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Motivation for painting

Posted: 18 Mar 2014, o 12:36
Having recently a discussion about motivation for painting, made me think what motivates me to paint and why sometimes I have a few weeks long period without a brush in a hand... So here they are:
  • gaming - it helps me a lot when I know that a mini will be used in a battle and not only because painted minis play better, but also because it makes more fun a has much more atmosphere. I started my Escher Necromunda tale with a campaign start at a local club. The minis that performed best were the first in a queue to be painted :mrgreen:
    That is also the reason why I started playing more skirmish games. You just need 15-20 miniatures and you're ready to play. The feeling of having achieved something comes much faster :D
    Painting armies is more difficult and takes more. I think that having a defined army list with 1500 - 2250 pts helps to stay on the track.
  • real miniature contests - you can't play with all the miniatures, some will get a display base ;) For a contest you try to give your best and there is a deadline which also motivates (at least in my case). After every competition I come back from, I am full with painting energy and I want to grab my brushes as soon as possible. So there contests are a real kick to paint more.
  • buying vs painting - buying a miniature is much easier then painting it. Last year I tried not to buy a single miniature. After 7 months I have failed. But today I can't remember what miniatures I wanted to buy and I am still alive, so they weren't needed that much ;) It also helped me to paint more miniatures than to buy! This is a big achievement in my case.
    This year I am also trying to be as restrictive as I can (only 3 minis bought so far !) and I don't buy miniatures as soon as they are released. I give my 'need to have/buy' a bit of time to mature. If I haven't forgot about it after 2-3 weeks then it is worth to buy.
  • unpainted miniatures - call it whatever you want: hall of shame, pile of lead or in my case cellar of boxes :( I can't remember when was the last time when I bought a miniature and started to paint it right away. That is really not only sad but also dramatic. Sometimes I amaze myself about what minis hide there. It doesn't happen very often but still ... :(
    To change it I made myself a todo list. It is just an ordered list of miniatures/units I want to paint in the future. Such small and silly piece of paper has helped me a lot to keep my focus on getting rid of the unpainted lead.
  • painting corner - my kingdom. Before I didn't have a possibility to have an own place, now after moving to Munich at the very beginning my wife made me to buy a desk where I can paint and keep my thing there and leave the table tidy for meals. I don't have to clean it after every painting evening and I can paint whenever I have time to. I know it myself that it isn't always possible, but I find it a big factor and now I just couldn't paint without it.
  • painting sessions - plan your time! For me it is Tuesday :) On the radio there is my favorite program and I keep this time to myself. Whatever happens and how few time for painting I have, I know there is Tuesday and a 2 hours painting fun. My wife knows about it, doesn't invite any guests, goes for fitness and she even buys me beer and chips on this occasion - every week!
  • commissions - I did it only once and I can already say, never ever again !!! I can't motivate myself to paint anything for someone. I just can't. I am still keeping this miniature after 4 months, painted a little bit, but the guy seems to be very easy with it :) Lucky me :) I know that some like it or that some need it (well the money), but for me it is a big demotivation factor. So it was important to realize and say to myself never ever again !!!.
I wonder what are your thoughts on this topic.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
What takes the joy of painting away from you?

Re: Motivation for painting

Posted: 18 Mar 2014, o 13:34
by arctica
All these are legitimate reasons and a good thing to help motivate people to do the painting :) i know the top 2 are certainly factors for me and the painting corner helps so much. I like painting sessions but i often find painting by myself is more common and i'm usually more productive because i'm in my comfortable painting spot :)

Re: Motivation for painting

Posted: 18 Mar 2014, o 20:22
by Hellspawn
Very interesting topic indeed :)
I'll have a little answer posted a little later once I'll have a little more time to write it down properly.

Re: Motivation for painting

Posted: 19 Mar 2014, o 11:41
Waiting for it!

Re: Motivation for painting

Posted: 21 Mar 2014, o 08:10
by Hellspawn
I guess that topic grew after I posted my questionning in my ToG thread. Am I wrong?
Anyway, even if it's not, I can still recognize myself in most of your points.

Gonna repeat a little bit of what was already said in my ToG Thread, but I think it's nice to have some explanations for how I did "regain" a bit of motivation.

Last year, while I was working on my Salamanders army, I hitted a wall, simply cause I realised I wasn't enjoying my paintings after receiving some feedback that pointed to me some details that I wasn't caring off. So you're gonna say, why did you hit the wall then if you weren't caring about those details? Simply cause I stepped back a little and looked at the overall picture and realised something was off.
So, after some thinking, trying to get back on the hook, I couldn't, and I stopped painting for now a year.

Reason is what I just said, and also cause while I was looking at the news, I couldn't find the excitement in the releases over the months. Nothing was appealing enough to me to even make me think of buying some minis. Of course, I did found some very good, but since the motivation wasn't there, the sudden urge/envy of compulsing buying didn't even woke up, the minis were "just" interesting, not "OMG I NEED THAT ONE" (if you see what I mean). I didn't even bought a single mini for nearly a year (10 months exactly).

So, now back to the topic.

Is my motivation back? I'd say not entirely.

