Tuesday, July 21, 2009

36 - FtW Collaborative Post on Motivation

What motivates me to paint miniatures? Well, I think at this point - only 7 months into the hobby - motivation hasn't been a major issue. I'm still in the honeymoon period, I guess, because I try to get a little bit of painting and modeling in every night. In fact, I find it very therapeutic at the end of the day. Painting miniatures is almost like my version of zen meditation - I get totally wrapped up in the tiny details of a model, the careful brush strokes, the layering of paint, etc. Get some good grooves going in the background (currently on my playlist: Orgone, the Black Keys, and the Postal Service), and everything else just fades away into the background.

But I also have a track record of getting really involved in something (be it a television show, a band, a video game, etc.) for about a month, totally devouring every scrap of information about it, dedicating hours of every day to thinking about it, and then...poof...30 days later, I abandon it and move on to my next obsession. Now, if this ever happens with me and miniatures...well, then, that's almost $800 worth of models collected over 7 months down the drain. Not cool. So, while I may still be enthusiastic about the hobby right now, there's no time like the present to start planning for burn-out. Here's my top 5 tips for getting motivated and re-energized about the hobby:

1) Paint a variety of models. Don't just stick to one army or one genre or one game system or one company. If all you're doing is painting Imperial Guardsmen day after day, and all that's awaiting you on your painting table are more Guardsmen, then it's not hard to see why you'd be burned out after a couple of squads. Instead, spice things up by painting a High Elf hero character or even some Reaper or War Machine or Hasslefree miniatures every once in awhile.

2) Start a blog. This isn't because I'm an attention-whore. In actuality, I started this blog purely to chart my own progress in the hobby. Having people come and visit every once in awhile is just a bonus (and a great one, at that!). For me, at least, blogging is a big motivation to paint because I'm just naturally drawn to filling up a blank screen (or a blank piece of paper) with my thoughts. And since my blog is about miniatures, the best way to have anything to talk about is to actually paint up a model. I guess it's the English Lit. major in me.

3) Don't beat yourself up for putting a half-painted model down and picking up a new one. I'm that way with a lot of things - my apartment is filled with half-read books piled on the coffee table, on book shelves (naturally), on end tables, nightstands, etc. Every once in awhile, I'll pick one of them up and breeze through it in a day or two because my mood at the time was just in tune with the book's subject matter. It's the same with half-painted minis. I won't force myself to slog through a mini I'm rapidly losing enthusiasm for because that's the best way to turn this hobby into a job, in my opinion.

4) If you're not in the mood to paint, then assemble. If you're not in the mood to assemble, then convert, etc. etc. This hobby is multi-faceted enough to cater to a host of different interests and moods.

5) Read blogs or watch YouTube videos about the hobby. Sometimes all it takes to re-ignite that interest in the hobby is to read and watch someone else's enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is contagious, after all.


Wortiger said...

I think you have some really valid methods for staying motivated for a long time in the hobby. I have been doing it for 12 years now and I find the best way for me to get motivated when the fire has faded is to watch the work of others be it youtube, blogs or just images or codexes. I think its important to aknowledge that the motivational level is going to vary during a year. I paint and play alot during autum and winter/spring but not much at all around christmas and during the summer. Knowing this helps keeping the "Oh no I lost the interest" panic at bay when looking at all those unfinished miniatures.

Siph_Horridus said...

I love looking around these blogs too - discovered 'blogger' autumn last year and it has certainly helped me along.

Ragados said...

A really good post. I am the same, I pick stuff up, and drop it a month down the line, and these are great ways to stay in on an expensive hobby.

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