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SirDibblet

Frustration, Anger, Despair...

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The long and short of it is that I have many many external factors complicating my life and the joy and catharsis I usually get while painting has evaporated and I am now just frustrated with every single thing I seem to do while painting.  I seem to have lost patience with myself and my limited abilities and can't seem to just paint for the love of painting.  I know fully well this is a result of many factors but I can't help just getting so frustrated as it feels like this external nonsense has intruded into my happy little painting corner of the world.  I have already started and abandoned two new paints due to being "displeased" with the initial phases of each one...

 

I know I will snap out of it and perhaps a little break from painting might help while the rest of life's great conundrums work themselves out.  I suppose I just needed to vent and ask to hear if this has happened to others poking around this forum as well.

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Sympathy liked.

 

Yes, it happens to all of us. Sometimes I'll take a break for a few weeks or a month. Or sometimes I'll work on other parts of the hobby such as leveling up my basing as I love to do realistic dioramas & vignettes.

 

Talking it out with friends on here is good. Also, feel free to join in and chat with a bunch of us in the off topic section "randomness thread."

 

I also like to seek inspiration in the show off threads around here and check out places like putty & paint website.

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I've generally only felt lazy or listless when painting. Maybe taking a break to work some of the external pressures might be an idea?

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Often I get into a possibly similar funk.  As you say there are usually just a confounding number of factors.  And that's really the only thing that keeps (is right now keeping) me going and moving forward.  My factors often involve unfinished projects (be they work-related, home-improvement, organizing, business/paperwork/accounting sloggery).  The past couple of days, for example, I've finally forced myself to tackle two of my more dreaded mind-occupiers.  And I already feel as if a bit of the weight and frustration have been removed.  I hope you can find your way too, however you get there.

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Oh I know that feeling well. What has helped for me is learning about basing. Diving into a different aspect of the hobby has cleared a lot of my fog.

 

And removing a negative voice from its sphere of influence over me. :lol:

 

Do what ya need to. We're not going anywhere. I find every break I take I come back better than I was before.

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I know the feeling.  I was in an eerily similar situation not too long ago;  army vet, new to the hobby, lots of life complications, and couldn't seem to get paint onto minis the way it looked in my head so I became quite frustrated and unmotivated.  A break and some new supplies (a whole bunch of new paints, lights, sculpting and basing stuff) have me feeling reinvigorated and excited to dive back in.  Also, perhaps try a totally new style of project.  I took a break for a week or two, then did some spearmen for my D&D campaign, and those were pretty fun, but I felt a bit unmotivated after those and wound up on another break.  Finally, today, my Alice from Nocturna Models came in.  I'm painting it up as a late birthday gift for my brother who's a big fan of the story, and I can't wait to get started on it.

 

Venting can certainly alleviate a lot of the pressure.  Everyone here I'm sure understands the typical life stuff, but there's also a pretty high number of prior service guys around if you feel they could relate to you better.  Feel free to PM me if you like as well.  Hope you climb out of the rut soon!

 

Rob

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Hey Brother!

 

That kind of thing happens to all of us!

There are always ways to adapt and overcome!

 

There was a thread I started asking who was a vet a while ago, where we all talked, and some of it was smack....

 

We even let the Navy guys talk!

 

George

(Uncle Sam Ain't Released Me Yet, & Conn Nasty Girl, Retired)

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Hmmm.. painting minis is my hobby fun time. When it stops being fun, I stop painting. I'll watch a movie or read a book. Or shift to a different hobby for a while, like casting Hirst blocks, or building Legos (I'm 43 and still build Legos). Sometimes it's enough to just put down the figure and pick up a different type of mini, like an animal, a thug that just needs slapped on paint, a prop like crates, a simple monster that should look sloppy. Anything to just sling some quick paint for a boost of accomplishment. That always helps me get back into the mood for leveling up my paint skills. But I don't put any pressure on myself regarding this hobby. This should be guilt and anxiety free time. Don't try to force enjoyment out it, that's never worked for me.

 

I'm sure you'll find your own way through this bad patch. I did when I figured out that painting units of minis is evil.

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It happens.  If you do a search through the forums you'll see that the question has been asked before in various forms.

 

The great thing about little metal, plastic, and resin soldiers is that the materials they're made out of are really stable, and likely to be around when you come back.

 

Go do something else for a while.  I'm a fan of physical activity, whether that's working out, chopping wood, or just going for a walk.  Our bodies' stress response really demands some sort of physical action to remove the stress hormones coursing through our veins.  After all, the stress hormones demand we fight, freeze, or flee.  All physical actions, so go for a stroll and let the hormones work their way out of your system.  And if you're tired afterwards, that's fine too.

 

Trying to force yourself to have fun is probably the best way to ensure you won't have any fun.

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Upon further contemplation, there can be other factors that can steal my paint joy. Painting in low light is a big one. Eye strain gives me nasty headaches and must be avoided at all cost. Painting when I am tired can tarnish my paint calm. Doing a paint touch-up when I can't remember the right paint color or combo is a real killer. Ergggg!! Damn you stray brush stoke! (A symptom of painting while tired). So as experience is gathered, setting myself up for paint success has become a bigger focus the last year or so. Like, organizing my paints again after each project. Keeping paints used handy till project completion is helpful. Experimenting with tools till I find what works best for me. Keeping an open mind to abandon habits, tools, thoughts, techniques that may work for others but frustrate me has been good to calm hobby time. Framing my mind that perfect is a goal, not a requirement. And each failure teaches me a path to avoid on the road to success. If it weren't difficult, the joy of achievement would be less.

 

And then go on the forums and post like you know what your talking about. That's what I do. ;D

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Time of day seems to be important too. I get more annoyed and frustrated if I try to paint late at night (just gave up on freehanding a standard banner because my yellow has spent the evening being weird and lumpy and not drying). This was after a few weeks of trying to stick to going to bed early and waking up in early in the morning to paint before work. I guess tonight was a necessary reminder of why I was doing that.

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or building Legos (I'm 43 and still build Legos).

If I ever get "too old" for legos I hope my death is caused in some why by legos, just get vengeance for that idea.

 

In any case, if your frustrations aren't being abated by painting, and are only getting worse, try something else. I like violent video games for frustrations. Exercise can be a great way to work off frustrations too.

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Rotate hobbies. I tend to paint for a few weeks, then do Hirst Arts stuff for a few weeks, then do some coding for awhile, then some campaign development stuff...

 

Don't do it if you don't want to, otherwise it becomes work and you dislike it more. Just swap it out for something else relaxing and distracting for awhile, and come back with a fresh start later.

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Yep. Been there. I hadn't touched my painting desk yet this year until a few days ago. Life was just keeping me far too busy. Plus the dog likes to try and lick miniatures in my hand. I'm only now finding time to be able to paint a few things here and there.

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I feel your pain. Been there myself. 

 

One of the things that I've found helps is finishing something. If you're like a lot of us, you have at least a couple of unfinished miniatures or craft projects lying around. Pick one of those up, and finish it, even if it's not to the quality you usually do.  Just being able to call something "DONE" often helps reinvigorate me, and you may find it does the same for you. 

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