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Keeping the Painting Bug Alive

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So what are your ways of keeping the painting spark alive and the creative juices flowing. I recently had about a 2 month dry spell where I literally painted nothing. Even my wife asked if I was OK as I had been painting every night for months up until that point. I'm not really sure why the 'spark' died out in my case but I do know what rekindled it at least - a move into my new hobby/reading/mancave! Having my own space in the house to do painting, listen to music or whatever has helped tremendously. Technically I share the space with my wife's knitting and book collection but she tends to like to knit/crochet while watching movies or anime so really the space is pretty much all mine!

 

So has anyone else had a dry spell like that? How long did it last? What caused it? How did you get out of it?

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Bones. Seriously, they changed my life. Wanting to deploy them in game means I have to paint them. This means I have to sit down at least once a day and paint something. Using them in game also means I need multiples. This means I have a lot to paint, so the pressure for each individual mini is less - I simply can't give each one the same TLC as I normally might if I'm to meet any realistic schedule. This, in turn, means that while I'm still trying to make them look good I'm not super hung up on making them perfect.

 

And that keeps Bones super fun to do.

 

Compare that to Takhisis. I love that miniature. It's going to look nice when it's done. It's now Sunday, and Sundays are when I paint Tak instead of Bones. But I'm not looking forward to it. She's a pain in the butt, and requires enormous amounts of attention.

 

But Monday? Monday I get to paint more Bones. I can't wait for Monday.

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I am in the middle of a pretty long dry spell painting-wise. I think creative blocks are a part of the creative process. I went through them with my writing as well as my photography. Most of the time its just a matter of getting back into the rhythm. Set up some time in your schedule and stick to it. Even if you end up hating what you painted and stripping it, you have made some sort of progress.

 

I am currently rearranging my basement to have a special area just for my minis and other craft projects. I also just bought a new macro lens to better document my painting efforts. So that and the impending arrival of my bones minis have been a big motivator to get back into the habit of daily mini painting.

 

 

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For me, it's a matter of having a wide variety of different types of miniatures to choose from; textures, challenges, etc. For instance, I like having a certain number of non-humanoids (monsters if you will), humanoids, true monsters, and so forth. That way, I'm not always painting 'heroic' types, humans, elves, dwarves...

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had a dry spell in 2011 thru most of 2012 (I blame city of heroes, but I did get 69 minis done in 45 days).

 

Before that there was a gap of a few years, that was before I discovered reaper's paints (was using liquitex acrylic paints, and everything had to be mixed)

 

the latest dry spell happened after I completed my lizardman army, I had a goal, and I finished it. my goal now is miniatures I can use in multiple situations, wargames, RPGs, and display.

 

Adrift's comment about having a variety is great as well... dont feel like painting a cowboy? paint an undead pirate instead

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Adrift's comment about having a variety is great as well... dont feel like painting a cowboy? paint an undead pirate instead

That's what I'm talkin about!

 

With sufficient variety, you can literally paint whatever suits your fancy and just let your imagination roam across your collection to come up with neat ideas to work on. The Bones KS is gonna keep me loaded with inspiration for years to come; I literally have multiple projects already planned out for several minis from the KS.

 

I really also want to stress the importance of pushing your abilities and trying new things liberally. You're going to mess things up, you're going to get frustrated, and you're going to look at something you've done and think, 'this sucks'. But the bottom line is you pushed your comfort zone and are breaking new ground.

Edited by Adrift
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I'll go hit up a FLGS and watch a couple games of whatever. Sometimes a good book or a good movie will also recharge my brain. Video games and/or alcohol are painting cryponite though.

 

One method I've been wanting to try is this: when you just can't keep your brush moving or your eyes focused on minis any more go take a break. once rested find something you've always wanted to try and go do that for an hour. You could go learn how to use an air brush. Use a bit of sprue to try (or practice) some NMM. Find a bit of plasticard or the outside of a blister, prime it, and practice your freehand.

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I'll go hit up a FLGS and watch a couple games of whatever. Sometimes a good book or a good movie will also recharge my brain. Video games and/or alcohol are painting cryponite though.

