So many good artists out there, I’m just done. I quit! I just can’t compete. I will never win, so why even try? I’m throwing away my brushes.
Scared you there for a moment didn’t I? Well, this is the feeling I get every time I hear this from ANYONE or ANY level. It happens most often around competitions, and just let me say I HAVE BEEN THERE! So, here are my thoughts…
I had the opportunity to sit and paint for hours next to Dallas (studio painter for Privateer Press). His journey to the higher levels of painting was so different than I have ever heard and truly inspiring. He made a decision one day that he was going to be good at this miniature painting thing. He didn’t fall into it and doesn’t have a “fine art” background. It was an executive decision that he made to fight through to being one of the best. I was blown away!
90% of competitive miniature painting is practice. The rest is inspiration and dumb luck. This is of course my opinion, but one I do truly believe in. Yes, some people have natural talent toward creative efforts, grew up in creative surroundings or have fine arts degrees. These things are an advantage for some things, but not always. Starting out with no perceptions of what art should be can be a boon on its’ own.
The few “fine arts first” people I know (examples are James Wappel and Shoshie Bauer) have truly unique ways of looking at and approaching the hobby. Their style and methods are truly unique to the community, but don’t be discouraged by their awesome. There are bad habits and frustrations for them also as they try to mash what they know into our miniature world. They so do make it look easy though don’t they? LOL
I could go on and on here, but let me tell you this one last thing. As an instructor and painter the highest honor in the world for me is to see someone I taught be successful. That happened for me for the first time this year at Adepticon (yes, I’m talking about you Rex). I can’t take credit for his awesome work and development, but I did show him a few things when he was still a noob. I feel like a proud mamma.
Oh, and if you throw out your brushes you are denying future generations to look at your work and threaten to do the same 🙂