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Stagnant Water

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Jimmy Lawrence, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. Jimmy Lawrence

    Jimmy Lawrence Well-Known Member

    This place is awful anymore. I've tried posting a few pics here and there on TMIFP's to try and limp it along, and before I know it, its halfway down the page, with the same worn out, beaten topics kept alive for seemingly no reason.

    10 years ago, this place was incredible. So many contributors sharing work, sharing ideas, creating discussions.... What the FK happened?

    When I first found this place, I was blown away by all the work shown. I eventually messaged Rick Krane, and ended up taking a class in 2007.

    I also met some of my best friends Cole, and Don Frank. Both of which I've been fortunate to spend a substantial amount of time with.

    After that, throughout the years, I've been able to meet many of the others, and talk fish, and learn, and grow as an artist. Dave Campbell, Pete, Mike K, Josh Knuth, Kenny Bauman, Dan B, Paul C, Frank, Jeff M, ....so many good fish artists . And many are my friends today!

    I can tell you with 100% certainty, that if I hadn't found this place, I wouldn't be where I am today. However, if I stumbled upon it today, and wanted to get started, I honestly don't know if it would help me at all.

    what a shame..... it truly makes me sad.
    Sotired likes this.
  2. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    As a moderator on another site (not taxidermy) I've noticed here are a lot of reasons why sites go stagnant.

    1. It's a cyclical thing. (Same goes for taxidermy associations).

    2. It depends on the time of year.

    3. Certain topics are so well covered that there is no point in rehashing them.

    4. Lack of activity is a vicious cycle as in when there doesn't seem to be anything new people move on.

    5. Some posters run people off by being mean spirited. This makes some people more likely to lurk vs. post. I know people that respond in PM's or you could't pay to post here for that reason.

    6. Slow uploads or lack of maintenance of a site and difficulty posting pictures.

    7. Most likely all of the above.

  3. Sotired

    Sotired Active Member

    I agree with you Jimmy, when I first found this site, the postings were fast and furious! I learned a lot about other folks' ways of doing things. The pix were always fun to look at. Usually, advice was free flowing. I really miss all that!

    Cecil, you have good points all, but you forgot; 8. Me joining site = kiss of death! ;)

  4. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Jimmy, could it be that now you already know so much and have become a very talented fish head yourself that what was once new and exciting to you is now mundane? At least that's how I feel sometimes and I don't consider myself in the company of many you mentioned. I understand what you are saying, I think. It just isn't this site, as Cecil discussed. I am also a moderator on another site, pertaining to the outdoors and it is going through the same recession, if you will. Not near as much traffic and less info being shared. My suggestion is to keep doing what you are, I for one like seeing your work, and encourage those others you've mentioned to join back in.
    antlermike likes this.
  5. Gary R

    Gary R Active Member

    I agree, Jimmy. I've been here for years, and as a matter of fact, it's one of the two sites I visit every morning. I'm always hopeful for new posts and informative things. But lately, yes, it is seriously stagnant!

    Heck, most of the state associations have yet to even post their 2018 Convention dates! Frustrating, to say the least!

  6. Sotired

    Sotired Active Member

    You know, I remember a lot of informational 'essays' being posted back then. Not now. Those were great for anyone learning, or to learn something new or different! Perhaps if folks still active could do a few, that will always liven things up!

  7. Cory

    Cory Keep an eye on quality!

    The site was intended for connection with other taxidermists and sharing of ideas, and was very unique in the day, IMO. With the advancements of YouTube and Facebook, there is a ton of information all over the internet. Not to mention the fact that everyone seems to know just about everything. If they are told one way, that's it and that's the way it is supposed to be. There is no more need to learn or explore. Just go to any taxidermists' FB page, and let the comments tell them how good they are and how good the work looks; why try and get better, my customers love it. I know TWIFP is comment free, or only good comments. I understand why it was created this way, but is that also helping to kill what is being done on here? No matter the fish posted since the inception of this one page, everyone says good job and moves on. So have we created mediocrity as a baseline? Not necessarily, I'm just trying to jog the brain a bit. Could it be that is someone asks for help, often times there are no replies? Are there no replies for fear of someone berating their observation? Is it because people ask a question and have someone tell them to go to the search button? It sure seems people have gotten thin skinned over the past few years :eek: Have some gotten their ego stepped on and therefore just quit coming here? I for one barely even come to this site anymore. Not because of the aforementioned, but I have learned to study what i am looking for in different ways. There is no answer. I guess if one would like to make the site better and continue to grow, just keep posting and maybe history will repeat itself.
    John C likes this.
  8. Jimmy Lawrence

