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"How Do You Stay Motivated to Hobby?" Topic

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1,457 hits since 13 Jul 2018
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Cerus43213 Jul 2018 5:44 a.m. PST

So, I've been struggling with procrastination for a while. You know what it's like you have a unit to paint and that army to finish but your mates are all playing that new game, oh look Steam Sales! And Oh, Netflix released that whole season of that new show you were looking forward to. On top of all of that I seemed to find what free time I could manage, taken up with family stuff or spending time with the other half. The struggle is real!

This has been plaguing me for a while now. As a result, I've been thinking a lot about how I can make myself sit down and focus on a project and get things finished when I do find the time. Instead of having it banished to the steadily growing list of work in progress, unfinished, hall of shame projects that currently occupy the space under the bed, the back of the wardrobe and anywhere else they'll fit.

I also came across this video on procrastination from Tim Urban that really speaks to me and drove the point home.

I ended up taking a few steps and made some changes to my own hobby environment, entertainment and personal schedule. All of which contributed positively, and I now seem to be blasting through my hobby progress, although I think the fact I now have a deadline to meet also helps with this. I recently put together an article on battling procrastination but was really looking to find out how other people stay motivated, especially after taking on a project like a large brand new army?

whill413 Jul 2018 6:21 a.m. PST

I have a dedicated space. I try to do something everyday. Even if it as small as flocking one or two figures or applying a wash on a single sword.

cavcrazy13 Jul 2018 6:24 a.m. PST

For me, the problem is Summer, it is too hot and humid to primer anything, too hot to gloss, too hot to paint. I have air conditioning, but after working in the heat all day, when I get home I am too tired.
I also have a very active gaming group that pulls in twenty different directions, so I have multiple projects in various stages of completion.
I am not unmotivated, I am just tired.
I am thinking of just pushing everything off of my paint table and work on one thing at a time.
Work at my own pace and not make deadlines.
Make it fun again…….Now if you will excuse me, I need to go paint.

jeffreyw313 Jul 2018 6:33 a.m. PST

I just went through the same thing, after getting bowled over at work for a month. Plan A: start a new period! Picked up a couple Troiani books, couple boxes of Perry ACW, couple packs of Sash & Saber; another twenty bottles of paint, and got to work! Turns out I can't stand painting ACW, and the history (which I'd gone through thoroughly when I was younger) was pretty dry.

Otoh, I'm now back to where I was and all is right in the kingdom again. grin (Minus a hit to the treasury).

figuresales Inactive Member13 Jul 2018 6:45 a.m. PST

For me it was a matter of looking at what I was struggling to finish and working out why.

Turns out that I actually dislike 28mm figures for anything other than 1 to 1 rpg type skirmishes.
They take too long and demand too much detail and attention to bring the level of finish I am happy with.

So for me going down to 15mm for non rpg skirmish gaming and 6mm or 2mm for everything else has helped immensely.

Doug MSC Supporting Member of TMP13 Jul 2018 7:06 a.m. PST

I only paint the periods that I enjoy. I love the colors of the uniforms and can't wait to see a unit all painted up.
I paint both sides of a period so I'm not bothered by other gamers painting up one side and me another. I usually paint in the early morning for an hour or so while most people are still sleeping. I have a room that is separate from the other rooms where I can keep everything set up so it is easier to jump in where I left off at the last painting secession. I paint 40mm figures now so it is easier to paint the details, however I did the same thing for other scales when I played with them.

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP13 Jul 2018 7:14 a.m. PST

If you mean, "how do you stay motivated to the miniatures hobby?", I don't. I sometimes get away from it and spend my hobby time with archery or singing or something new activities entirely. I just recently was taught by a friend how to play Bocce Ball and it was great! Also, a sport that looked rather easy physically left me tired. It requires more energy than I thought (and I am older than I will admit), but it was fun and mentally challenging for the tactics. Sometimes getting away is the best way to go.

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP13 Jul 2018 7:40 a.m. PST

Well, I have had my moments of having to set it (the hobby) aside because I was "stuck". It happens. There are plenty of other things to do, and it is good to take a break from time to time. I just started painting again, in earnest, after a several month break due to life issues. I have gone the direction of whill4 and I go down and do 30-40 mins of work at a time. It has been rather helpful. I have painted over 70 figures this month and I don't feel the pressure and need to slog away for hours at a time. It used to be that with my group in California, I could not keep up with their period jumping, and it got me down some. Now I do what I want and when I am ready to start gaming again I'll have what I need to do it.

