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Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Jerry Huffaker, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    Driven competitive people are more than likely very goal oriented. Setting and meeting goals is a very important process for success in what ever you do. Problems can arise though when the goal is the only thing.

    Taxidermy competitions can be very stressful, we put our hearts and souls into a piece and walk into the competition room and see a white or red ribbon on it. Everyone who's been there knows that "punch in the gut" feeling. It's disappointing for sure but what are you going to do with it now? Lash out at a judge, cut down the competition, go home angry at the world?

    One of the things that has helped me as a competitor is to not make the goal as important as steps it took to get there. The rewards of a blue ribbon , BOS or even a world championship only last a few minutes where as the memories of all the hours of putting the piece together, the failures and successes of the process will be with you forever.

    The sole purpose of the state and national organizations is EDUCATION, the only reason anyone is on the board is to help others get to where they want to be in this art we are pursuing. I NEVER LEARNED A SINGLE THING FROM A BLUE RIBBON! but I did learn from the process that got the mount to that point.

    Enjoy the process, laugh at your mistakes, build confidence on the successes, try not to lash out at others, look inward to solve your problems.. If you take your mind off of winning and focus on producing the very best piece you can possibly make FIRST the awards will take care of themselves.

    In the end when its all said and done the Destination truly is the journey.
  2. Big Cat

    Big Cat Member

    Great post Jerry!

  3. John Janelli

    John Janelli New Member

    Outstanding comments Jerry! It reminded me of more than three decades ago, when the following poetry was published in Taxidermy Review magazine (Vol.12 / No. 4, page 55) precluding an interview of an extraordinary woman that I personally introduced to our contemporary industry back in 2004. Her name was Zella Jonas Merritt, daughter of the great Louis Paul Jonas.
    Zella explained to TR editor, Joe Kish that any story about her illustrious father ought to include the very theme of all the Jonas brothers starting from their very humble beginnings in Budapest, to some of the largest museum halls the world has ever seen. Her hope was to inspire all taxidermists whether competing for dollars or glories never to forget the very essential passion, love and commitment that is demanded in the art of taxidermy.

    Mr. Jonas, if you're looking over my shoulder towards the future, thank you.

    Mr. Kish, I'm looking over my shoulder back down the trail, thank you as well.

    Poem by Kenyon Cox

    Work thou for pleasure,
    Paint or sing or carve,
    The things thou lovest
    Though the body starve.

    Who works for money,
    Coin is his very soul;
    Who works for glory
    Misses 'oft the goal.

    Work for the work's sake;
    Then it may be
    That all these things
    May be added to thee.
  4. Taxiserv

    Taxiserv James Newport

    Man I needed that!! Thx Jerry always a positive outlook
  5. Very well said Jerry!
  6. Utahtaxi

    Utahtaxi New Member

    So very true, couldn't agree more.
    Thanks again
  7. Brian Reinertson

    Brian Reinertson Well-Known Member

    Good stuff Jerry. This will be my first world show since learning in 2011. I cannot wait to see the works of art in the masters going for world titles! Every piece going for it is worthy. The time, patience, and skill is what makes me admire every single competitor.
  8. fishmaster

    fishmaster Well-Known Member

    Jerry that was a great post. Competing, is a very personal journey that forces you to expand your capabilities and skill set beyond your comfort level. For me it begins with an idea and the process of thought and decision making to expand that idea is where all the fun is at. I love having an idea with a difficulty level that is high enough that in the beginning, I really don't know how to accomplish the design.
    At the end of every world show I tell myself that I'm done spending time on competition pieces. Then, about a year before the next show , two pieces of flint in my head collide and make a spark, an idea that smolders in the tinder and begins to glow. I find myself thinking more and more about it as the idea develops and the flame increases and the next thing I know I'm searching for a specimen.
    I enter to win, but winning is not why I enter a competition.
  9. MR. Brad

    MR. Brad Member

    Agree 100 percent Jerry!
  10. BrianHendricks

    BrianHendricks Member

    You nailed it Jerry ! My journey started many, many years ago and I sure hope it doesn't end abruptly because of a competition. After thinking about what you wrote I guess maybe we should look at the competitions as rest areas along the way. A respite, a chance to exhale before we jump in or take off again. See ya soon at Larry's Pit Stop !