Back from the dead I am…. It has been forever since I have had the time to jump on the interwebs and deal with hobby stuff exclusively. But all of Larry’s hard work getting our brain child back on track has made me feel that I should begin to make contributions of my own. I have been intrigued with the diversity of folks that have jumped on board with this little project of ours, from old faces and friends, to some new folks who have really added a wonderful new aspect of perspective to this site. So before I launch into the meat of this article, I want to extend a hearty thank you to all of you who have made this re-launch successful and hopefully it is just the start of a wonderful journey we will all take together.
My article today is basically a tie in to the articles written by Andi and Yeji about approaching this hobby with a budget centric frame of mind. However, It is my intention to talk about something that every hobbyist deals with whether you come from a mansion in Beverly Hills or a tent in sands of Afghanistan. We all know that this hobby has a financial cost, big or small, it is the topic of conversation on just about every news site. However one aspect of this hobby that gets very little attention is how time consuming it is. To hobby well, whether it is mass painting of large army’s to a tabletop standard, an epic conversion that makes your work space look like a grenade of plastic shrapnel went off on your desk, or that piece that you have been laboring over for months in hope of claiming a trophy in a prestigious painting competition, one must devote copious amounts of time to achieve your desired results. The resource of time is one that we all struggle with.
As a father of two crazy boys, who has a house to help run, who has a full time job, that constantly requires overtime, court appearances, and extra training, I find that myself constantly straining to find the time to devote to my little hobby. I have spent a long time trying to boil down the easiest way to integrate painting and modelling to mesh with the rest of my life. So here are four easy things that I have tried to keep in mind when approaching my hobby and that I think would be useful to everyone else out there struggling with the same things.
1)No amount of time is too small- my old position at work left my evenings free and after my midgets went to bed I had all the hobby time in the world. But my change in jobs switched me to evenings. It totally threw a monkey wrench into the way I thought about my hobby time. I always felt that if I didn’t have hours to devote, that it wasn’t worth sitting down to the desk. It took a long time to change this mindset. Now a days I have found that any time I am able to paint I do. Even if it is just to sit down for 20-30 minutes to add that next layer of highlighting to one small part of the model, to glue that next part of the conversion, to prime the next model in the list that you intend to work on. Give the time you have and don’t feel bad that you can’t sit down in front of the computer, skype, and paint for hours on end. You will find that those small sessions are a great break in the rat race of your day. A moment to center yourself.
2)Scheduling, scheduling, scheduling- I have come to the point where I look at my week in advance and I find a block of time that I can sit down for an extended painting session. If it is important to you to hobby, you will find the time. I go as far as to enter that time into the Google calendar I share with my wife. It really helps to think about it as another scheduled event.
3)Hobbying is not work- Despite the fact that I run a small commission painting business, and despite the fact that I have to schedule my painting time and that sometimes makes it feel like work, I constantly tell myself that I do this for fun. It may start out feeling that way, just another thing I have to do, but in no time at all the bug has caught me again, and I find that I loose myself in the music I always play when I paint and before I know it hours have passed and my project has progressed. Latch onto that one aspect of the hobby that sparks your desire to continue and loose yourself in that once you get behind the brush.
4)Share your hobby time- I have found that hobby time can make great family time. My two boys are chips off the old block and they love to draw, and sculpt, and paint. My wife is also an artist and I like to think it brings her joy when the boys and I are all bent over projects, laughing, and talking about what we are working on. I used to hate being interrupted, living the nocturnal life, painting well into the hours of the night that the rest of the house hold was sleeping. I still like having those solo sessions, but sometimes, even though projects might move along more slowly, it is great to share the time with those around you. It makes hobby time easier to work into the busy family schedule if it is thought of as a family event.
I know that obviously there are no hard and fast rules as to what is going to work for each and everyone of us, but I have found that these things have made it easier for me to juggle work, home, the gym, overtime, court time, chores, kids activities, etc… etc… etc….