    Jimmy Lawrence Well-Known Member

    I don't consider myself awesome by any means. I still get very much excited over good fish work and good discussions. I'm like a sponge when it comes to info. I absorb all I can. Who knows. Just what was on my mind this morning.
  9. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Well Jimmy, maybe it is time for you to "Take the reins" and share some of your techniques for success or even failure. I think my work has improved since I joined this sight but I think it still stinks. I just can't seem to get consistent success with painting fish and it gets frustrating as can be. I sometimes paint a fish 3 or 4 times before I am somewhat satisfied with the outcome, I'm never happy. That doesn't equate to a profitable project.
  10. Monty Artrip

    Monty Artrip Active Member

    Some very good points made and a great post Jimmy. I will weigh in on what I perceive as at least part of the reason not only with lack of posts but also competition etc. A lot of us who have been here forever are getting older, myself included. With that comes other interests, growing families with grandchildren coming along, and many times an increase in commercial work. For myself, 15-20 years ago it seemed there was little else in my life besides taxidermy and competition. Like they say, everything in moderation. I ignored this and it led to problems in other areas of my life unfortunately. I still like to compete occasionally and see old friends but it doesn't have the same sparkle as I get older. That's life though, and I think the good Lord gives us the ability to appreciate the most important things in our lives as we grow older. Just my two cents.
  11. Jon S

    Jon S Well-Known Member

    The fish posted are top of the line. I don't do lots of fish and my results are honestly a little embarrassing by comparison. Also very hard to get a decent photo that does them justice.
    That being said, I did mount a couple nice bluegills I got from Cecil that I am very happy with and got a decent picture of them. When I reduce the picture size to the 240K to fit the post, it looks like a postage stamp, but not even as clear. Haven't figured that out yet. How you guys are able to fit multiple large clear photos in a post is beyond me.
  12. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member


    As far as posting photos I now use a website called Imgur. The quality is better than Photobucket used to be and it's still free. Best of all you can choose what size picture you want to post. Be happy to walk you through it some evening if you give me a call.
  13. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Good points Monty. I used to live and breath competitions and of course filled every office of my state association up to president. Now I prefer to make the green ribbons that pay the bills.
  14. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    I believe Cory touched upon the main issue - social media. I was around before most/all you in this thread were here (I had another handle before the switch over to the new platform) and it was even much different back in the orange button days vs 10 years ago. It was the ONLY place to go to - to talk taxidermy. Or should I say THE place to be. I happened to have a job back then that gave me the ability to access the internet with a T1 when others were still dealing with dial up. IF they had a computer. Of course there weren't many of us back then and the site was a more friendly place for everybody. Fast forward nearly twenty years and the site is still here - which says a lot about the foundation that was built back then. Many sites come and go so this indeed was something special. But, you all have heard the expression "the more things change, the more things stay the same" never was more true.

    The Russians figured out the power of social media and FB and You-Tube most assuredly have had a significant impact on a lot of websites. I'd be curious as to the new recruit numbers. I doubt they're looking very good. If any of you have kids or young adults then you have to have seen a huge change in how they access the news - everything they do actually! None of my three boys have a traditional tv anymore!!! T.V.'s, where we all USE to get our news. Not anymore! The new generation like it or not gets their limited information from YouTube and Reddit, Twitter and whatever else (Facebook was only cool for a brief period - now it's for us old farts!). TV is accessed only thru the internet where it's "free". A scary situation when you think about it - where do they get valid info from??? Well, except for Taxidermy - YouTube has all they need!

