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Completion Frustration


Kellyn
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So I'm learning that it's not so much that I have the 'don't finish anything' gene, but more that I realize eventually how much I actually dislike the steps necessary for finishing the whateveritis.

 

I used to do a LOT of beaded stuff (*waves to E*). I loved playing with the colors and figuring out how to string them or weave them. Then I realized how much I really dislike futzing around with closures and trying to unhook things from looms and get them all tied off and on hooks... so frustrating!

 

I used to quilt. *eyes boxes of UFOs in quilt closet* I loved playing with the colors and figuring out how to cut and place them. For the first few, I wanted to do the whole process A-Z. But it didn't take long before I realized I just really disliked having to lay the thing out, sandwich it, drag the whole thing through my tiny machine to quilt it, and sit there trying to bind the thing. I'd say 90% of the stuff in that UFO box is just pieced tops.

 

How the heck is this on topic here? Well, I've finally realized that I just DO NOT like to glue little fake rocks and grass to the base of the miniatures. It's just frustrating to me, as it gets stuck all over everything else, I can never keep it off the shoes or bags or staves, (or my fingers, or the table), it always looks fake, and face it, I've spent at least a month staring at this mini, I just want it DONE already!

 

So now I'm really frustrated, because my paint jobs are good enough that I want them to be finished *well*, but have no patience or desire to do so. I now have six (I think) minis sitting on a shelf waiting for basing, because I just can't seem to get myself to do it. Unfortunately, I'm proud of my paint jobs but have this weird internal thing that says I can't post pictures of them until they're actually finished. Which isn't happening. So I haven't posted in a while. *sniff*

 

Anyway, I guess the point is: Am I insane?? Does anyone else suffer this malady with their miniatures? Whatever am I going to do???!!! I want to be good at this, but I just can't seem to get out of my basing funk!

 

Jess, ranting.

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Jess, totally feel your pain.

For me it's with the paint jobs. I'll spend a lot of time getting a good chunk of something finished, then be so scared of messing it up on the finishing touches that it will just sit there for ages.

 

I have a Braug the Ogre sitting, based and all his flesh completely painted. I just need to do his hair, club and loincloth, which is easy. But I like the job I did on the flesh so much I am nervous about ruining the figure with a mistake.

 

My wife got me a puzzle (Simpsons Photo Mosaic) where Bart is writing on the chalkboard "I will finish what I started" because there is a lot of unfinished work on my desk/shelves. I haven't finished putting it together either ::D: When I do, it is going up right over my painting area.

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I have a similar problem. It's called procrastination, and it's a giant progress-killer. It has a big friend named laziness that gets me into into just as much trouble.

 

Regardless of the hypocrisy (I should spell-check that, eh, maybe later :) involved, I'm going to relate a story of which your post reminded me, Qwyksilver. The details are a little fuzzy, and ultimately it may or may not help, but here goes...

 

In one of the many figure drawing classes I took while in college, on of my professors noticed unfinished work on my board. There must have been several different starts, or maybe something that was promising, but undone, while I was working away on a separate drawing. If I remember correctly, she asked about the unfinished work and I explained that there were good bits in there that I was afraid of ruining. She told me that when I found something good, when I realized I'd turned out something beautiful, I should be happy about it, appreciate it, and then move on and finish the piece without fear. It was by recognizing those successes, cherishing them, but learning without letting them become precious, that I would continue to improve. It's stuck with me and has become a great source of confidence. She was right, and every time I'm really happy with something in my work, whatever it may be, I laugh a little because of that lesson.

 

Similarly, my first art teacher, waaay back in high school, mentioned offhandedly one day that it may be a healthy thing to take a work to destruction. As a learning exercise, to start something and work hard at pushing your skills and turning out good work, but never calling the piece finished until it it simply impossible to make another mark or add another brushstroke because the thing is just falling apart. That makes me laugh because the obsessive compulsiveness attached to that exercise strikes me as funny.

 

Hmmm...one more stop on this stroll down memory lane. During a critique, yet another art professor once said, 'nothing is ever finished, only abandoned', or something similar to that. I'm not sure if I agree, but I think about that one sometimes, too. The jury is still out.

 

I thought I'd share. Best of luck!

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Kellyn-

 

I didn't mean to hijack your thread. I can identify with your issues as well. I do procrastinate too much, and it seems like such a hassle to set up and settle down to paint. However, once I do get started, it's fun and I do enjoy it alot. Getting past the idea of working, and actually starting to work, that's half the job.

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Well first of all shrug off the idea that you're the only person that has trouble finishing things. ::):

 

I have a Dana Murphy on my table that looks fantastic from the neck down.. I can't seem to get her face right though. I got discouraged and moved on.

 

I have a 90% painted Crusaders Angel on my table that looks pretty good but I can't seem to get the wings to look the way I wanted. I got discouraged and moved on.

 

I have a Dragon that's 90% painted but I can't get the right "look" to it.. So I got discouraged and moved on.

 

I stripped my Duke Gerard and can't get his face right. I got discouraged and moved on.

 

 

Seeing a pattern?

 

 

I'm trying to get all my Spartan CAV's painted. Just a simple base coat with a little detail and a drybrush. Yes, a drybrush. I can't seem to get the hang of layering.

 

I have a themed force for CAV based on the KDM cat names that I haven't even started painting yet because I'm affraid they'll turn out crappy.

 

 

I don't know if it helps but I understand your frustration, I really do. I really, really want to be able to paint well but I just don't. I'm not pressuring myself to get better overnight though. I'm going to try and pick up a tip or two at RCON and see what happens.

 

 

So perk up and don't be so hard on yourself. ::D:

 

 

 

Have you considered asking El-hubbo to base them for you? He does okay with fiddly-bits. ::): A decent comma ninja too. ^_^

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I have a Halbarad that is 3/4 done, and has sat that way for almost 2 years!!!! I did the face first and it came out perfect, The cloak, not so much, The armor started to go south and I keep putting it off because I'm frustrated that the rest of the mini isn't coming out as good as the face. :wacko:

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I've found 2 methods to deal with my own issues of not finishing minis.

 

First, it used to always be the basing that I got stuck on. I'd finish the mini, and jst couldn't make myself finish the base. To solve that, I now always do the base first. Sure I might need to touch it up a bit after I do the feet of the mini, but by doing the least fun part first, I have been able to finish many more minis.

Also, I try to base 3-4 minis at a time, to get it out of the way.

 

Second, I now get stuck on the final layering of the highlights, and end up with minis who are nearly done, and probably could be called done if I were just gonna play with them, but I know they need a few more layers. How I solve that is I wait until I have a good 2 hours of solid free time. I grab the all the colors I need to finish the minis, a couple of brushes, a glass of water, and a lamp, and I head into a different room of the house. I find that the change of environment, and knowing that I can't just leave all this stuff set up on the kitchen table / bedroom floor for very long, helps me just sit down and finish the darn thing. ^_^

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I just try to remind myself that every day is one less day I have before arthritis and bad eye-sight make it impossible to do anymore painting. Hopefully that's still a long ways off, but I'd rather have a nice collection of toys to play with by that time!

 

I think having a goal helps a little. I actually don't get people who make display miniatures, but if you're painting for a game then it's rather obvious what you're painting for and when it needs to be done. If you can encourage yourself to only play with painted figures, then it really makes getting things done a lot smoother. I'm not great at it, but I'm getting better about finishing things, even if I'm not 100% happy, and moving on. Having a full army of painted Reven is a lot more impressive than having one nicely painted Varaug after all. Heh. Keep working...

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