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I'm sure this has been talked about before, but I'd like to start it again.


Is the miniature hobby a form of art? It's a hard question to me when I look at all of the different aspects that go into the hobby. I'm sure that there are arguments for and against it. I will give my view a little later as I want to see what people think about it first.


I look forward to this discussion.





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I've always thought so. Sculpting is an art, certainly. Mini painting is a skill, but if you use the model to make a point, or tell a story it jumps quickly to the art sphere. Look at the Halloween contest entries, several of them tell a story. I typically don't think of the mini's I paint as "art", but that has more to do with skill level then the hobby as a whole.

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An age-old question, for sure. I won't go into a long philosophical debate on why I think it's art, but I'll say this:


I feel like *anything* can be art, depending on how much of someone's heart is put into the process. Eastern culture has created many fine examples of this...

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I believe mini painting is a form of art for sure. There is a great degree of skill involed, however the creative process really comes into play when you start coming up with colour schemes and colour interpretations that not only balance and are attractive, but also achieve a degree of naturalness or what ever the painter/artist is trying to ideally achieve.


I think the separtation of skill to art is similar to that of golf. They say it's 90% mental 10% physical well I think a certain ratio like this exists in the mini painting world. 100% all around being , an idea taken to a sketch, then to a sculpt, and finally to a painted final product. To have such well rounded artist skills and talent is something very special to have. Ultimately, for me anyway, the art comes out with how I am able to express and improve upon these intricate balances of colour interpretation, brush control, and bringing ideas to life with putty from scratch (like knarly tree stumps, my favourite ::)::lol: ).


I remember I was asked when I was like in grade 7 why I enjoyed painting minis. I have always answered that I enjoy bring them to life. An unpainted mini is a bit static and one dimensional (no offence to all the master sculptors out there), but when painted (well) it has the ability to evoke thoughts and imagination taking the observer many worlds away (sounds like art IMO ::): ). One final note, I think too, the art comes out when a painter tries to inovate new techniques instead of just tryint to duplicate a set of skills that is said to be the only way to achieve a certain outcome. I think True artists push envelopes and march a bit out of cadence to the trends while they seek to master their skills.




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An age-old question, for sure. I won't go into a long philosophical debate on why I think it's art, but I'll say this:


I feel like *anything* can be art, depending on how much of someone's heart is put into the process. Eastern culture has created many fine examples of this...


Heck, Kev. Your ability to make an art of pissing people off is proof enough of that! ::P:


I vote "art".

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If you can put up something that looks like this:




and call it art.



Or cover a picture of the Virgin Mary in Elephant dung and call it art.



Then this.... absolutely, positively, and concretely MUST be art:





I wont go into the kind of Hack work that modern art has become, well not much. What people call "Art" now is only a race to see who can be most offensive or disgusting. Not alot of beauty out there to be had in the "Art World" anymore. I mean seriously, when I look at something and say.. wow I can do that. It isnt art.


Btw claiming its expression and it should be protected is a red herring.



What we do is Art, pure and simple. Van Gogh had a canvas, we have a metal one. Full Metal Artistry ftw.

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I consider what I do to be an art when I try to do it well and create a "masterpiece". Why not? Why shouldn't it be considered art? I think I have more talent painting minis than most so-called Contemporary Artists or Abstract Artists. Seriously anyone can paint a canvas black and put a red dot on it somewhere and then create story behind it that only the "artist" would get. I think that painting miniatures and learning to paint them well is a form of art, it is a difficult one to master as well.

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I'm certain I saw a quote on these boards in someone's sig line that went something like, "When the hands create, it is a work; when the hands and mind create, it is a craft; when the hands and mind and heart create, it is an art." Or something like that. Does anyone remember the actual quote, which is much better than my poor paraphrase? It's pretty much how I feel about the subject. ::):



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I remember a couple that are similar...simply because I keep them around for subtle inspiration.


Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art--DaVinci


In art the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can inspire--Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Unequivocably, yes. It's art.

There is a prestige class in Dungeons&Dragons called the Order of the Bow Initiate, in which the flavor text says, "When asked, "What is truth?" an Order of The Bow Initiate will simply put an arrow to his bow and fire it." Me, I have a paintbrush in my hand.


