Friday, September 26, 2014

How Do You Handle Setbacks?

You may have been there.  Everything is going great with a model than you do one little thing and it all goes horribly wrong.

JJ typing, these moments are soul-crushingly, enthusiasm stealing, ability crippling.  When the provable shit hits the provable fan.

You spent some great amount of hours and ability to make a model look just right.  Then you give it the finishing touch.  Whether it be some varnish, highlight, added colour, basing, etc all those hours you poured into your new canvas are wasted.  How do you recover?  How do you get yourself back to the table?  Back to the model?  Back into painting mode?  What do you do?

Well that's what I've been trying to figure out during the last 140 some hours, nevermind beating myself constantly since then.  It literally has been that long since I've sat at the table.  Made a huge mistake last Fri and it stole the wind from my sails.  Everything was going great with a couple of clients models.  Then I had to do one more thing and frankly should've known better.  Thankfully I caught it before irreversible damage was done.  Wasn't too far from that either.  In fact it was shocking close.

Won't go into the mistake except to use a line from Batman Begins "I wasn't minding my surroundings."  Last Friday at games I was talking about it constantly.  Fretting my mistake and wondering what I can do to fix it.  What I will admit is I needed to almost repaint two models.  Which cuts into the cost of painting.  One thing I learned last night/this morning is that what I earned for one model is fantastic.

So what do you do when have a setback?  How do you motivate yourself to get back to the table and fix your mistake?  Where do you find the strength to tackle the model again?  How do you move past the huge problem you've created for yourself?

I've made so many mistakes and have done so many bad things since I was young that karma and I are incredibly tight.  You'd be surprised how much we know about each other.  My actions have been coming back to get me since I was five.  None of the consequences for my actions surprise me anymore.  I've grown to accept that my actions have a price and pleasure.  Knowing this I'm aware of the reality and responsible for those actions.  Wasn't a very friendly person with others at some event and they don't like me, I get it.  Certainly don't sit and whinge about why people treat me they way they do after I was being an asshole.  Knew exactly what was happening.  Because frankly it has happened before.

Was supposed to have two weeks of posts ready to go.  Now because of the desire stealing mistake, almost caught up to real time.  Much like TiVo when you start watching a program X minutes into the show so you can catch up to the end when it finishes.  Damn, I miss TiVo.

So two models were almost completely repainted.  Now to get them to the clients.  One will be dropped in the post today.  Other models will be dropped off at his store.  If the mistake didn't happen this last week would've been extremely productive and would've finished at least another commission if not two.  There's only one person to blame for my situation.  Me.  This situation didn't include multiple parties that had an issue with each other.  Or one person looking to compromise and the other doesn't want anything but their own temper tantrum throwing, bully-ish, childish way.  There was only one party involved in this.  Me, I made the mistake because of my actions.  I lived with the consequences of not being mindful of my surroundings.  Also corrected the mistake.  Have communicated to both of my clients there's a delay and have asked for their patience and understanding.  Even hoping to make it up to them.

This brings up another point.  If you say you're going to do something, follow through.  If there's a problem not fulfilling the task.  Communicate it as quickly as possible and do the task.  Some tasks are easier to complete than others.   Some tasks can be completed with surprisingly alacrity.  Others need considerable time.  Especially if those tasks involve a significant amount of resources.  Luckily for me a lot of people I deal with are quite rational.  Those who aren't I have no words.  I've emailed both clients last evening/this morning and communicated to them what I will be doing today.  It will feel great being a person of my word to both of them.

Getting back to the question.  How do you handle setbacks in painting?

slainte mhath


  1. I cry - a lot, like a hot mess, a lot - and use my tears to make my glazes that much more powerful. Tell no one my dark, dark secret -_-

    1. I actually laughed out loud. Delicious tear glazes! Now from secret weapon minis!

    2. Was on the verge of that several times last Fri and Sat. Told myself 'there's no crying in baseball.' After all what does crying do? Does it fix the situation, no. Does it make you feel better, no. Does it make you go to sleep really fast, yes. That's the only benefit in my opinion.

      Read an article sometime ago that scientifically stated that crying in fact does not make people feel better. Which makes me wonder. Why do some people cry A LOT?

  2. To be honest, these were just the most recent setbacks. The entire project has been fraught with blunders and mistakes. In this case, I had a strong narrative in mind for the piece, and I decided early on that these mistakes would only add to the story. She's intended to look like she's been through hell. Spilled resin became built up rust and grime, a heavy-handed nail polish 'fix' turned into a cracked eye lens, a near fire started by a magnifying lens became melta-induced battle damage, etc. It hasn't been easy, but I've gotten to the point where I have to just say 'The Emperor works in mysterious ways' and now the machine veritable BREATHES with the life that I've imagined for her.

    1. Jeff, welcome to H2Lat40k. Really like your style and method. Amazed at your ingenuity. Thanks for joining us in our sand box.

  3. Communication is always the #1 most critical thing. I had a business slowly fall apart over time due to lack of communication (furniture design business).

    I don't work on a commission level, but when I hit a painting setback, I usually put the model on a shelf (in pieces if I knocked it off a table), clean up my workspace, and setup for the next job. I tend to not revisit that model again until enough time has passed that I'm ready to work on it fresh. (like the inquisitor that keeps chipping the paint off).

    I wouldn't worry about not having stuff queued up for a blog. As creative twilight's all about you, and what you want from the hobby and the experience. That comes first. The blog is just your expression of that experience shared with the rest of the community.

    1. Right with you. It is amazing what communication does for a relationship. Thanks for the lesson from your business.

      I've swapped around models before when something was stuck. Just haven't done that regularly enough to be status quo.

      Right with you. My most esteemed Tallarn made a post years about that very topic. I've learned if you blog just to blog your content will suffer. Refuse to point fingers or name names. Disappointing is all.

  4. I've glued the wrong parts together. replaced the parts.and more or less done it a second time. You just have to own it. I made a mistake. I replaced the parts at my own expense.
    I also told my client everything. I feel being open about what has gone wrong and how I corrected it was the right thing to do. Some times we make mistakes and we have to make it right despite the cost. It could cost us a lot more not to. I gets frustrating. just making a stupid and avoidable mistake.

    1. warhead01, welcome to H2Lat40k. Been there about gluing wrong parts and replacing them. Thanks for the reassuring advice.


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