21eRegt13 Jul 2018 8:14 a.m. PST

Dedicated space to paint and (for me) relax. Surround myself with a fun bunch of gamers who are up for most any kind of game. Have the total support and encouragement of my wife who enjoys having the guys over.

Micman Supporting Member of TMP13 Jul 2018 8:51 a.m. PST

I have too many projects, no usable space to work and no desire to change right now. I am reorganizing my office and trying to find a home for everything. Then finish setting up the desk for painting. A good part of this is still being brunt out from moving in 11 months ago.

Okiegamer Inactive Member13 Jul 2018 8:52 a.m. PST

For me it's important to have a balance between painting and playing. Too much of either and I seem to start to get burned out. Painting motivates me to play, and playing fairly regularly, even if only solo, motivates me to paint. I also find that it helps to have some long-range goals, not just go at things willy-nilly. I choose a time period and make that my project for a three-month period. Not saying that's the only thing I work on, just the main focus. Right now I'm in the midst of a 15mm ACW cavalry project that will include a game put on at ManeuversCon next month, and culminate at the end of September with a big home game where I get to show off that entire collection. Then I'll switch gears and work on my AWI collection from October through December, culminating with another home game at the end of the year. My project for January through March will be Napoleonics, concluded with a game at TwisterCon in March followed by a home game. For me, having some long-term goals helps, but not too long-term. Three months is about as long as I want to stay focused on one project before burnout starts to set in.

Martin Rapier13 Jul 2018 8:57 a.m. PST

Its a hobby, it shouldn't be a chore or a worry.

Take a break, do something else, reflect a bit, sell some stuff you are never going to finish.

Oberlindes Sol LIC13 Jul 2018 9:39 a.m. PST

was really looking to find out how other people stay motivated, especially after taking on a project like a large brand new army?

Martin Rapier makes a good point: This is not a job.

I stay motivated to do my job because I liking living in a house and being able to buy miniatures and paints and go to conventions.

If I'm not feeling motivated to paint, I don't. The feeling will come. It usually comes when my wife is on a business trip, and I can make as much of a mess as I like for a few days.

Waco Joe13 Jul 2018 10:10 a.m. PST

Likewise to Martin. When the muse leaves me I just let it go. Sometimes I will set out a new goal and work to achieve that. Then I find I am more likely to dive back into the hobby.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Jul 2018 11:24 a.m. PST

+1 Whill 4

Axebreaker13 Jul 2018 12:17 p.m. PST

Some days I only paint a couple minutes and others hours but I find doing just a little every day adds up and progress motivates you to do more. If I'm just not in the mood at all I don't sweat it and return again when I am. I'm a slow painter so coming to terms that I will never finish projects quickly also helps.


Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian13 Jul 2018 12:18 p.m. PST

Try to schedule an event and build/paint to have everything ready.

Goal is to work, on average, 1-2 hours a day (it might all happen on the weekend though)

14Bore13 Jul 2018 12:20 p.m. PST

Goals, I was doing a color every day on 1 unit but summer is a slack time, to much to do outside.

Benvartok13 Jul 2018 12:51 p.m. PST

+1 Whill, having a space and doing something whenever you have a moment helps.

Core projects and making a list then crossing stuff off helps.

Not buying (crazy talk I know) until I finish the list of projects is my current plan. It's hepled me decide if I really want to do something. You either paint it, or sell it and it gets crossed of! The reward will be a new army and window shopping in the meantime.

Oh and exercise, shoulder back weights, those painting hands are connected and need some support.

And less TMP…….

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP13 Jul 2018 1:24 p.m. PST

Every Saturday, I get to maim kill and destroy in the name of fun, without harming anyone! --whats not to like?