    Ultimately, you cannot have a growing website with new member numbers (probably) down. We can also touch upon the control factor with FB vs. the open access here where anybody can post. This site is 100% reliant on the veterans to stay and feed info to newbies. The cooler chit chat is just a side attraction. Yes, there are some different ways to approach things in taxidermy, but there are also many things that are done a certain way. With this site, there is no control of who says what. That obviously has it's pluses and minuses. The main plus is it's a great environment for new ideas. The main downside is it's a great environment for new ideas - lol! I say that with tongue in cheek, but there is some truth to that statement. New ideas are great, but only if they're good ideas! I believe because there is such a diverse level of talent and lack thereof on this website that it becomes very difficult to gauge a baseline for information. And I also believe that diverse level of experience also leads to a lot of heated debates. I've learned a couple of things on this site. But, when you think about all the time spent on here it surely isn't a place to gain knowledge in a short amount of time - you have to sift thru all the crap!

    I guess to summarize, yes this site is dead. IMO there really hasn't been much done to attract or keep veterans. The old "What's In It For Me" deal? Think about it Jimmy. What value does this site give you that you cannot get from your FB page? And that is the problem all social websites face these days. I don't know if there's an answer either. It's an evolution process...
  15. Pikeonthefly

    Pikeonthefly Active Member

    Jimmy. If you were an expert fly fisherman and you had a choice of taking another expert with you or a novice and the age of that novice ranged between a child and a senior citizen whom would you choose?
  16. Sotired

    Sotired Active Member

    OK Jimmy, this makes me think of the saying, "If you want to see change in the world, BE the change in the world!"

    If what others are saying is true, that social disease, I mean media is taking over, then make this a central meeting place that it once was. A local coffee shop as it were, for the newbies to come hang out and ask questions of the old guys, and the old guys to chat about how they do stuff.

    I still like the idea of doing tutorials with pix! Everybody learns from that, new and old. We all have our own techniques and styles, why horde? I, for one, would love to see how you did the markings on that pike!!! If I ever get around to doing anything again, I surely would do a pic heavy essay, if anyone would be interested. Josh Knuths tutorials are fantastic!

    My problem with Facebook is that not everybody is on there. I just joined. Without this site, how would anybody know WHO to look for on FB? There would still be a need for a central meeting place, like here, or am I mistaken?

    Instead of random brags, this could be a place where all could come, feel welcome, and learn from one another. And brags! Nothing wrong with brags. ;D

    Just my 2 cents.

    3bears likes this.
  17. Jimmy
    I can only speak for myself, but age and life changes are chief reasons I don't participate much on here anymore..
    In my 60's, have 8 grand kids, retired from my full time job, after 39 yrs.
    I think there are a lot of people that used to post and bring good info. To this site, with similar life changes.
    That's my situation. ..
  18. I really miss the Sunday morning questions, that was a great source of info.
  19. davidferguson

    davidferguson Member

    well this sucks, I thought you were going to teach how to replicate stagnant water Jimmy, lol.
    wushizfishin and Cecil like this.
  20. den007

    den007 Active Member

    Ahhh the drama years. I too ask WTF happened? I know the old guys. like me, are dying off. New talent to replace us is incredible. Yet, show me a person who honestly makes 100% of income off fish taxidermy. I feel sorry for all of the generation that will replace mine. More folks do not want to get married, have kids, or according to what I read.........not as much sex. I have a son who is 37. Multiple degrees. Occupation? Driving a pedicab.....okay his own vehicle and his own company........but I thought that was strictly a thing for Thailand and India. Too old to get it. Children will tire of their toys..............perhaps even smart phones and typing with 2 thumbs.

    I diverge.

    Seems the internet was a new "lady of the night" we all jumped on. Now the taxi-net is just compost. I do get on now and then and try to help out, but Holy Cow there has been a change in this country, our attitudes, motivation, you name it.

    Will fish taxidermy be replaced by 3D printing?

    Thinking smart phone pics will replace most fish mounts.

    Sad, but an obvious, palpable change is in the air. It is stink.
    Perca likes this.