While in town from Brooklyn, NY to teach three days of Taxidermy classes at Little Dame in San Diego, Divya sat down with us for some breakfast and chats before a long day of teaching. Here at Little Dame we live for supporting female artists that have paved their own way, their story, and how they started out their careers. As most of us know in the Art world, it is not always a straight path and that is exactly what we learned while talking with Divya about how she started her Taxidermy career.
Divya grew up in Miami Florida, she moved to New York when she was 18 to attend Prat Institute for the Arts. After receiving her BFA she began her career in fashion. She worked in the fashion industry for ten years designing shoes, attending fashion shows, and the fashion lifestyle before she came to the conclusion that a career in the fashion industry was not for her. The cutting down of body images, the gossip, the corporate saturation was far from the creative life she wanted to lead.
She began practicing Taxidermy at 25, and pursuing her interests in mythology, science, and our connection to animals as humans. As she gained skill she competed in Taxidermy shows and received Best in Show and Best in Category at the 2015 Garden State Taxidermists Show and Competition as well as in her blue ribbons at the New England Association of Taxidermists in 2016. She began teaching workshops with the Morbid Anatomy museum once a month and they seemed to fill up pretty well. She realized that there was a market for the art form she loved.
Divya made the big step of leaving her career to pursue Taxidermy and has been enjoying her career as a competing Taxidermist, a teacher and a freelance artist ever since. In 2016 Divya and fellow Taxidermist Katie Innamorato published a Modern Guide to Taxidermy called, “Stuffed Animals,” which was a hit in our shop and around the country. Read more about Divya and see her work at her website: d-i-v-y-a.com/home
Here are a few fun questions we asked Divya at Breakfast this month.
Thank you Divya <3 <3
LD: What was your first animal that you competed with?
DA: An English Sparrow
LD: What is your favorite Taxidermy class to teach?
DA: Jackalope, I love to see the creativity that students have during the Jackalope class. This last class at Little Dame someone put a third eye on their Jackalope between two horns and I had never seen that before! It was amazing!”
LD: What is your favorite type of animal to taxidermy?
DA: I enjoy working with birds because their skin is so thin, they are difficult to work with and look like a mess until the last stages when you blow dry them and they begin to look like a bird again.
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