us during 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

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The 2016 WASCO Award Winners

The 2016 convention season has come to a close, and the results are in! To me, the most compelling part of each competition is when all of the judges get together collectively pick what they feel is the most artistic entry in the entire show. I have been in on many of these lively discussions and the judges always make it a point to give a great deal of thought and consideration to fairly choose the entry they feel is most deserving of this prestigious award.

The WASCO Most Artistic Entry Award is presented to the most artistic piece in a taxidermy competition. The winner is chosen collectively by all of the judges from the entire competition. WASCO Award winners receive a polished acrylic award and a gift certificate from WASCO (Wildlife Artist Supply Company).

The winning entries were chosen by the following criteria:

1. Exhibition of Taxidermy. The entry should tastefully display both the subject as well as the taxidermy profession in a favorable light. The taxidermy should be of good competition caliber, without any obvious flaws to the casual observer. The close scrutiny of a judge’s flashlight should not be as important as the overall impression of the piece from a normal viewing distance. The main requirement is that the animal portrayed looks “alive” to the viewer. Read the rest of this entry »

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Thanksgiving and Cancer

This fall has been a time of tumultuous change in my personal life. I have struggled with whether or not to publish this blog, but I felt that my longtime readers and friends would appreciate understanding my situation. I hope you all can indulge me with this single blog departure from focusing on the taxidermy industry and allow me to be more personal than I am generally comfortable with. I have never been one to post my daily shenanigans on Facebook, tending to keep my private life private, but on this Thanksgiving, my heart is full and I wish to share a bit of it.

It’s funny how our lives go on and on with slow incremental changes. Sometimes we have to look back for years to recognize how things are different from the way they were before. And then, out of nowhere, there are unexpected times when all of the waves and winds come crashing together into a prefect storm of turbulence, and life changes on a dime.

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The Arc of Taxidermy History

Taxidermy is on an upswing. If you had to chart the overall perception of our profession to the general public, it would have probably started going downhill in the 1960s after Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psyco” and remained low for many decades. In the past twenty years or so, taxidermy began to enjoy a renessaince of sorts with high quality competitions leading the way. Taxidermy started showing up more in commercials, reality television shows, and on the internet. Interior designers rediscovered taxidermy and started using it to decorate millionaires’ penthouses. A revolution of new-age millennial artists became involved in expanding our perception of what taxidermy could be. I never thought I would see the day, but taxidermy is actually COOL now. And that is not merely my opinion. Just this past week, Elle Magazine published an article entitled “How Taxidermy Became Cool Again“.

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