Sunday, September 22, 2019

Getting a creative boost at TJS

We've had a lot of people ask us if the Jennifer Show will ever have an original finish halter division. The answer is no. It's not that we don't love Breyers because we do. It's just that we love the artisan side of the hobby even more. The Jennifer Show is a celebration of hobby makers: the sculptors, painters, customizers, tack makers, prop makers and doll dressers. This wonderful guest post by Kristen Taylor talks about the artistic boost that comes from spending a weekend with the makers and their creations. Thank you, Kristen! 

Getting A Creative Boost at TJS

By Kristen Taylor, Blue Mountain Stables

I’m an artist and a maker. It’s probably the biggest thing that attracted me to the model horse hobby (aside from the horses of course!); the ability to make your own tack, props, and horses. It’s a fun challenge and very satisfying to say, “I made that,” especially if it wins too. 
The “making” aspect of the hobby was a major attractor of The Jennifer Show. Getting to meet some of the hobby’s best artists, tack makers, and prop makers, all while staring at the phenomenal, hand-crafted entries up close was perfect.
The performance really blew my mind away. I had only seen that level of creativity and competitiveness in photos from NAN, and rarely in person. The entrants really showed what you can accomplish when you set aside the time for research, planning, creation, sourcing, practicing set-ups and just all the attention to detail you could hope to achieve. 
I haven’t competed in performance in a very long time, but let me tell you, those entries had me itching to try one day soon. Especially the mini entries by Lauren Wood, Melissa Addison and Leah Koerper. Minis have long been my favorite model horses both due to their small, space-saving size and the extra challenge.
Speaking of minis, I also came to see them in all their artistic glory, with tiny treasures by Melanie Miller, Kylee Parks, Stephanie Blaylock, Amanda Brock and so much more present.  I was definitely fangirling over the mini talent on the tables. It was also nice to approach the artist that first inspired me to customize minis years ago, Lauren Wood. They say don’t meet your heroes, but Lauren was especially sweet.
I am almost strictly a mini customizer, and I felt like I needed an artistic boost to create the work I was really dying to create. I brought a modest string of about twenty mini horses. I had hoped to bring more, but my latest customs stayed at home, half finished. That might sound defeated, but after seeing so much art up close, I have never felt more compelled to really push myself as an artist. Meeting new people and seeing great model horses has recharged my ambitions, and for that, I am so thankful I had the opportunity to attend The Jennifer Show.
Now excuse me while I go into my studio and paint! 
If you would like to read more about Kristen's Jennifer Show experience, check out her Blue Mountain Stables blog. Also, follow this link to her YouTube channel to see video coverage of The Jennifer Show 2019.

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