Tell me a bit about you.
My name is Kat Su. I'm Taiwanese-American, grew up in upstate NY, and studied fashion design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Today I live in Woodside, NY (out in Queens) and work as a lingerie designer.
Tell me about your blog Crappy Taxidermy and what made you want to curate images of taxidermy with ....how do we say, a rather avant guard of "creative expression" ?
Yes. From zombie apocalypse dioramas re-enacted by dead mice, to sculptures of taxidermied sheep giving birth to mallard ducks, there are pieces that I've documented that definitely win the prize for being some of the most creative outputs of human expression the world has ever seen. I didn't really want to make a blog about Crappy Taxidermy nobody really gets up in the morning and decides that they want to start a blog about taxidermy. It was definitely more of a feeling of being compelled to do it--I noticed a trend of hilariously bad taxidermy and other conversational taxidermy pieces on eBay and etsy, and just felt compelled to start a blog about it. I realized that there was a greater story to tell to the world, and it was unlikely that anyone else had my vantage point since the taxidermy world at the time (in 2009) was inhabited by taxidermists and amateur taxidermists--they were all insiders. I was an outsider, and saw the potential of documenting the pieces that the inside world might have been more embarrassed about, or glossed over because they were less successful attempts. I thought that what I was finding was very human and charming; I saw a potential for spotlighting the pieces that insiders would have glossed over.
Did this start out as just something for fun or did you at one time try to create or do taxidermy and take creative liberties to blue print a new species of animal?
No way. I went into this project with no intention of ever getting that deep into the taxidermy world. I never had any desire to cut open and mount an animal. I've only done taxidermy twice, and it was out of necessity: I learned so that I could write a DIY tutorial for my book (I did 3 mice my first time), and the second time I did it to create a promotional video with my book. Creating a new species of animal is way too advanced for my skillset--I just wanted to get through the process without bungling my animal too badly.
Have you tried being a taxidermist before deciding to creating your blog?.
Any negative comments from any animal activist or animal rights groups about your blog? If yes do you think they misinterpret the message of your blog ?
I do get negative comments from time to time, but as Taylor Swift says, haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. I never really feel personally victimized by these people. These people go into my blog with a very specific pre-conceived agenda, and my blog just happens to be one of many targets. You can't go into things with the goal of pleasing everyone. If 99% of audience gets the humor behind my blog, and I miss 1%, I still consider it a success.
Tell us about your book CRAP TAXIDERMY
In 2013, Octopus Publishing, which is a subsidiary of Hachette in UK, contacted me to see if I was interested in turning my blog into a book. After a lot of hemming and hawing, I decided that an opportunity like this would never come up again, so I went for it. The book is a 98 page coffee table book that features some of the funniest examples of crappy taxidermy that I have ever featured on my site. Furthermore, there is a DIY section in the back of the book that teaches readers how to stuff and mount their own mouse. It has 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and you can buy the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Waterstones in the UK.
If your future you could send some advice to the past you. What would that advice be ?
Be more gracious; smile and say yes more often. You won't believe the doors that can open for you.
Is there a message you would like to leave for the world?
Although I have stuffed 4 more mouse than the average person, I am definitely not a taxidermist. I am just a taxidermist enthusiast and I don't go into this with the goal of ostracizing anyone's work I think it's a charming expression of humanity and has the potential to light up someone's day. That's why I do this.
Thank You Kat! You truly are amazing.