Some time ago, I went back to town to see my local miniatures dealer to see if he was ok (guy is old and got sick last year). Guy appeard to be in a good shape. I looked at some of the minis he had in stock and noticed one mini that would have been a nice addition to my Salamanders Army, so I bought it (this is where I failed at not buying, eventhough I think I succeeded in buying less minis hehehe), eventhough I knew I wouldn't paint it anytime soon.

Anyway, while I went back home, I put the mini with the others and looked at my "painting desk". Place was a complete mess, dust on everything, minis barely started, some other in a more advanced stated but still not finished and it made me sad, and it this that trigger back the growing idea of starting over.

The idea was there, of course in a latent state but was still already there, for a long time and it started growing again (which made me post in my ToG).

I gave some thoughts to all of this, went through my all Mountain of Shame (yeah, at this point, it's not a pile anymore, it's a Mountain, cause I can fill a 10 square meter room with boxes of minis), made a list of every single minis, sceneries (painted, unpainted, in blister, un sprued, etc) I have, and cleaned the painting desk and decided it was time to restart.

But how come is this related to motivation? Simply cause I think I found what killed my motivation and finding that, helped me willing to fix the situation.

Though, I said I was finding myself in some of your points and here is how.

Gaming : Of course, it's a very valid motivator. I can't recall when was the last game I had, but yeah, gaming feels nice, and yeah, it's always good to play with painted minis. For gaming, I don't care if I'm playing with someone whose minis are just undercoated with a base color on them, or even just glued, but playing is nice, since the minis we're painting are from a game and I do hope I'll find the time and the players to play soon.

Real Miniatures Contests : Yes, not all minis are for gaming purpose, but I think those minis are from a different kind and it's another hobby, called model.

I do have some minis that aren't from a game, and I'll try to paint them decently enough, but contests are not my kind of things, and it's even a motivation killer for me. Reason is, because, it puts sooo much pressure on you, about the level of quality of the minis, the way they're presented, that you're getting obsessed by it and coming from the gaming side of the hobby, I just want to paint my minis to play with them, not to make my miniatures look real.

Buying vs Painting : Uhm...That is a tough question, but this can either kill or trigger the motivation.

Unpainted Minis : same, can either be a killer or a trigger.

Painting Kingdom : Yes, that is definitely something any hobbyist (yeah, I'm using that word cause we have on this forum, people that are only painters (so on the model hobby), we have gamers (who don't give a rat's ass about the way their minis are used) and we have painting gamers (who try to play with painting minis) should have cause there is nothing more annoying than being forced to tidy a place (cause you have guest or cause it's dinner time) while the motivation is there and you were ready to built, glue, or do any kind of stuff that would have allowed you to do something to make your minis go forward.

A painting desk, your little "kingdom", whatever you wanna call it, where no one comes harrass you to tell you that it's not clean, or tidy, is definitely a realy help cause you know that at any time the motivation will be here, you'll be able to sit there and do something without fearing of having to clean in within the next 5 minutes cause the neighbours are coming for dinner.

Painting sessions : Can also be a killer or a trigger. I mean, yeah, it can be nice cause you know that at some point, you will be there to work on minis, but I noticed that when I was doing that, lots of time, I was just sitting there and not even concentrating on the minis cause "motivation" was not there, while sitting there when "motivation" is here, I was more productive. But yeah, having fixed painting sessions, can be a good idea.

Comissions : Like the Real Miniatures Contests, definitely not my kind of things, mostly for the mains reasons than the Real Miniatures Contests, and more over cause here, the pressure is not only from yourself, but from someone else who's pressuring you for results, delays, etc. So, thank you, but no thank you, definitely not a motivator.

One thing that motivates me though, especially when I have hard time getting back on the hook is what follows:

Making the desk clean: Remove everything that is started, about to be started, bitz, sprues, mess, dusts, can, pigments, etc..., everything from the desk. Make it completely empty. Clean it (with tissues, products, anything that will make it clean and smells good), and then replace everything in the appropriate position.

I noticed that everytime I was doing that, I was feeling better and gave a little boost to actualy finish what I had started. It's not a guarented motivator but at least, for me, it's working.

I guess that covers everything :)

Re: Motivation for painting

Posted: 21 Mar 2014, o 09:51
That last point is very interesting - it makes you feel nice when you come back to the desk. I'll try to clean it after current project :)

We have found new hierarchy of unpainted miniatures :)
1) hall of shame
2) pile of lead
3) cellar of boxes
4) mountain of shame

Re: Motivation for painting

Posted: 21 Mar 2014, o 19:41
by Ariakas wrote:That last point is very interesting - it makes you feel nice when you come back to the desk. I'll try to clean it after current project :)

We have found new hierarchy of unpainted miniatures :)
1) hall of shame
2) pile of lead
3) cellar of boxes
4) mountain of shame
If Real estate wasn't so damn expensive in France i'd buy a warehouse for my mountain of shame :P

Re: Motivation for painting

Posted: 21 Mar 2014, o 20:08
:lol: good one :)
Btw, I haven't seen a mini from you not even an unpainted one :roll:

Re: Motivation for painting

Posted: 25 Mar 2014, o 09:36
by arctica
Well my big big motivator is that i play at on average 3 times a week, so i want to have a painted army that i can use. And so i've been rushing some models just to finish and others i take my time when i like the model etc :) so i have found forcing yourself to paint something for armies is the difficult step and usually counter productive for my own motivation (unless it's the only thing outstanding).