When I decided to change my website, one of the main features I wanted for my site was that it would essentially still be a blog. The reason for this was two-fold. Firstly, I felt that it would keep everything more personal and secondly, I enjoy having a place where I can transmit my ramblings and experiences.
That being said, today I wish to introduce a new section to this blog, that will contain my personal experiences, thoughts, inspirations, ups-and-downs, etc. that come upon my path. These posts will be written from my own perspective, but perhaps they are useful to some of you out there as well.
These past few weeks (or perhaps I should say months) have been a true eye-opener for me, and they have been the inspiration for me to start changing the way I approach miniature painting. This may sound a little heavy, and perhaps it is, but in the last years I have seen my hobby – that was a great way of relaxing and getting a bit of personal time – change into something I do not want it to be…an obligation…
In the past (LINK) I have talked a bit about perfectionism and its pitfalls. And even though last year after the SMC I had some great advice for myself and all those suffering from it, apparently I am a hard learner. For this reason, I’m starting this series of blogs, to share my journey with you. Including all the pitfalls, but hopefully also bright sides :).
If you’ve read the article linked to above, you may wonder what happened after that post. Well, I must say that the year started out very well. I did some small projects that I really enjoyed and that gave me quite some energy.
I also decided to cut down on the commissions I take and made the choice to only do commissions of miniatures that actually appealed to me.
Then, some personal things (which included obtaining my doctorate in Biology) made my life quite stressful and I did not have that much time to paint. Still, I wanted to keep painting. For finishing the commissions and for getting my own minis “done”. This is where the tables turned and where the painting turned into an obligation, and I couldn’t accept it if a weekend passed without me grabbing the brushes.
Around the end of July, I felt SMC was approaching fast yet I did not have an entry for the contest. In my mind, the minis that I painted this year (see above) did not live up to the expectations of the Master class in the contest. Hence, I decided to paint a mini especially for the contest. And it would be awesome! Lots of NMM, freehand, a big banner and a big base! I..should..not..have..done..that!
As painting time was still quite limited, I pushed myself to painting even when I did not feel like it, thus forcing it. I rushed things, and I did not feel happy about what I painted. I lacked good inspiration for the base and for the banner. And all the while I was being super self-critical and getting less confidence by the day. In the end I was not satisfied, yet still entered in the contest.
After talking to a lot of people at the SMC show something hit me. My main dissatisfaction was not because of the figure, but because of how the painting process took place and how I didn’t listen to my gut feelings. I completely lost my “happy painting” mojo.
Funnily enough, this was probably a good thing to happen, because I’ve learned a great deal of things because of this. And, for the first time after a show I am actually excited to be painting something again.
In the next post, I will share some of the “lessons” learnt these past two weeks and how I plan to continue my “happy painting journey”.
Very interested in this series of blogs Maartje. As a painter trying to improve I think sometimes I spend too much time focussing on what the best painters are doing and getting frustrated that I’m not improving as much as I’d like. The last few months especially though I’ve just tried to relax a bit and ‘find the fun’ as it were. Not every miniature needs to be a huge step forward, just putting paint onto a miniature I’m having fun with can be enough. Glad to hear you’re finding your current project fun and looking forward to seeing it!
Hi Daniel! Thanks for your comment!
I think ‘having fun’ is the most important part. I’m finding my way to get to that place again :).
[…] back at the year. Painting wise, this year has been quite the awakening, as you might have read in this post. I’m still in the process of writing things down about some of the lessons that I’ve […]
Hello from Malta
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have a couple of minis that I’m saving for when I improve to a master level! After reading your post, I got thinking that the right approach is to just enjoy painting and making little improvements with every mini and not worry to strive to become a master painter in a short period. So I paint to my level and enjoy every mini and feel proud of it.
May I ask if you have a tutorial on painting flesh with acrylics?
Hi Noel! Thank you for visiting my site 🙂 You are absolutely right! And you will notice that if you paint minis you love, you will automatically raise your level as you enjoy painting.
I currently don’t have a flesh painting tutorial, but you can find some tips here: http://magieminiatures.com/2015/05/painting-skintones-paints-tips-tricks/
Also, a painting session of mine with the Hobby Hangout facebook group was recorded, you can find it on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OQt4WYTnNc
Hope it helps and have fun painting!