I was discussing art once with several people on a chat site I frequent, and when asked what my preferred medium was, I said acrylics on metal. I then explained that I paint minis, and one of the people in the discussion disputed my claim to be an artist - a "real" artist, anyway. So I directed him to some of my work that I'd posted in my profile for that site, as well as giving him a link to the painted galleries on the Reaper site. I them explained that none of the "little statues/toy soldiers" he was looking at were larger than his thumb, and yet exibited the same techniques as any canvas hanging in a museum. It definitely changed his opinion of my "art".


Like that quote from a previous post said, any time you invest personal feeling into doing something, it becomes art. I've had similar discussions about my other hobby, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and whether it's "real" theatre... Mimicing the characters onscreen is an art somewhere between mime and dance, and yelling callbacks is stand-up comedy. Both require skill and talent to do well.


In all honesty, I don't believe that *what* we paint has anything to do with whether or not it's art, but that it's *how* we paint that matters. I can paint a house artistically.

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I guess I may be in the minority here - but I consider painting miniatures coloring books for adults.


Designing a mini - art.


Sculpting a mini - art.


Painting a mini - craft.


Conversions/kit bashing - maybe art, mostly craft.


This is not a disparaging term by any means. It isn't the silly macaroni noodle necklaces, but more along the lines of a carefully crafted piece of furniture. However like that hand crafted desk, there are limitations involved which prevent it from being art IMO.


Today there is a lot of crap that is put out and called art - personally I don't consider it art. There is a lot of crap put out that is called craftsmanship - I don't think it is. But to abandon the concept of craftsmanship (something which can be expressed very much from the heart - I've built cribs for friends for years and my heart and sometimes blood goes into those) because you don't want to be grouped with the decopage/found stuff people doesn't make it any more than coloring between the lines (even if the coloring is done on a really small scale - really quite well).

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I can understand your reasoning to a point about it being a craft but I do think mini painting is much more than coloring between the lines. Anyone who has a steady enough hand to write can pick up a crayon and coloring book and color in the lines.


Painting has so much more to it. It's color selection, techniques, manipulation of paint to give affects not sculpted on the figure itself (freehand). It is very much art in my opinion.


Definitions from Webster's (just to keep the discussion going ::): )


art1 /ɑrt/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ahrt] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation

–noun 1. the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

2. the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; works of art collectively, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings: a museum of art; an art collection.

3. a field, genre, or category of art: Dance is an art.

4. the fine arts collectively, often excluding architecture: art and architecture.

5. any field using the skills or techniques of art: advertising art; industrial art.

6. (in printed matter) illustrative or decorative material: Is there any art with the copy for this story?

7. the principles or methods governing any craft or branch of learning: the art of baking; the art of selling.

8. the craft or trade using these principles or methods.

9. skill in conducting any human activity: a master at the art of conversation.

10. a branch of learning or university study, esp. one of the fine arts or the humanities, as music, philosophy, or literature.

11. arts, a. (used with a singular verb) the humanities: a college of arts and sciences.

b. (used with a plural verb) liberal arts.


12. skilled workmanship, execution, or agency, as distinguished from nature.

13. trickery; cunning: glib and devious art.

14. studied action; artificiality in behavior.

15. an artifice or artful device: the innumerable arts and wiles of politics.

16. Archaic. science, learning, or scholarship.


craft /kræft, krɑft/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kraft, krahft] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation noun, plural crafts or, for 5, 8, craft, verb

–noun 1. an art, trade, or occupation requiring special skill, esp. manual skill: the craft of a mason.

2. skill; dexterity: The silversmith worked with great craft.

3. skill or ability used for bad purposes; cunning; deceit; guile.

4. the members of a trade or profession collectively; a guild.

5. a ship or other vessel.

6. a number of ships or other vessels taken as a whole: The craft were warned of possible heavy squalls.

7. aircraft collectively.

8. a single aircraft.

–verb (used with object) 9. to make or manufacture (an object, objects, product, etc.) with skill and careful attention to detail.

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I feel it can be either a craft or an art. If you sit there and crank out mini for an army just applying basecoats and few highlights then I can't apply the term "art" to it. But if you spend 5 to 20 hours on a mini doing wet blending and NMM with freehand details then it can become what one could consider art. That's my 2 cents.

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