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Effort Vs Pricing?

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Mudbat, Jul 15, 2021.

  1. Pikeonthefly

    Pikeonthefly Active Member

    When I started doing taxidermy I purchased a couple of elk racks from a taxidermist. When I picked them up he asked me what I was going to do with them. I told him I was taking a class and eventually wanted to start my own business. He said "taxidermy is great, until you have to make a living from it". As I left those words kept repeating themselves and by the time I made it back home I decided I would continue to pursue my present career and put the taxidermy business on the back burner until I was good enough. My instructor at the time asked me "when do you think you will be good enough?" That was in 1987. I have made a good living from my original career yet continue to pursue the perfection of that mounted and painted fish. I have gotten better over the years but have yet to come close to most of those I have seen on this site. But that's what keeps the pursuit alive for me. For me it's the "passion" not the "profit". Am I sensing the same from you?
    drob and Mudbat like this.
  2. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

    150%. I have a good career as a dental technician. I realized commercial taxidermy work just isn’t for me. I love doing it, but really don’t like dealing with some people, always being under the gun, something goes wrong, supplies you can’t get, etc…I’d rather do just a small handful per year of nice detailed pieces for folks willing to pay for the time I’m taking away from my family. 7 days away trying to get back log stuff out just isn’t any fun. Specially when a artistic mind set is involved. Forcing yourself to sculpt or paint some days just isn’t any fun
    Pikeonthefly likes this.

  3. Pikeonthefly

    Pikeonthefly Active Member

    I envy the work you do. If I could turn out that level of work I would really be feeling good heading towards retirement. I too would stay away from the commercial work. I would take on a few pieces of work per year for those who were willing to pay for it and really appreciate it. You would be earning a little extra for your pockets while bettering yourself. Good or bad every piece that leaves your shop has your name on it. Did you hurry the job because of the price? Means nothing to the person who is viewing it at the second hand or antique shop. Your work speaks for itself. There are those that are willing to pay for it. Do it because you love it. And charge for it.
    Mudbat likes this.
  4. Clovis Point

    Clovis Point Active Member

    I( dont think this question was proposed to me but Ill answer it for shoots n giggles

    that is absolutely not the case in my situation. I got in to taxidermy because it was a very good fit to help me accomplish my first goal, which is to avoid public work and stay on the farm. Farming isnt as profitable or as time consuming in the late fall and winter months. I had a building already on my property that I could work out of, I liked that there was minimal overhead as far as tools and equipment, and I had a friend of a friend contact that I believed based on info i got from the mutual friend would be willing to share his vast experience. It was just a good fit. and so I got a crash course and then faked it til i made it (still faking it a little). Hell the 3rd deer i ever mounted on my own was a customer mount (he was a family friend who knew my experience level and my price matched my talents). I'm cheap, and I like being cheap. This aint my main gig, taxidermy represents abo0ut 25% of my income annually but I really enjoy the other benefits that come with it. Making and continuing connections with other people in this tight knit community that is very much multi generational - several of the guys I have mounted deer for my Dad sold hay to thier dads, thier grandads framed my parents house, they fix my hvac etc etc. Just the other day I was really happy to be able to donate a free euro or $100 off a shoulder mount to a benefit auction for a local family whos daughter has lukeimia ......

    So as contradicting as it may sound, I am in this to make money, its absolutely not a hobby (I couldnt afford it if it were) but its not all about maximizing gains and being as profitable as possible because where I live there are things more important than that..

    and again, the most important thing to me is my farm and my herd of cattle, and whatever can keep me free and independent and a slave to nobody (except the cows and the farm) is a good thing. I know i am in the minority but I have just never been able to understand working for someone else. Maybe my limited experience in public work left a bad taste in my mouth but theres just something very counter intutive about busting my ass to make another man rich, especially when the better I was at my job the less opportunity I had for advancement