KSmyth14 Jul 2018 5:24 a.m. PST

Having a dedicated space really helps. I usually have Netflix/ballgame/music on while I paint. I know that's a distraction for many, but it works for me. In a perfect world I paint every night between 7-9. Often less, but sometimes more. Routine works for me. I usually juggle two units at a time, so it isn't boring. I try to have a plan for the time. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. There's always tomorrow. I think one thing in my favor is I really enjoy painting and miss it if I don't.

chromedog14 Jul 2018 5:08 p.m. PST

I only model and paint when I have something to work on (I don't have an unending stream coming from the "lead pile that will not end" – my gaming purchases come in fits and starts, so there's often a frenzy of work, then nothing for ages.

The motivation to paint is simply an extension of the motivation to see them on the table (for me, since my first commandment is "thou shalt not field an unpainted model, EVER"). In order for it to get table time, it must be painted.

warwell14 Jul 2018 6:46 p.m. PST

+1 Martin Rapier
It's a hobby so it should be fun, not a chore.
If I find that I making it into a chore, I take a break. My interest will inevitably return.

Bob Runnicles16 Jul 2018 6:47 a.m. PST

"The motivation to paint is simply an extension of the motivation to see them on the table (for me, since my first commandment is "thou shalt not field an unpainted model, EVER"). In order for it to get table time, it must be painted."

I'm with you, Chromedog. I just won't play unpainted figures. Course that's only for myself, I've played against plenty of unpainted models, but for my own stuff, it's painted or it's not on the table.

Old Wolfman16 Jul 2018 7:22 a.m. PST

Believe me,it ain't easy.

Walking Sailor16 Jul 2018 8:19 a.m. PST

to cavcrazy, in re.

but after working in the heat all day, when I get home I am too tired.

Get home, sit down, suck down a half gallon of water before you can get up.
Been there, done that. Dehydration.
Take a bottle of water to work. Leave it in the car, on the floor. It'll stay "cooler". OK, so it's warm. Most important it's wet. Drink it on the way home. Hint: time drinking so that you are home just before your bladder is full.
It's the difference between going home, kissing the dog (well that's the only one that came out to greet me), and sitting there; or getting home, and then being able to go for a walk. You'll feel better.
Then you can get to that to-do list.

Your Kidding18 Jul 2018 5:58 p.m. PST

Every once an awhile I pick an easy mini to paint and see if I can't knock it out an a hour. (Not inculde cleaning, prime and color choices.)

Paint it Pink19 Jul 2018 10:06 a.m. PST

My motivation tends to go when I'm frustrated about choices and can't make my mind up.

But, it's just a goddam hobby, so I get on with other stuff.

kmfrye28 Jul 2018 9:58 a.m. PST

+1 Martin Rapier.

Also, +1 dedicated space. Sometimes, if I only have a few minutes, I just sit and look at the minis and mull over the current projects.

Very often, the urge to paint rises. If not, I'll flock some minis that may have been missed, or I'll clean and prime some new minis.

Little busy steps. And I'll put on some inspiration music, which often helps.

Keith F.

Baranovich30 Jul 2018 2:17 p.m. PST

For me it's being organized and staying out in front of my projects.

I find it much easier to motivate when I've got what I already painted on display and I've got a dedicated gaming space with a table and scenery set up that makes the room look like a relaxing and uncluttered space as opposed to mountains of unfinished stuff piled against the walls.

But having painted armies on display and terrain on display remind me of what stuff looks like when it's actually done!

I know there can be an OCD element to neatness but for me I think it's a psychological boost to staying motivated when your painting space is organized and your paints and things are where they need to be. For me that means paints being organized in orderly rows, by color and range, etc.

OCD or not, I believe that it can be a constant source of discouragement when there's unfinished and half-built and half-painted stuff all over the place. I keep unpainted, unstarted stuff out of view and have my most current project out on the table, the next thing "up to bat" so to speak.

I also find it helps to be selective with what games you play and how many different things you expand into. I only do one historical war, AWI. I do that in 28mm and 6mm. That allows me to focus on and enjoy and concentrate effort into a single war. For fantasy same thing, I paint and maintain about a half dozen full-size fantasy rank and flank armies in 28mm that are usable across several rules systems.

I finally do a small selection of skirmish fantasy and sci-fi which is Age of Sigmar, Frostgrave, 40k Kill Team, and Star Wars Legion.

That's the extent of it. I find that sticking with a limited range of games and putting all my effort into them makes it much easier to wrap my head around and stay motivated to work on stuff.

