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School or NO school?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by SeanSr30, May 29, 2015.

  1. SeanSr30

    SeanSr30 Member

    Hello fellow taxidermist, I am curious to know how many of you went to school for this or are self taught and even possibly trained by another taxidermist. I have some training from my grandfather who was a taxidermist and have recently been offered to be taught by another one, however I am a bit torn because I don't know if I should go to a school or be trained by this gentlemen. Please let me know what you did and what you think would be the best career move!
     
  2. Wild Images

    Wild Images New Member

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    You have a foundation to build on, do yourself a favour and go spend some time with Troy Rose and up your game.
    Look on training forum at Artisic School of Taxidermy
     

  3. SeanSr30

    SeanSr30 Member

    Will do Wild Images. Thank you for the information. What did you do yourself?
     
  4. I didn't have time for a school. Between work, taking care of a farm, and other forms of education, there just aren't enough hours in a week. Instead, I purchased DVD's, books, and magazines and watched and read them during what little free time I had. They are invaluable possessions of mine and unlike a class, you can go back and watch it or read it over and over over again. One of these days, I'd like to take part in something like a Yox-A-Thon or other one-on-one class...but that's a whole 'nother ball park for now. Good luck!
     
  5. This should keep you busy for a while and answer the question you have asked!

    http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,383943.0.html
     
  6. taxidermyfreak

    taxidermyfreak ***RIP DAD & JONNY***

    Get help were ever you can taxidermist -school "one on one" and yes videos are a irreplaceable asset by far!!!!!
     
  7. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    You cannot ask a video questions. Yes, they are relatively cheap in comparison but they have downfalls. Being taught one on one or in a school is fine. It boils down to how you think you will learn the most and the quickest.
     
  8. In Taxidermy, your work will be your most valuable tool to draw customers. Yes, attending classes like those offered by Troy Rose take time away from our busy schedule, but believe me when I say, you will shorten your training curve. In saying that, just by attend a school, does not guarantee you will automatically produce great pieces, it will take practice and dedication on your part. Schools like the one offered by Troy Rose, give you a foundation that you can build on and will hopefully limit the bad habits you may have by being self taught. I am not saying, if you self taught you will not produce good work, because there are a lot of great taxidermist out there that are self taught and most of them would tell you, to spend the money to learn with someone. I do not believe you need to attend a 4 or 5 week school, you can go in week intervals to lessen to lessen the time and cost and learn some amazing things. Videos are great as well, but for me, I learn better from doing and believe me, not everything you try will come out like in the video, sometimes it is just a simple tweak, but a video cannot help you with your technique like a one on one instructor. In the end there are many ways to gain experience. Hope this helps
     
  9. Chupacabra84

    Chupacabra84 New Member

    Personally, if I could re-do the last 10 years of my life, I would invest in attending a great taxidermy school, instead of spending over 60K on just another public college degree.... ::) JMO!
     
  10. SeanSr30

    SeanSr30 Member

    Thank you all for your input I really appreciate it. Still not 100% sure on what direction to go for the simple fact that I am very good when it comes to self teaching myself with very different and difficult skills. At the same time I would like to shorten my learning curve. Dana,I am in almost the same boat as you were as far as work goes. I manage two very large farms so my time is limited but at the same time I am not even sure if my boss would allow me a full week at a time to attend the school. What was your most difficult thing to teach yourself using the videos? I am also curious to know what your favorite instructional videos are? passthru, my grandfather told me that very same thing. It will be my work that draws in customers and keeps them as well as spreading the word about the quality you provide. Ha ha Dakota Hills that will definitely keep me busy for a little while. I will go through and read them here in just a bit. Besides Dana I am curious to know how the rest of you learned the trade or how you prefer to learn? I know I have a lot to learn and that is probably an understatement, as it seems there is and always will be some thing new to learn or try. I am finding this Forum to be a wealth of knowledge and advice and enjoy hearing from everyone.
     
  11. Wild Images

    Wild Images New Member

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    Started taxidermy 34 yrs ago and have been learning with every mount i do.
    Took a two week deer course 25 yrs ago and that was it, when I retire and have the time I plan on spending some time with Troy
    and a couple other select taxidermists to up my game some.
    With Troys course set up you don't need a lot of time, go and key in on what you want to start with and learn it well. Then expand
    your knowledge as time allows
     
  12. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    If time and money was not a consideration I would go with the one-on-one with Troy in a heartbeat over self instruction on DVD's. The time is available to me this summer for the first time ever but not the funds! I have a whole library of DVD's for all kinds for mammals and birds. (I have four different grey fox DVD's all by recognized professionals). I took off each one what I wanted and put them together to get my own game plan but I still KNOW I would benefit by seeing Troy. I had bird videos back in the early/mid 80's and they helped but my bird work really took off after I did a two week bird class. It wasn't one-on-one but my work really improved from this class. There is nothing like having an instructor right there to show you and answer your questions on the spot. Best of luck, whatever you decide.

