Friday, November 21, 2014

An Escape, First Article Friday Post

World outside of the painting table has been terribly fun recently.  Been able to get to the murder table only a hand full of times over these last several weeks.  Really need to get there more.

JJ blogging, here is the beginning of what I hope will become article Friday. 

So what is going on.  Well seems like I’ve done something really good to have such a terrific opportunity before me.  Now this isn’t the first time I’ve spent such little time at the table.  During my unemployment from last Nov to a few months ago I wasn’t getting to the table often.  It perplexed me.  All this free time.  All these models to paint.  All the reputation and money to be made while getting my commission business up and running.  Hoping to get enough rotating clients so I’d never have to return to the corporate-white-man’s-world.  Unfortunately as many of you know.  That didn’t happen.  Squandered that time sleeping in, watching movies, catching up on tv shows I was seasons behind on, hanging out with friends and playing x-wing.  Yet very little time was spent at the table painting those precious models I genuinely love.  Why?  Why was I not painting and getting my name out there in the commission world to garner the attention of more eyes and more clients?  Why wasn’t I enjoying the fruits of my labours while enjoying my time of unemployment?  Why wasn’t I painting?  My dream of being a full-time commission artist was in my hands and all I needed to do was get to the table and paint.  Clearly clients models in amazing time, with hopefully amazing results, throwing up pics in our sandbox, on my site, social media, anywhere else that I could to promote my work for more clients.  But I didn’t.  Why wasn’t I painting?

It was some car ride from place A to place B when it hit me.  Something Tallarn and others mentioned when I first started my endeavor almost a year and a half ago.  That wasn’t it though.  Some people who want to be commission artists soon stop because what was once a fun thing to do in the free time turned into something that had to be done.  I’ve been there, felt that horrible experience.  It was something quasi-related but not quite right.  My thoughts stirred more about why I wasn't getting to the table and painting.

Painting is magic to me.  Having chaos, pieces of a model cut from a sprue or dumped out of a box, put into organized chaos, model pieces cleaned up and put on the table in the fashion of how it will be assembled, then gluing those pieces in place.  All the while the idea I have for the colours and theme becoming more and more clear as the model gets close to being completely assembled.  I imagine there are other painters like me.  When I have an idea of the colours and theme of a model it stays in my head until its painted.  Doesn’t matter if the thought and execution are years, or in one case decades, apart.  Won’t even remember the colours and theme I came up with until I’m working on the model then it darts from the deep recesses of my memory.  Blowing past fragments from people of yester-year, leaping over the glimpses of events from school, eclipsing people and events performed at former places of employment, then finally shoving aside the memory of the beer I just finished and dancing on the very edge of the stage shouting for attention with its hand raised screaming I’m here and ready.  Then I start painting the model I thought of some ages ago.  The magic of painting is you effectively have nothing.  Then out of nothing with just a spark of imagination you create something.  Colours and effects are pulled together and start working, hopefully, in harmony.  At some point I’m finished and the memory of the colours and themes are freed from my thoughts never to be considered again unless I’m looking at the model.  Not freed from some sort of cage or prison.  Freed from my own selfishness of how cool the model is going to look.  I don’t play those games.  You’ve heard them.  Painters and modelers at the hobby stores going on about how great its going to look when I’m done.  Yet nothing comes to fruition.  Have spoke in depth about this before.  That isn’t something I do.

Getting back to the point.  Why wasn’t I painting?  So much free time to do the thing I love.  Why wasn’t I painting?  When I’m at the table, assembling and painting the model there are few things that can make me happier.  Yet I wasn’t painting.  Why?

Thinking more about the line Tallarn and others mentioned.  It finally dawned on me.  Painting is an escape for me.  A way to disconnect from a world that isn’t the most relaxing.  However I was relaxed, there was no stress or drama to escape from.  If I was already in paradise why would I be looking for it?  Then started working for a new rent-paying-white-mans-corporate-world-gig some stress started landing on me again.  Plus the added benefit of a client wanting a project done by a certain time.  This is the fun stress Brandon from GMM studios mentioned to me a couple of years ago.  The stress of a deadline and going through the models at a decent enough pace to meet that deadline is damn fun!  Just occurred to me.  Guess that is one thing I should ask of my clients; a deadline.  All of my clients haven been extremely laid back and not too worried about when they models are finished.  This should be something I start asking my clients for.  Things didn’t work out with that rent-paying-white-mans-corporate-world-gig.  Different story for a different sandbox.

