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Lior'Lec

Handling the hobby funk

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     Note to mods: I debated about posting this in painting and modeling but decided here as it applies to the hobby as a whole. If needed please feel free to move this thread to the other forum. 

     I’ve been suffering from a case of hobby burn out of late, particularly in regards to building and painting. While this is something we all get from time to time we all do different things to reinvigorate our hobby senses and tl/dr: I wanna know what do you do when you need a break from build/paint/play and what do you find that reenergizes your hobby passion? Generally whenever I don’t want to build I’ll paint, and when I don’t want to paint I’ll build. However when both past times feel less like a hobby and more like a chore I’ve found other ways to re-ignite my hobby fires in the past. 

     Firstly I use other hobbies to get away from build/paint/play-ing as a whole for a a while. I actually have far more hobbies than time to enjoy them so when whatever recreational pastime I’m  pursuing becomes a chore I’ll focus on another. Generally the further afield the distracting hobby is the better. Woodworking is good, getting in more rounds at the gun range is better, logging extra workout time is even better still. Notice the trend? 

     For relighting the modeling flame TGA forums is one of my best resources. The sheer number of beautiful paint jobs and imaginative conversions is usually enough to kick start my own drive to do something (read as: steal an idea). A close second has been to hobby without making it my hobby. Just because I don’t want to paint right now doesn’t mean I’ve lost interest in painting. I won’t try to paint a unit, but I’ll play around at the painting desk experimenting and not caring if I ****** it up. 

     Now how about you, what techniques do you use to break up the monotony when hobbies become chores?

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I've started making terrain from scratch, makes me want to paint stuff to fit in with my fancy new terrain IMG_20190903_212431_084.jpg.7d22cf375cdabb21a723205607baff48.jpg

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Typically I start another project, which is usually remaking something from long ago or from an old concept that’s different than my current project.

I also watch a lot of hobby related YouTube videos to hear what others are working on and hobby news typically keeps me rolling.

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This is always an excellent topic to discuss whenever it comes up.  I know a player who ran into their first case of hobby burn-out and thought they'd gotten everything from Warhammer they could.  As a result, I...uh, I mean...they sold their army and regretted it later.  😳

Sometimes keeping things in perspective helps when I get discouraged.  I have literally hundreds of models left to paint.  Nearly all of my friend's grots (200+ models),  50+ Seraphon, 50+ Beastmen, 30 or so Freeguild, more than 30 Imperial Guard for 40k, and exactly 1 Tyranid.  I never let myself think about that chunk of hobby as one thing I need to complete.  I focus only on the few models, seven Ungors currently, that sit on my hobby desk.  I also remind myself that I have no deadline.  This is a hobby not a job(by).  I have the rest of my life to paint my toys.

I will paint some 40k Guardsmen and then switch to Freeguild, then a unit of Grots, then a big monster or vehicle.  I'm currently selecting Beastmen models  to paint by rolling randomly on a D6.

1-3: Infantry                                                        or                                                            4-6: Other

then,                                                                                                                                           then,

1-3: Command model                                                                                                      1: Hero

4-6: Standard model                                                                                                         2-3: Monster

                                                                                                                                                       4-5: Other

                                                                                                                                                       6:Endless Spell

In spite of this system I've managed to paint every Hero in my Beastmen army and almost no Infantry.  Oh, the luck of the dice!  If I'm really sick of my current armies, I've found that painting a Shadespire warband makes for a nice break.  Something totally different that I've never tried before.   

7 hours ago, flemingmma said:

I've started making terrain from scratch, makes me want to paint stuff to fit in with my fancy new terrain 

This is also a really good idea.  Terrain is quick to build, easy to paint, and usually quite large.  It leaves me with a nice sense of accomplishment for minimal effort.

And of course, if I'm really feeling burnt out from the hobby, I'll just take a break.  Pack up my paints and models, maybe sell some (NOT ALL!) of them, put the rest in the closet and do something else for a bit.  I recently started playing WoW again.  I needed a break after finishing up my friend's Tzeentch and Bonesplittaz.  I know I'll come back to the hobby when something inspires me but its always fine to take a break.  We're all just racing towards the grave anyway, may as well slow down and enjoy the journey!

Keeping it upbeat!  😎

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Also, you can always just take a break. I also enjoy juggling, dancing, board games, video games and climbing. Nothing wrong with just actually doing something else and waiting. Warhammer will be there for you later of you want it to be, and a future army or project might grab you. And the rest of life might too!

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Completely agree, we all have odd points where we just don't get the enjoyment out of the hobby that we did.  This can be for multiple reasons - stress in the real world, becoming bored or losing enthusiasm for what you're doing, too many projects, overwhelmed by ideas etc

There isn't really a single fix sadly - for a start everybody responds differently to different things, plus the reason for your funk is going to influence what works.  Forcing yourself to hobby is certainly the wrong thing to do in any situation - hobby shouldn't be a chore (though you equally shouldn't give up at the first sign of not enjoying something).

Sometimes a good old fashioned break is needed - hop on the bus/train/etc and visit somewhere you've not been.  It could be just a day is enough, or maybe you need a week.  If you come back still lacking enthusiasm, then maybe you need a hobby sabbatical for a couple of months?

As @Kamose suggests, have a bit of a purge - tidy up your hobby area, replace those knackered paints that have gone funny and have a ruthless cull of your pile of shame - are you seriously going to finish painting that model?  Do you really want that box you put aside a decade ago because it "was a good size" and not touched since.

