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Total agreement with the posts already here.  I went through the "I suck" version of painters block for a while, but am currently on a pretty good roll, and I've kept looking at work that was better than mine.  The key?  Comparing me to myself.  Yeah, I said it, I'm not comparing me to them anymore (and please understand this is no disrespect to "them").  Though it's true I would like to be that good, I'm not close enough and haven't worked hard enough to fairly assess if it is a possibility for me.  I look at some of the minis I've done previously and cringe.  Then I look at a newer one, and hell no it's not as good as most of what is posted here, but it's a prize winner compared to my earlier efforts.

 

Also I've set myself some difficult (for me) but attainable goals not related to being the best, but simply to trying my hardest and forcing myself to share my work.  I've been posting on my FB and here some of the things I've finished, even when I still see a bit that wasn't the way I wanted it to be.  I will enter a board contest this year.  I will enter at least one solo piece and one diorama at the next Reapercon.  There are other goals such as paint something from the Darksword KS and the last Babes KS, but the more important thing for me is that it seems every time I share something, it gets easier.

 

I won't quit looking at what other people are painting because to me that's not just saying they're better than me (and maybe always will be) but that I'm unwilling to do EVERYTHING I can to get better.  Because I've learned so much from chatting with people here.  Every tip adds something to my knowledge base, which gets me painting, which gets me practice.  I've heard so many of the Reapercon teachers answer the question "How do you get THAT good?" the same way.  Practice.  Muscle memory.  Literally just doing it more, even if what's in your hand right now isn't turning out great.

 

Please don't get me wrong, everybody is different and if it works better for you personally to not look, then by all means do what works for you.  I hope that whatever you decide you keep on being "one of us."

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Wow - I knew I wasn't alone in feeling the sting of painter's block but it still is a great feeling knowing so many can feel exactly what I was going through.  Hopefully this current bout of painting lasts a good long while - I have 100s of Bones to get done!

 

Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply - the compassion on this board really doesn't exist anywhere else on the internet, imo.

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Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply - the compassion on this board really doesn't exist anywhere else on the internet, imo.

 

This +1,000,000

 

When I first came to this forum, I felt a bit odd about participating.  As I mentioned before, I'm very much a novice painter who isn't really looking to improve and I felt that I wouldn't fit in on a forum of painters and artists who were regularly knocking out amazing work.  However, the people here are amazing and welcoming of everyone - regardless of skill, ability, painting intent etc.

 

Reaper, the forum moderators and the forum regulars deserve SOOOOOO much kudos for the work that they have put in to building and maintaining this forum.

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Well, now it's my turn. Hit a painter's block 3 maybe 4 months ago, after a quasi-burnout at work which ended up with anxiety. Nice. The collateral damage, my painting project. I'm far from being very good, but I think my work was suitable for tabletop use. The quality of my painting is not the show stopper here, I want to get better, without any goals of competition. It's just for my personnal use.

 

Anywho, maye 2 months ago, I tried to go back to painting, as I do once in a while ever since, but I keep turning back, overwhelmed, without a sense of purpose, lost, almost panicked. Quite annoying really. I want to paint, I want new heroes and baddies and big stompy robots on my table, but I...can't...

 

I'm trying to go one step at a time, without thinking, just take a brush and do it, but I keep quitting... Help?

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I got a wee bit of painters block, and a bit of excess electricity & magnetism homework in 2011. I returned to painting in earnest about a month an a half ago. I hope that I can maintain the momentum through upcoming research. 

 

During able-to-paint time? Go do something fun, then come back. Get ideas from what you see while doing fun stuff. 

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On nights that I don't feel the MOJO,  I tend to say to myself,  put one color on a mini, and if you still don't feel it,at least you have one color on...

 

I will often paint terrain pieces when not in the groove, as they tend to be base coat, dry brushing, washes, more dry brushing...

So I still have a feeling of accomplishment that I painted something. ..

 

Hopefully you'll find your new groove...

