I got into mini painting this year finally. I had always wanted to have my own mini for the various table top groups I'm in. I would hunt around at model shops in town until I found one that I liked with all the visions in my head of how I was going to paint it....which never happened. I would use the mini for the games but never actually paint them. Around January, after going on the hunt for another mini for my new character, I was determined to paint it this time but I wanted it to be good looking. So I ordered Reapers learn to paint kit along with a selection of paints for the color scheme that I wanted to use for my mini.
And a love affair with Reaper was born. I jokingly asked them to draw a smiley face on the box. (Which they did on every side and I still have the box!) So I started from there using their tutorial. I found a great gaming store here in town and started getting more and more minis from there, along with advice. Now I already have too many minis to paint (and I'm in for Bones III....eeep). There's rarely any rhyme or reason to the ones that I pick. Usually I just think they're interesting.
Now I've got some tutorial videos from DarkSwords so I'm working on refining my basic skills and learning the more complicated ones (fur, OSL, NMM). The basics are coming along way better than the complicated ones for me but that's ok. I like learning and I like the meditativeness of painting. After a busy day at work, I enjoy being able to disconnect and just work on the minis for a while.