Sure, there's a dozen other historical wars I'd love to paint and wargame as well. But when would I actually get to play all those games with those armies? How long would they sit in boxes before I actually got around to painting them?

When I have an itch to do minis.for another war or genre I simply pick a single scale and then buy maybe 15 or 20 models, a company-sized force and then paint that at my leisure until I'm ready to display it. I find it a lot more fun and satisfying to just dip my toe in other historical periods by painting a small amount of models, without actually playing new games and attempting to do whole new armies and committing to buying more rulebooks and more specialized terrain for a specific war, etc.

Insomniac30 Jul 2018 4:50 p.m. PST

How do I stay motivated?

I don't.

I work when I'm in the mood and stop when I'm not. I try to swap things around to make things interesting but if all else fails, I down tools and go and do something else.

I find that this gives me a breather and when I return to the hobby, I have lots of ideas to work on.

I'm getting to a point where I think it's almost time to pack up and do something else… but it isn't yet…

Capt Flash07 Aug 2018 12:30 p.m. PST

@Insomniac- I'm in the same boat. I'm working on finishing up a bunch of projects for the sake of completeness all the while thinking of selling off the whole collection. I've been having the urge to do something else as well.

joedog19 Aug 2018 6:12 p.m. PST

After pretty much ignoring my minis for a couple of years, I recently started assembling models again.

Unemployed during the summer, and got tired of Netflix, so went to my storage unit and dug out some models to work on.

Had to buy some glue, but everything else was right there.

We'll see if this renewed interest lasts long enough to get anythng painted. ;)

Anyoen who knows me knows that I love putting minis together, but am not a great or highly motivated painter.

Terry Naylor19 Aug 2018 6:50 p.m. PST

I have a large permanent complete set up in a out building .
My problem is motivation to actually game. I'm tired at the end of the day and find l can't just be bothered to game.
When a new unit arrives from the painter l get a little buzz , base them etc but is short lived .
I don't really understand why have so little motivation to game . The draw of family time is overwhelming.
It makes all the effort in money/time pretty pointless.

stewart46A20 Aug 2018 6:23 a.m. PST

It's a hobby I enjoy and I have a great group of friends who play weekly so if I am felling down they soon pick me up.

Lion in the Stars20 Aug 2018 1:21 p.m. PST

I sprayed a bunch of models when I was stuck awake at 2am. Only time it was cool enough to spray.

Now I can actually sit down and start grinding out the camo on those Primaris Marines.

I still haven't figured out what to paint my Tau Pathfinders.

Royal Marine22 Aug 2018 11:24 p.m. PST

Addiction is its own motivation ….

Jeffers24 Aug 2018 8:44 a.m. PST

I like to collect, make models, paint things, sculpt figures etc. It's the actual gaming that demotivates me.

Apart from a couple of notable exceptions I don't find games that interesting, especially the latest 'we're having a blast!' rules I see all over these boards. Played 'what a tanker' some weeks ago and was utterly bored by it.

So I'm now limiting myself to five periods where I can indulge my modelling skills and take pleasure in that. If they never see a table (or another wargamer) I couldn't give a monkey's.

Twoball Cane29 Aug 2018 4:51 a.m. PST

I'm reading this now. Unghh. My wife is in Japan with 2 of my kids visiting her parents…..gone for 10 days. I have the easiest kid here, who goes to daycare….and goes to bed at 7pm. I just have work, chores, and practicing my mason lines. I have no motivation to paint or model anything, besides some prep work….clean / prime some stonehaven fantasy minis.

I need a kick in the 👖. I could get 5 hours of painting time in per night after lil man goes to bed.

joedog29 Aug 2018 2:08 p.m. PST

Jeffers – I have discovered that, when it comes to enjoying a game – particularly a miniatures game – the rules system being used is much less important than the people playing the game with you.

Jeffers30 Aug 2018 9:50 a.m. PST

I think you missed the inference in the last paragraph, Joe…

chromedog05 Sep 2018 2:31 a.m. PST

Most of the models I buy are ones I want to see on the table, which means they get painted, period. That's my motivation.

Then there are the odd kits where I want to build them for the sake of it. Necron Monolith was bought just so I could light it up.

That said, the game itself is a bonus for having the models, not the raison d'etre for me.

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