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What I learnt from trying and failing 31 days of hobby

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Hi there!


Some of you may have noticed that I attempted a 31 days of hoby challenge in December. You'll also notice my blog has far from 31 entries. The objective of this challenge was to work on hobby for at least 1 hour a day, though as I knew I'd be at my girlfriends at least 1 weekend in December I added the rule of if I miss any days I make up for them with extra time on other days. Now I did not manage this challenge at all, but honestly? I've learnt one hell of a lot from trying it and I'm going to share those lessons.



So lets begin with the positives I gained/learnt from this challenge:

1) It gave me motivation: Now this is a big one, normally I have 0 motivation to paint because honestly I find it very intimidating at times. I'm still not used to batch painting or doing lots of models so as much as I love painting a hero or two any squads are instant turn offs because I'm too used to spending hours per model. This challenge however gave me the motivation to attack my unpainted pile and frankly really helped, which also moves me onto point 2...

2) It broke it down: What I'm saying here is basically that doing only an hour or so at a time was the best thing for it because it taught me that no, I don't have to spend an entire evening doing painting or modelling. The hardest thing for me is fitting hobby around my other time consuming hobbies and the fact I generally don't have weekends available to myself as much anymore as I'm often visiting friends or doing tabletop rpg's with my girlfriend and some of our friends. The fact that I got to experience the idea of just doing small chunks each day actually really helped remove the intimidation factor and let me still do gaming or other stuff in the same day.

3) I learnt how to batch paint: This came from having to try and get 10 kairic acolytes ready within a week for a big game. It also taught me I hate batch painting but that's another story. I also coincidentally learnt...

4) I learnt that I don't have to paint every model like a hero: This mostly came from doing the batch painting but I finally actually got myself to try just doing bare minimum quick and easy tabletop standard. And y'know what? It looks pretty damn good in a game and isn't hugely different from my nicely painted heroes. Go figure!

5) I learnt that I still love doing conversions: But y'know whats even nicer than those conversions? Getting to start painting them and seeing them start coming together.

6) I learnt new techniques: From this challenge I got to try new things and techniques especially when painting my varanguard and archaon, most notably for archaon I got to try my first time doing a flaming sword. And goodness I think it came out spectacularly well! I also learnt that nuln oil over gold armour is probably better than reikland fleshshade for getting those shadows/shading in. Freehanding eyes and face makeup is still hard but good to practice too.

7) Most importantly I learnt that it's okay to fail: I did not manage this challenge and frankly? Who cares! I did this challenge in order to give me the motivation to paint and try and just start getting into a habit of doing some hobby. And honestly? It worked! Even now it's over I finally have that itch to want to get stuff painted, something I never really had before and I'm super stoked about that. Just gotta make sure it lasts :) But at the end of the day I learnt a lot and had some fun, and that's really the point of challenges isn't it? It's to give yourself a new way to enjoy things.


Now there were also some negatives unfortunately:

1) I found it sometimes became a chore: Having the forced 1 hour a day both didn't work and sometimes demotivated me, I would also feel crappy when I missed days which also didn't help. I think it's good to try and set time to do painting each week but you need to allow yourself to be flexible else you'll struggle to fit it all in.

2) I still couldn't stick to a single project: Whilst this was initially done to try and finish my kharadrons I had I ended up quite quickly swapping to painting up my chaos force because frankly I felt like it and kinda enjoyed it a bit more. I've always been bad at sticking to any one project for an extended amount of time and alas that doesn't look to be stopping anytime soon.

3) I got ill!: A big issue with this was being too ill to paint for the first two weeks of December, meant that I missed the early motivation and didn't manage to get it into habit.

4) I couldn't manage it consecutively: As you'll likely see from my blog posts I was unable to do that many days which whilst it's okay to have failed still feels kinda sucky. But I know I cannot paint every day, just need to try and do at least once a week I think.

5) I learnt I still don't know how many days are in each month: You'll notice some blog posts are 31 days and some are 30 days. Apparently I am still a child and can't remember month days ;) Though tbh that's always been a thing for me...


All this being said whilst it did highlight a lot of issues I have when it comes to army projects and painting... I am glad that I tried the challenge because as I said earlier I've really gained some motivation from it and some new insight. Frankly I'd like to put the challenge to you guys as well. Can you manage an hour of painting each day for a month? Maybe try it and see what you learn/gain from it. If nothing else it's a great excuse to finish some of those models you really want to see painted ;) 


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Thanks for writing this up.  Lots of good insight here that many hobbyists can relate to.  Hope you get a bunch of hobby time in 2019 and enjoy all of it!!! 

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6 hours ago, TheWilddog said:

Thanks for writing this up.  Lots of good insight here that many hobbyists can relate to.  Hope you get a bunch of hobby time in 2019 and enjoy all of it!!! 

Thanks! ^_^ I'm hoping to get my first painting of 2019 started tonight, got some khorne and 40k stuff to put some washes on and then start highlighting. Hope your year gives you plenty hobby time too!

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Tried doing a 30 day challenge over the holidays, figured it would be a good way to make progress on my Emperors children army for 40k. It was mostly builds for the first 5 days and the rest was painting, a hellbrute here, terminator there. Figured at least for days i didn't want to do any serious work i'd just paint a marine to keep the streak going, but between my other hobbies (mainly weekly D&D games i run), work picking up again with my contract renewal and my last semester of college starting, I lasted 19 days before life sapped me of the time and willpower to put paint to plastic. Good thing most of my friends don't give a ****** about unpainted models but here's hoping I'll find the time to finish my backlog of paint projects... doesn't help that I keep adding to that list... hosts of slaanesh here I come...

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I totally understand how you feel about batch painting. I struggle to paint more than 10 of anything so building competitive large model count armies is something  I ignore. Instead I try to build armies with more of things I enjoy which is usually monsters and heroes. 

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