Well something fantastic happened to me recently.  Found a great rent-paying-gig, yes in the white-mans-corporate-world, and I love it.  The work is fun, entertaining, challenging, have a great team to work with and excellent facility.  How'd I get so lucky?  This leads to the reason for my recent lack of painting and thus posts for our blog.  There is no stress, drama, boring blah blah to escape from.  It is a fantastic job with excellent opportunities for future possibilities.  Not sure what I did to receive such a wonderful chance.  Don’t plan to waste it.  Now to motivate myself to paint other than using it as an escape.  Never even considered asking my clients for a deadline before typing this post.  Seems that may be a fix to get to the table again so I can start painting models again on a regular basis.  This week has been quite productive I’ll tell you what.  Only missed one day so far.  The IG epic 40k commission is finished.  Been holding onto those models for far too long already.

slainte mhath


  1. Glad things have turned around for you! A job you like can take a chunk out of your hobby time, but really it's just a matter of finding your new routine :)

    1. Thanks, Zab. Like you said will find my routine soon.

  2. Congrats on the new job. I've been blessed with a great one over the years. My better half, she's not been so lucky. I keep hoping for the same type of thing to happen to her. I know it will, it's just a matter of time! Good things do come around eventually!

    I think what you will have happen now, is you will slowly revert from an escape, to looking towards painting as a new way to just have fun with your spare time. Maybe try picking up some new techniques (try James shaded base coat, it's awesome fun). It will help break up the old cycle you used!

    1. Yeah, hopefully she gets a great gig soon. That makes sense. Never really painted for fun. By the way great work on those bases. You're getting damned close won't those bases. Looked like Jim's work!

    2. Thanks! And ya, should definitely try painting for fun...I am going to try and make a video soon. You guys would all laugh when I paint with the #8 brush. I'm la la, put some here, some here, a tab here, mix, dab dab, mix, dab, new color, dab dab. That looks good!

      I'm still having a bit of trouble with the powders. Going to pick up some white spirits this weekend to try and pull myself back some. I tend to get WAY carried away by accident....I think I am having too much fun.

      It still looks cool, it just hides a lot of the color variance!

    3. Have a bunch of projects to work on. Going to try mixing them up this week.

      Painting with a size 8 brush while being wisked every which way would be fun.

      Haven't touched powders myself yet. 40k buddy Connor gave me a couple some years ago. What are white spirits?

    4. White spirits...hmm also called mineral spirits? It eats the powder away supposedly. I'm hoping I can use it to pull off some layers.

    5. So you're having a problem with the powder sticking too much? It isn't coming off the model as easy as it should? Is the paint still wet when you're applying the powder?

    6. I am lacking in control of the powders, as I haven't used them enough yet. This causes their effects to be a bit random on my model, and it's very easy for me to push it too far.

      Here is an example from wednesdays post (i think, maybe thursdays)

      I ended up with way too much powders on the center models, and I wanted to pull it back some. The mineral spirits can dework the powder supposedly (i haven't tried, just someone suggested I use that), to get more of the color back I wanted.

      I've also seen where james suggested making a gritty thick wash with them, and painting that on. That gives a lot more control, and I might start doing that next.

    7. Perhaps I can't see it. Where are the powders on the base?

      Does tapping the base against the desk allow the powders to come off?

    8. Haha I will have to show you step by steps. I'll just point you to the blog post so I don't have to do it twice!

      I would have been able to tap it off...but I fixed the powders thinking it would fix it...

    9. Ok. Can kind of see the powder in the grids, not sure though. Please do.

      Been there. Regarding using a fix you think will work but doesn't.


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