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I'm currently in a bout of painter's block. I'm working on some goblins that I want to practice OSL on. It currently looks awful and I don't want to touch them. So I'm going to start up on a couple of other figures that I need for this weekends game session. I'm hoping that once I'm done with those I can step back and look at the goblins and get a better feel for what I'm doing. 

 

I also have the issue of looking at someone else's work and thinking I'll never be that good. I'm trying to get past that with encouragement from friends and family and the community here.

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There's a thread that @ub3r_n3rd started about people's first and latest minis...

Take a look there and see some of the stuff that those folks that you think you'llnever be as good as and see how they started out...

It is very interesting! 

No one starts out as great painters, we all grow as we learn, and practice, practice, practice, practice! !!

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I had a bout of painters' block last year.  It was ... political. :unsure:  The last figures I finished were (just a bit belated) for Halloween.  Then ... things happened and I stopped painting of all kinds for some months (I actually withdrew from these forums for a time, which I now think was an error.).

 

It wasn't that I disliked that shelf of half-begun, half-finished figures.  I loved and love a lot of them, in fact.  But they represented a history and hopes for what was now an alternate universe.

 

So last month I set them all aside into storage and started a wholly new batch of figures.

 

I lost momentum.  It may be a while before I have anything finished.  But I'm painting again.

 

 

 

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I'm still in my funk. Nothing since early December 2016.

 

My procrastinating mind has joined forces with my apartment flooding in early February. You see, to make room for the floor repairs, I had to pack all of my painting station (OK, folding table in living room). And now everything is in boxes all over the place, mixed with other stuff. And now I just can't seem to find the energy to go and sort out everything and start over.

 

But it's close. Very close.

...

...

...

Maybe next week... if it's sunny.

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When I hit the block, it usually helps to make up a background story for a mini.

I start envisioning it, is it a hero? A villain?

What will it do?

Is it at war? Dungeondelving? Defending his home? Chasing food?

 

Mostly I get an idea how I want it to look then, and I will start painting.

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for writing, the advice I get is always "you chase the muse."  You don't wait for inspiration to find you or it may never come.  I go through funks in painting where I can't focus and don't want to do anything.  Sometimes it starts to feel like work.  I come home from... work, like my actual job and think "Ok, time to get to work."  When I say those words aloud my shoulders droop a little and it seems much easier just to sit on the couch and play Skyrim  (hail sithis!)  But, I find if I make myself sit down before dinner "just to paint for a bit" I actually feel better and get more done.  Even if it's just basecoating or priming or trimming mold lines.  At least I've done something and can reward myself with dinner!  Be careful though... sometimes I actually get into the swing of things and have to scarf a cup of yogurt before bedtime!

 

But it is very natural for any hobby to go through periods where it doesn't feel good.  There are so many different schools of thought on fixing anhedonia, I suspect there's no right way to fix a block.  Other than to think about what motivates you and what you want out of painting in the first place. And know that even those who have been painting for awhile still feel like there are plenty of painters out there who are way better!  I think humans are naturally competitive... or maybe it's just gamers... anyway, it helps to come to a point where I say "good enough" or I'll never be happy.

 

I took a master class from Kirill Kanaev and I recall all of us "masters" hung our heads after the first day and felt like we didn't know how to paint at all.  So no matter what, we're not alone!

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I've gone years without picking up a brush despite the fact that I spent a good part of the my time sitting next to my painting table and surrounded by all the stuff painted and non that I've accumulated over my 20 years in this hobby.  These days, I just try to do something, anything hobby related each day.  This means I only end up doing it about 3-4 days of the week and sometimes it's just sorting through some miniatures, cleaning the area around my airbrush booth, sorting some paints or getting the mold lines off a miniature.  And I'm ok with that.  Lately, I've had better luck keeping some boardgame minis on the go that I'm only aiming at tabletop quality along with 1 piece that I'm pushing myself on.  This way, when I get stuck with 1 piece, I can pick up one of the less demanding figures and make some easy, measurable progress.  The satisfaction certainly helps get me back to the table the next night.  

Painting is a hobby and, for me, a source of relaxation.  When it becomes anything else, I now switch to something else for the evening, a couple days or until it's relaxing again to sit down and pick up a brush. 

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