    Vic
     
  13. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Here is something I read on here before that often stands true. A person who teaches themselves, has a fool for a teacher, or something along those lines. It seems to me that you have already convinced yourself that you can teach yourself. I wish you well. I started that way and then went to school and let me say this, holy crap I should have spent the money sooner. If you are serious, find a school or an instructor that can accommodate your schedule.
     
  14. SeanSr30

    SeanSr30 Member

    3bears, I have not convinced myself that I can teach myself this art. I was just stating that so far in life I have been very successful when it comes to self teaching in various different skills. However I do not think its fair to say a person who teaches themselves has a fool for a teacher. Some of us will be the best teachers we will ever have, I only say that because I am my hardest critic. No one will ever judge me or my work harder than I do myself. From what I have read on here and other taxidermist have told me there are MANY successful self taught taxidermist, yes they may have made mistakes along the way that maybe they would not have made if they had a teacher or one on one but with that even being said, they have learned from those mistakes and got to see what it looked like first hand. If they had not made that mistake or seen something like that for themselves they would not have learned from it nor know how to reconize the signs. I think there are pros and cons to self teaching as well as a school. I just need to find what best suites MY life and goals. In regards to a school, the gentlemen that has offered to teach me one on one has stated that my time will be best spent with him for the simple reason he can teach me many more things that a school will not teach me, different techniques, and styles. At the same time he has told me that while I will be in his shop learning and perfecting my craft he would also send me home with work that needs to be done and then i would return it to him and let him check it out. In a way isn't this still self teaching? Only difference is that I would have some one that would be able to critique my work and explain where I went wrong.
     
  15. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    I still think one-on-one is the best way to learn but I also want to add something where self taught has an advantage. As a teacher I see this almost everyday in my classroom teaching mathematics. A student learns more by making a mistake and figuring out where they went wrong than getting a problem correct the first time! After they figure it out and see their error, they don't make the same mistake again (most don't time anyways) after that imaginary light bulb goes on over their head! The problem with taxidermy is they don't always have an opportunity to re-do it and fix it but next time they will be very conscious of their previous mistake (at least I was anyway).

    Just my opinion...take it for what it is or isn't worth.

    Vic
     
  16. SeanSr30

    SeanSr30 Member

    pir^2h, thats exactly what I was trying to say in my last post, you put it in better words though lol. I guess to each their own in a way, everyone has different learning techniques. I for one learn better one on one with the person teaching me over a class room full of people but better yet I learn the best hands down when i do something for myself. Someone can preach to me all day on how to do something that I dont know how to do and I can't soak it in until I get my own 2 hands involved in it. I think I actually may try doing a little of all three, I want to take a particular coarse at the school, let this other taxidermist teach me and yet still learn and do things on my own. I already watch many many videos and read countless books and articles from other artist. I think the combination of all 3 will best suit me. I would also like to attend seminars whenever time allows, I think that would be a great learning experience for me as well. I attend a few farming seminars a year and I always learn something new from them. Not only that it tends to be a great way to get your name out there and meet new people in the industry which is what I want to do in taxidermy. I want to be a GREAT artist not a good or average taxidermist. My end goal is simple it's not to make a ton of money in this industry it's to compete and produce the best quality work that I possibly can!
     
  17. twinrivers

    twinrivers Active Member

    I tried the books and manuals and I didn't grasp it, too many unanswered ?s, but that was also before the internet was prominent. I was fortunate...maybe... To get deployed to Iraq a few times and saved my $ to go to school for it. If I had a good taxidermist that I could have worked with as an apprentice I would have gone that route...especially if I was single. The thing is there are so many variables to consider...mainly your situation. Are you able to afford school, do you have a willing taxidermist that will be patient and teach you properly, are you married, what bills do you have...do you have kids. Taxidermy takes time...when learning and when your working. You have to have a support system, if your married and working a FT job the family needs to understand why your in your shop till 10 every night, and they need to see the project from start to finish. My two cents. If it is your dream and your family supports it then you need to do it the way that fits your schedule and income level.There is no one way better than the other. There are shitty taxis and shitty schools just gotta do your homework. These guys and gals on here are at different levels of experience and you can learn a lot from them and what they say and recommend. Nobody on here wants anyone to fail at their dream if that is becoming a taxidermist. Small community of friends I hope to meet someday. Best of luck to you.