Another project as @Mandzak-Miniatures says can help if you just aren't enjoying the model you're doing.  This is often the case if you've been working on something solidly for a long time, or are just painting something because you want one in an army.  You have to be really honest with yourself too - if you've hated every minute of assembling/painting a unit so far, can you stomach finishing them - if not, then sell them and pick a more enjoyable unit.  This equally applies to adding new units to an army - if it wasn't enjoyable the first time, it sure isn't going to be a second time!

I think over the years I've done all of the above in one form or another, I know that I have a maximum 6-month attention span to a single project or colour scheme.  After then I need to be working on something different.  The one thing I've never done is to completely disconnect myself from the hobby though.  Although I've had periods where I've not painted or gamed, I've always kept in touch through White Dwarf, army books and other reading material.  The internet actually makes this a lot easier as there are so many ways to interact.

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For painting fatigue it can be good to start a display. Clear a shelf and arrange the painted figures in a nice setup, maybe with some terrain. Leave space for the stuff you are still working on.

Then every time you paint a model you can add it to the parade! I find this really motivates me to crack on and finish some more models, and it makes it easy to compare things to make sure the style of the new models fits.

Its almost like having the finished figures cheering you on as you paint their friends!

 

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My thoughts on this:

1) ACCEPT The Funk. I see a lot of people (mostly online where its less effort to remain engaged than it is in a club where you have to put effort into attending) who hang around a hobby even though they really aren't into it any more. Sometimes that in itself is a good thing because they remain engaged even though they aren't currently building/painting/gaming. However sometimes they get more and more bitter and jaded. They've moved on, but they are still hanging around trying to force themselves to remain; which often turns into a lot of negativity which gets thrown around. This might be toward other users, toward the company (oft a target) or just randomly. 

2) Clean the worksite - yeah workdesks can get messy and cluttered and I find that nothing can grind you to a halt more than tools all over the place; not being able to find them; not having room to actually work or see what you're doing and a jumble of conflicting "things to finish" all infront of you all competing for your attention. Sometimes you've got to strip it back - put the tools back into their correct places; clean out all the bits of shavings, sprue, mess and gunk and dried greenstuff. Give the whole work area a spring clean (even if its not spring). This in itself can have a massive improvement because it lets you focus. It also makes you evaluate what's on the table and put aside some projects for later and focus on others. 

3) Display completed stuff. Yep doesn't matter if you count completed as jsut assembled; or painted or painted,based and all. The key is displaying what you consider finished - in total or in stages (stages is often best). This way you can sit back and bask in the glory of what you HAVE done and clearly see it. IT can be quite motivating in itself to see an army coming together or a project. To see the ranks of troops or that big monster. It's basically giving yourself a reward for what you've achieved to help motivate yourself. 

4) Change things up. Perhaps you just need to work on another army; or stop painting and start building etc... Basically do something different for a while within the hobby. IT might also be a time to put down the construction and go game - even if you've only got a warband for warcry and you're playing small games whilst building up a bit army etc... Get some games and some socialising in and that can be a massive boost in itself - its all too easy to end up not going to the club/shop as you build up that ultimate army. 

5) Evaluate your position. This is about tidying up in part and this part is about taking a step back and evaluating if you've overbought to the point where you've actually given yourself too much. It's very easy to end up with way more armies/games than you can run (even worse if you get into kickstarters and buy massive chunks in one big go). Sometimes you've got to step back and say - no no I don't need a room of unbuilt boxes that I will not get to for 20 years". Of course buying again is ALWAYS more expensive and thus I always say to people that if you get into a really bad funk where you just want to give it all up - don't store it and make the choice when you're not in that frame of mind. Because that frame of mind will cause you to get rid of more than is healthy (typically). 

Note this viewpoint assumes an otherwise healthy financial outlook for yourself - financial pressures can sometimes force our hand.

The key is that you're de-cluttering your hobby both physically and mentally so that its not overwhelming you. Getting rid of some stuff that you realise that you'd still love to mak and own an army of; but not as much as other things and not enough that you really think you need to hold onto them. So let them go to other gamers. I've spoken to people who have garages and rooms full of boxes - an overwhelming mountain of plastic some of which might never see the light of day. 

6) Be prepared to put it all into storage (don't sell) and try another hobby. Yep sometimes the funk is just that you need a change and something fresh. Nothing wrong with the company, hobby, you, the club, etc... its just time for something new. Realising this can take a bit of time, but its when you've tried many of the above and more; and when you start to feel like you're not enjoying it and you're forcing yourself to complete things but not feeling the reward at the end of it. When everything is just a chore rather than a joy. Put it down try something else. Sometimes even just a week or two break can make all the difference and bring you back revitalised and fired up all over again. It's perfectly natural and normal for most people. Sure there are those who NEVER appear to lose interest in their hobby or motivation and that's great; but if you have then let it sit to one side. Take a "holiday" from your hobby. 

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After my last painting burn out i realized i need variety to keep on painting. I no longer paint units, i paint models. I always keep a handful of things on my to do bench, right next to my desk. I keep paints, brushes and water at hand. If i don't feel like painting i'll play a game or watch a video. Sooner or öater i'll see the models and feel the urge to do something. Even if i only do the base coat on one armor pa el or some such, i've done something and got on with stuff. I will hold reckless painting sessions until 2am at other times, when i really feel the itch.

As a full time jobber, husband and father, free time is at a premium and there is enough work in there with every day stuff. No need to make the hobby a chore, too. I guess what i wanna say is roll with the punches ;)

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All of the above are good suggestions.

My suggestion to add would be to intentionally do a very small project, like a single model, and set a very narrow scope for “completion”, like just doing base coats. This has usually reset my funk as I finish that stage and then start looking for ways to improve it, and since it’s the one model, there isn’t more and more work to do afterward.

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