Tuesday, 12 July 2011

5 tips to stay motivated

As a Lazy Painter, or even a busy one, it's important to be motivated, so that you actually get stuff done. Here are some of the ways I have found to allow me to paint, without it seeming like a chore or a time sink.

1. Have multiple projects on the go

Sometimes you don't have time to paint, you only have time to cut parts from sprues. Or maybe there's some detailing that you are dreading until you're in the right mood. And yet you still may have some spare time that you want to use for the hobby. Don't waste that time - every little helps! Having multiple projects in varying stages of completion allows you to just dip in and do something in the little time you have. The other advantage is that if you run out of supplies for one job, the production line doesn't come crashing to a halt - you just switch to something else and carry on.

2. Work little and often

I try to work in 30-45 minute batches, on most days of the week. This is much easier to schedule than a 3 hour block, and there's no danger of getting bored. Sometimes you hardly even notice it. And it's oh so easy to do "just one more task" once you're in the flow, and before you know it, you did an hour of work when you only meant to do 30 minutes. You may also like to confine your sessions to an album-length of music - that works for me as well. It can be quite relaxing too, especially after work, and thus can re-invigorate you for other Real Life stuff.

3. Batch painting

There's so many reasons already to recommend batch painting, but it's very motivating to have a simple little task to do, repeated twenty times, because you can just get it over with without even noticing. Then you feel motivated to do just one more task, and then one more...

4. Keep everything out and ready

Nothing is more of a buzzkill than having to clear your workspace, get everything you need out, forget something, lose something else... The list goes on. By the time you start painting you've lost at least five minutes, which is half an hour each week! If you leave your multiple projects out and easy to get to, so you can literally just sit down and start painting whenever you want, you can sneak in extra painting time when you least expect it. Note that this may be impossible if you have children or cats, but a Citadel Paint Station is a life-saver when it comes to hiding and retrieving work-in-progress from a cupboard.

5. Participate in a competition

Several forums run painting competitions, where you pledge a certain amount of work to be done within a certain time frame, and then post pictures of the results when you have finished. It gives you a deadline and peer pressure, but it's not "important" so you can withdraw if Real Life gets in the way.

So those are my top tips to get you painting without it seeming like a chore. You can get a lot of painting done in 3 hours a week, especially when that 3 hours is ALL painting, and no waiting for paint to dry. I've got literally hundreds of models painted using these tricks, and I know I can easily paint hundreds more.

Try just one of these tips, and your productivity will soar without you even noticing.

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