Animal taxidermy is a great deal about art, painting, sculpting, even creating scenery in some scenarios.
Although unusual, it should not be surprising that once in a while a college student, who is in love with art and can see no other profession but art, turns to learning the day-to-day business to mounting deer, sometimes using a different approach than some of taxidermists.
Amanda Zmyslo, 29, and Allison Oskin [BS-Art ’18], 24, grew up in the Neenah area before heading off to Madison, Amanda to Edgewood College, and Allison to University of Wisconsin, then graduating with art degrees.
While neither artist/taxidermist came from a hunting family, they’ve ventured out, gone fishing, watched birds, studied live deer, basically done everything a hunter or angler does but not purchased a license or pulled a trigger.
“I love animals and am beginning to learn conservation and understand what our customers are saying and asking for,” Oskin said. “Some hunters get just a few mounts in a lifetime, others some every couple years, and I can help the ones who just say, ‘mount it,’ Still others come in with all the measurements on how they want every body part positioned.”
Zmyslo also really cares about what she does, loves animals and wants to make them look as real as possible, from their eyes to their body positions.