How to become a taxidermist
It is an exciting time. You have an interest and that interest is in the wonderful world of wildlife art or taxidermy. But now that you have that little kernel of interest, what do you do to grow it into a full fledge career or hobby. In short, how do you become a taxidermist?
While there are many schools out there to attend, which you can read about in The Quick Taxidermy Schools and Training Roadmap there are many steps that you will need to take to become a taxidermist and I will go over them in this article.
Find your love of nature
The first step to becoming a taxidermist is to find your love of nature. Although many people don’t think of this aspect since you are working with dead animals, most, if not all, of taxidermists love nature. They spend a large amount of their time in nature and also study the movements and habits of animals to help gain a better understanding of how to make their finished pieces appear life like.
Study animal anatomy
Next, take the time to study animal anatomy. Go to the zoos, watch animal shows, read books on animals and study anatomy drawings and books. Remember if you don’t have some basic understanding of animal anatomy then it will be harder to become a high quality taxidermist.
Visit a Studio
Before you even start to invest in your taxidermy trade, take the time to visit a few studios. You can ask for a tour or ask to watch some of the taxidermists at work. By visiting the studio, especially a working studio, you will have more understanding of what is involved when it comes to being a taxidermist.
Find out the laws in your area
The next step is to do your homework about your area. Are there any licenses that you need, permits that are required? Are there a lot of taxidermists in your area? How much will it cost to become a licensed taxidermist?
Knowing this will help you budget for your new career and it will provide you with a timeline to follow to pursue taxidermy.
Learn about taxidermy
Although this can be done in a number of different ways, before you start any type of schooling, I recommend that you learn about taxidermy. Some ways to learn about taxidermy are:
Read: There are many books available on taxidermy but one that I would strongly recommend is The Ultimate Taxidermy Guide. This will give you some of the foundation you need to produce your own taxidermy.
Take some hands on classes:There are a number of mini classes that you can take or you can help out at a taxidermy studio to get some hands on experience. Having the chance to do this will often give you a better idea of whether you want to become a taxidermist or not.
Go to shows: There is a wide range of taxidermy and wildlife art shows that you can attend. Attending these will give you the opportunity to talk to people and to also start networking with your taxidermy business.
Take an apprenticeship:
These are very difficult to find but if you happen to have the opportunity, no amount of courses can offer you the value of having an experienced taxidermist take you under their wing. Often this type of training is free and is one of the best methods to leaning how to do taxidermy.