Dienstag, 7. März 2017

The contrast of soul - part one - flat or warehouse?

The longer the silence, the louder the first cry...
or so I thought a few months ago. The trailer for my great comeback gathers dust on the hard drive, the new lamps rarely shine, the cameras dream in their long sleep.
There is much going on right now in my life, but little of it has to do with our beloved hobby, with art or this blog.

And still, after all those months of no content, there are still new subscribers, new page views, new requests. There are all you lovely people who didn't unsubscribe! And now, with some time and distance to the past events, I feel like I have to write something.

This won't be about miniature painting. But that is ok, at least for me. Readers of the first hour will remember, that we were a very different blog back then. Different people, different approach and different topics. The miniatures became our main topic with time and I plan to return there one day. But now is not the time.

The reason is simple. I can't paint. It is not that I don't have the time. Or the space.
The circumstances  were never better...new studio, loads of free time before I start my final semester.
The problem lies deep inside me. Because something has been silenced.

And this is the topic I will write about in this new series. Because in one way or another, we all have been there! I was lucky to meet many fellow painters, writers and artists and of cause we talked hours about it. The moment, when your inner voice doesn't speak anymore. We all have different ways to deal with it, but it never hurt anyone to hear how others do it.

I have been in many situations during the last years. Fanatical collector who drowned in the amount of kits around him, stressed and burnt out commission painter who couldn't afford the question, IF he paints. Broken artist, who was unable to bring his vision to life. Somehow I always returned to the brushes and I am sure, it won't be different this time. But maybe this becomes easier, when I reflect on it.

So yes, these are the musings of a person who is really good at finding reasons not to work and stay away from his passion.


The first article is about the probably most common reason to not even start, the deep routed urge to collect. I hardly know anyone without that problem. Be it the 10th sketchbook, that we will fill one day, or the three grey armies we hide under our bed. Most of us own too much stuff we will never touch.

I started as a child, with rocks, sand from the beaches we visited, all sorts of rubbish only a child values for its magic. That was cute and it was easy to keep under control for my parents...but then came the big wide world and temptation of tabletop games. And how it hit me!
I was a skilled ebay hunter back in the day and I missed the point, where my collection lost its value for being important pieces I gathered over years...and working for the big Company of Redshirts did the rest. Most people know of the discount staff gets on those kits...most staff know how that always ends.

It all added up over the years. When I did many commission armies, something always would end up staying in my place, be it the bits, the customer didn't want. And with 10 plus bitboxes, why not put them to use for this or that cool project? I became a true hoarder. When I started to occupy our flats common room or needed more shelves to store my future projects I couldn't understand why that should be wrong...of cause not, I was addicted.

A few weeks ago I had to move. And I stood between those towers of kits and boxes, shelves full of books and tools...and I simply lost it. I felt drowning and falling at the same time. Something that never had occurred to me  hit me in that moment...I stood between my own shackles.
Even if I would have painted all that starting that day...I honestly doubt that I would have managed to have a job or social life and finish before I died.

I started to add up...10 hours for every Imperial Knight, 20 for this 54mm historical miniature, 100 for my big dragons...I used very vague numbers and only for a small part of the things around me. But it scared me. And I realized, it always had. Deep inside me I knew, I would never finish that collection or anything of my projects. And as I stood there, unable to tell which was really important for me and which was just a maybe some day I understood why I didn't finish anything personal in months. There was nothing to start. Picking up one, another caught my eye and so on.

I sold most of my stuff, gave much away to friends who I knew would paint it. I did that multiple times in my life, back then to pay bills. But this time it was different. No regrets, no missing what I gave away.
With every parcel that left my flat, i felt how time was freed. Time i could use for other things I like, spend with the persons I love.

I also threw away everything from my work in progress showcase. Projects that had moved in with me 5 years ago, only to never be touched again. Things I couldn't remember the paint schemes or even the idea I had for them. Things a different person once started to express himself, a person no longer existing. And even though the thought of doing so was frightening in the past, it was relieving.

I am sure one day I will feel the urge to paint something again, and when that moment comes, it should be easier to figure out what.

I remembered the days of my youth, when I had to save a month or two for a new box of toy soldiers and how happy I was, when I finally got them. I painted them fast and horrible but with so much joy. When things become common, they loose their magic. A sad truth applying to many things and situations in life.

What I did was an extreme reaction, but on the other hand, I had an extreme problem.
But even in milder forms, the problem of too much can spoil our joy in painting and living.
So if you struggle, maybe you own one army or showcase piece to much.

And if someone close suddenly annoys you, maybe its to much too.
Funnily, me and my old room mate started as best friends, ended as persons full of rage and regret and now, two months after moving out, we have a great time again. Because we have been around each other to much too. And again, miniature painting can explain the big wide world to us sometimes. My own breakdown with today's problem gave me the insight to apologize and start a very worthy friendship again from scratch.

That's it for today, dream on and read you soon!

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