Today I want to talk about a concept. Several years ago, I considered myself a decent painter. My skills stagnated and atrophied a little over time, but I still think I can put out a decent paintjob. Over time thanks to social media and the like we now have access to so many more images of models that are gobsmackingly gorgeous from outstanding painters like Matt DiPietro, Meg Maples, Shoshie Bauer, Dallas Kemp, Drew Drescher and more, and while most of the time I’m inspired by some of the stunning art that I get to see, at the same time I’m humbled and look at my own comparatively slapdash stuff, and Im like “awwww, man…”
That’s not to say there isn’t valid reason – I work a 9-5, I’m a single dad, and I have other hobbies such as doing stuff with the Society for Creative Anachronism, and Lord knows I’d like to spend more time reading… so with CaptainCon rapidly approaching, I pushed myself through January to get the human Blood Bowl team painted up. They’re done. I can say that. They’re not even up to my own usual standard, let alone anyone else’s, but dammit, they’re finished to the point where I could have played them (if I hadn’t spent the Sunday of CaptainCon on the phone with the great white porcelain god Ralph).
They’re finshed, not perfect.
This is an important concept for many of us as painters because sometimes we struggle to reach a certain ephemeral painting standard, and other times we find ourselves surrounded by a dozen different projects that we started, hit a creative roadblock, and then never picked back up again. My Compound model for Guild Ball has sat about 45% painted for over a year at this point. I know what I need to do to get him back on track, but…
For many of us there’s a sense of accomplishment at completing a model which can fuel the next painting session, and of course, we all know how painted models perform better on the tabletop.
Finished, not perfect.
The other item in the above pic is a kumihimo braid. Kumihimo is a Japanese cord braiding method that dates back centuries, and it’s a craft I’ve picked up in the SCA. I’m blessed to have a mentor who’s really freaking goodat kumihimo, despite my neophytishness, and recently she loaned me a marudai (wooden braiding platform thingie) and let me kick tires. The end result is the above cord. It’s the first time I’ve completed a flat braid, and the first cord I’ve completed on a marudai. It’s also, as cords go, a bloody mess. The pattern and tension is uneven, there are multiple places where I messed up and moved the wrong element to the wrong place, and it’s just generally a totes noob schemozzle.
But it’s finished. I completed the cord, and I can look at it and have the satisfaction of knowing that I learned from this experience.
So one of my kids is on the autism spectrum, and is often incredibly challenged by trying something new due to fear of messing it up. Finished, not perfect, is a concept I’ve been trying to work on with her. Not everything has a right and a wrong answer, and it’s okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. This is a lesson I need to remind myself of at times.
My next Blood Bowl team will have more time dedicated to it, in the hope of producing better results.
My next kumihimo cord will be braided with the knowledge that I can damn well use a marudai, and I’m more aware of some of the pitfalls to watch out for.
My next Warmachine army – my Menite resurgence – is going to take a long time to complete, but I have the materials, I have the models, and I can muscle through.
I don’t need to be intimidated by the mistakes of my past, I don’t need to be intimidated that the end results aren’t going to line up with the painting rockstars. I can complete the challenges ahead of me.
And so can you.
This brings me to the other point for today’s post.
Lost Hemisphere is, and always will be for me, a labour of love. I love to write, I love to hear from you all, I love to run the fundraiser at CaptainCon, I love to share my adventures with you… but keeping up the pace is a part time job requiring about 20 hours a week that, with the changing needs of my family and other commitments, I can’t realistically maintain any more.
The blog is not going away, I’ll still be writing review posts and sharing photodumps and hosting Paint The Target and the like, but unfortunately I can no longer commit to having new posts for you five days a week. I will continue to do my best, but going forward there are going to be times where we miss a few days here and there as I deal with all the things™. I’m pretty sure this will disappoint at least three of you, but I hope you’ll understand, and that you’ll continue to visit and follow on Facebook and the tweeterz so you’ll be able to continue adventuring with me, albeit at a more relaxed pace.