 

One method I've been wanting to try is this: when you just can't keep your brush moving or your eyes focused on minis any more go take a break. once rested find something you've always wanted to try and go do that for an hour. You could go learn how to use an air brush. Use a bit of sprue to try (or practice) some NMM. Find a bit of plasticard or the outside of a blister, prime it, and practice your freehand.

add daughters to that list girot :blink: In my case I'm just simply spread to thin to have time to do everything I want and with painting being my largest time sink along with tinkering with the guitar They tend to get neglected until I have Hours of spare time to sit in one spot, The upside Is I have been able to scratch my gaming itch at work on the weekends while im not busy.

 

I forgot to add I need to pull the gas tank off my phantom and replace it, the dent from the wreck i had in 2011 is starting to rust, then need to add a forwarding kit and vance and hines short shot pipes. also want to pull the stock exhaust off the camaro and upgrade with a highflow catback exhaust system... Soooo much to do Sooooo little time and money.

Edited by pocketcthulhu
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I have periods of time I just don't have the motivation to paint for one reason or the next. I find painting a mini for someone else helps bring back motivation, either as a gift or a miniature exchange. I don't want to disappoint someone and painting for someone else makes me feel satisfaction in knowing someone else will be happy.

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I have short spells of a month or two, sometimes the painting bug just needs a nap, but for most of last year I just could not care less about painting. Even Reapercon couldn't motivate me. I think it was the Summer paint exchange that got me moving again, followed by the Autumn exchange and paint contest. In short, having a reason and a deadline. Then I painted a bunch of stuff around Christmas and fell into another slump.

 

Right now I am not interested in painting anything Reaper (shock, horror!) so I am working through stuff from other makers. Changing it up to a different style of mini gives me something new to look at and sometimes new techniques to play with.

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All creative processes need some downtime. I usually associate my painting breaks with tendinitis pain from work (thanks work <_< ). But with drawing I go through months long periods of not drawing.

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I really also want to stress the importance of pushing your abilities and trying new things liberally. You're going to mess things up, you're going to get frustrated, and you're going to look at something you've done and think, 'this sucks'. But the bottom line is you pushed your comfort zone and are breaking new ground.

This is pretty much the core of where I am as a painter. I'm still relatively new, so every new skin tone, every material type is new to me. Every model I paint has something I've never tried before and I try to push it forward a bit, too. With my exchange mini, I think I counted four new techniques. People like my flesh tones, so I radically changed the way I paint flesh to try to improve what I'm already decent at. With Ororo, I pushed my success with NMM gold and then pushed it even further by adding NMM gold freehand trim to the cloth.

 

Also, I've been amassing a small cache of minis so I have an interesting assortment to choose from when selecting my next project.

 

I've yet to lose passion, though life has intervened twice on me. First time was thirteen years, luckily the second time was only a little over a year. Now I've been going for almost 8 months and loving it.

 

Also, I intersperse painting with my myriad other hobbies, playing guitar or video games (Rocksmith and Sleeping Dogs mostly right now), spending time with my lady, going to concerts (Stephane Wrembel coming up next), etc. Even on guitar I keep things mixed up by playing many genres and styles, with different physical guitars to keep things interesting (my classical is radically different from my Gibson SG, for instance).

Edited by CashWiley
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I've come to the conclusion I'd get a lot more done if I had a housekeeper. Today is Takday, but Takday might get pushed to tomorrow. I got up this morning, looked around, and realized if I don't do something about this mess I'm gonna wind up on Hoarders or something.

 

Which with Bones is probably not especially far off the mark.

 

Since my painting friend, whom I generously donated real estate to, hasn't shown up in seven months I'm going to assume they're not coming back - or at least not with enough frequency to justify the expended space. So I think my first task today is to annex that area for my own use. I've already put a cookie tin of Bones on that desk, with instructions to start trouble. Then, once the riot is in full swing, I'll send over some of my paint to restore order. A real nice paintkeeper mission. By the time I've annexed the land, there won't be anything the League of Painters can do about it. Fait accompli!

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I have 3 ways of keeping going.

 

1. Put brush to mini. If I feel myself slipping out of the groove and not wanting to do it, I just basecoat and do the eyes of the first mini to strike me. Usually something I haven't painted in a while. Once the eyes and skin are done, it's a little person/monster and it needs my attention. It craves my time.

 

2. Agreeing with Adrift about variety. I get so bored of painting the same type of thing. Too many tentacles, too many eyes, armor, weapons, clothes, fangs, claws. I have to have stuff on hand that strikes me in order to be motivated.

 

3. Exchanges. Painting for someone else is fantastic motivation. You have a goal, you have a name, and you just do it for the joy of giving.

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