Thursday, February 2, 2012

What Motivates You to Paint

I have attended the last three Painting Nights at Evolution Games and during each, the topic of motivation came up and it seemed like everyone there had a different mindset on painting, spending time with their hobby and keeping up on getting their armies painted. Let's talk about what gets us painting and why.

When it comes to me, I paint or build every night, unless I go out to the FLGS to game. Once my kids are in bed, the wife and I put on the TV, I build or paint and we spend time together and talk about husband and wife things. I realize that not every married person or even most people in relationships don't have it that nice and that is something I am very thankful for. Just having that kind of time and seeing the results every week of my work is what motivates me. Having a blog that craves content also motivates me, but I don't let it put too much pressure on me.

While at the game store, other folks expressed their motivations. Some were motivated by the chance to paint with others and, in fact, they only paint when they can do so in a group. Others expressed that they paint when they have a deadline (Adepticon for example). Another friend enjoys having multiple projects on the table, so he can switch from one to another as his interest dulls in what is right in front of him.

As you can see, there are different strokes for different folks and I am interested in hearing what other hobby motivation might be out there. SO what motivates you?


  1. Inspiring people to paint, that's what motivates me. Whenever people see me with newly painted stuff, they would also think to themselves that they should paint too.

    Also, I want to finish a new Chaos army before the new codex comes out.

  2. I get to paint a lot more than play so painting is my main feature. Unfortunately I'm in the opposite situation from you. After the kid goes down I can either sit on the couch and watch tv with the wife doing whatever or go to my paint area and paint. So painting tends to be what I do when the wife goes out for the night. The reason I paint is that it allows me to debrief. It is completely meaningless so my brain doesn't have to worry about everything else going on. It is my primary stress relief outside of sports.

  3. It always seems like looming deadlines are what get me to paint. Right now I'm DMing a Fallout TTRPG group, so I've put myself on a deadline of 10 Tabletop quality models a week to use. In addition I have a 500 point fantasy tournament coming up, so likely that will get me off my tuckus and working on Tomb Kings here or there.

  4. I like painting when I feel a bit down but I like to use it as a social tool. I go to friends houses and paint or other friends come over here to paint :)
    Motivation wise, I love to see all the cool stuff people have done and it inspires me to try harder. Also I like to play with and against awesome looking armies. It makes it WAY more fun.

  5. I've never really been able to paint socially. I can see the appeal of it. I always struggled with the fact that I paint VERY slowly... and to a certain degree of insanity... I'm currently painting Moria goblins for a commission, and I've done four layers on the skin already... and they still aren't done!

    Saying that though, commission painting is somethign that I've started doing only recently and I've found that this has certainly motivated me to paint more! Like others, I also get motivated by a deadline - such as a tournament... and friendly competition (A friend and I recently had a contest to see who could paint more points in one month... I lost, yet still managed to paint 2000pts of Imperial Guard!)

    Finally, I'd like to say that I am a lot like you OST, sitting in front of the TV with the wife when the little oinkling has gone to bed gives me the opportunity to build or paint models. It also gives me direct access to my harshest critic!

    You can see some of my new commission painting at

  6. Thanks for the great responses so far. It's interesting to see that we all do the same thing but under very different conditions and come at it from different directions. I think one of the things that has upped the motivation for me is playing games with only painted models, which CVinton and I did a lot of over the holidays. We threw my chaos marines against his space wolves and had a lot of fun ... Speaking of which I have to get that Iron Warrior Sorceror base in the queue. It's the only thing stopping me from having a fully painted Iron Warriors wing in my chaos forces.

    @oink, the commission path can be rough, but you are right, it will make you more efficient and speed up the quality work. It did for me, though it can be exhausting to work on other peoples' stuff sometimes.

  7. Peer pressure makes me paint, thats about it.