Review: Matt´s Private Coaching with Marina 'Ringil' Aynagoz!

by -Matt Cexwish-

Goooood evening Jungle Painters,

Last weekend, Matt had the enormous pleasure to host Mrs. Marina 'Ringil' Aynagoz in his home town of Berlin, Germany. Let´s hear what Matt has to say about this experience...

 Group picture with Marina, Klaus, Georg, a mysterious third thumbs upping hand and a super long arm, a secret Smoke Diorama and Matt in front of Battlefield Berlin.

Marina carving her first door piece.

It was the very first 'official' Personal Coaching for me, although I had coached a couple of friends earlier in a more casual way. This time, someone would exclusively come all the way from Moscow (a total of 1,817.8 km!) to learn how to bring her own visions to life. Needless to say that it was a very exciting task to plan out a 3 Day Intense Private Course that would not only show many of my used Building and Painting Techniques, but also give a honest and useful glimpse into my processes that help to create, develop and execute Ideas for Miniatures, Dioramas and Bases...

Prior to the Coaching, I gave Marina a good round of homework to prepare and bring with her. Within her answers I found one of the most important lessons of this weekend: Personal Coachings offer a rather intimate and in-depth view on one´s strenghts, weaknesses, fears, pains, plans, desires, experience, wishes and true nature. They demand hard work from both sides to eventually translate into concepts and Miniatures. After receiving Marina´s answers I could prepare a custom tailored program for her to meet as many of her goals as possible in the limited period of time that we had.

This is one of the Questions I asked Marina to answer before her arrival:

Please write on paper what you want to achieve with your Miniature Painting... What Milestones do you set yourself ("I want to take part in Competitions and Win them" - Why?, "I want to improve my painting to be able to make a better living from my Art" - Why?, Where do you see your Art in the next 1... 5... 10 years?

After the initial direction of the Coaching was fixed, it was time to get to work.

 As the ideas simmer, exciting shapes and textures start to unfold.

On the first Day (Friday) we sat down and talked about the homework that I gave to Marina... She saw an in-depth Presentation (with Russian Subtitles! :D) named 'Matt Cexwish's Personal Base Building Coaching - Learning How To Find, Develop And Build Your Ideas!'. Right after that, we sat down and analyzed both her previous work as well as her favourite work from other painters. I then asked her to start with the concepts and sketches according to what she had just learned. It was very cool to see how she started to play around with schemes and ideas from the very beginning. Once she got stuck she used some of the Blockade Breaking Techniques I taught her to overcome the problem and to find new motivation. At the end of the day we had fixed a couple of different concepts ready to be realized for the next day. Since Marina traveled all the way from Moscow earlier, it was time to go to sleep.

  Guess which one that might be? :D

On the Second day (Saturday) we were visited by my Brother from the Jungle, the ingenious Ben Komets! Developing creative ideas is a collaborative task and you really need to find people who can play the Game of Thoughts and Silly Ideas. Luckily, as Ben is a true Master in this! We managed to improve the initial concepts by far and also found a lot of motivation to take it all the way to become reality.

Mrs. Ticklenott from the SMOG 1888 universe will be transformed into a kind of Snail Watcher of the Black Goo, a mysterious substance emitted by human sized Shaggy Mane Mushrooms (Coprinus comatus). 

Since we both loved a particular concept of a Snail like Warden of Giant Goo spitting Mushrooms most, we decided to start building a scene. It was a real task to find the proper materials and ways how to build convincing volumes and textures, but after consulting many references we found a way to do those marvelous creatures justice.

Creating Giant Mushrooms will drive you nuts quickly!

At this point, something unexpected occurred, which will lead us to the next important learning of this Weekend: After building the core, a couple of the Mushrooms, an observation platform and the sophisticated circular staircase, Marina told me that she knew how she could finish the base at home... She asked me if we could instead work on more additional concept ideas... I thought about it for a second and concluded that this could work out and be more important to her than my initial plan to finish one Base up entirely. And this is exactly where the Coaching differs with the teachings of a Workshop: Since I can completely focus on only one Person instead of a group of people, I can react to individual needs... The individual is always right and I have to pick them up where they are to help them go where they want to go and beyond. So I quickly adapted to Marina´s wish to keep developing her concepts and ideas with her. We looked on the Miniatures she brought with her and started to draw individual concepts and volumetric ideas.

Sunday was dedicated to execute the different base ideas we have formulated the day before. It was a lot of fun to try different things and experiment with and use such diverse materials as an old Telephone dial, a Cup Noodles Cup, Sewing Machine parts and some destroyed headphones. Since I really wanted to introduce Marina to as many different Techniques as possible, we decided to make a small colour test with one of the finished Mushrooms. In real life this mushroom is unusual because it will turn black and dissolve itself in a matter of hours after being picked or depositing spores. It turns from snow white to pink, orange and finally black. This leaves a lot of space for a very interesting play of colour and texture. Also, the Black Goo effect itself can be done quickly and realistically.

To Be Or Not To Be? Marina and a Skull! 

The Venus Of The Wasteland

At the end of Sunday evening, we succeeded in creating not one, but FIVE different concepts for story loaded, individual bases that will really make the Finished Projects stand out.

The Fruits of our labour (all still WIP)

Finally, let´s hear from Marina herself! What does she say about her Coaching?

'I went on a Workshop with Matt, because I wanted to learn about how exactly he is coming up with the ideas for his bases and crazy diorama projects like The Return Of The Warlord and his Leonardo Di Miragliano Series. Also, I saw some of his recent co-laborations with Ben Komets,  High Noon!. Ben just happens to be one of Matt´s best friends that lives a couple of streets down the block. 2 great, crazy minds with a combined 4 Slayer Swords and more than 50 International Painting Awards, dozens of Golden Daemon Statuettes in one room with me, a whole weekend? Yes please! :D I knew this was going to be a fantastic time and I was absolutely right!

All in all, I have spent four very pleasurable days in Matt´s society. I would not say it was too easy. Learning and understanding all that was new to me (and it was a lot!), even if there was a great desire, was really hard work. On the one hand, it was necessary and important to me to switch and overcome mental 'boundaries'. Only with this it is possible to develop my creative and other skills, to create a kind of database filled with useful tools and interesting stories. On the other hand, I could feel the internal resistance to new ideas and unusual approaches. Thanks to Matt´s Creativity and Blockade Breaking Techniques it suddenly became easy to come up with many fresh and interesting stories for my existing projects.

However difficult it was, with his skill and charm Matt managed to make the hardship fun and highly productive. I was able to quickly give myself into a very lively creative process , in which I had not only developed new knowledge but also a new look at the process of creating something from literally nothing.

The biggest plus is - I'm just full of ideas. Finally I not only know 'what' but also 'how' to make everything I imagine! Thank you very much, Matt! This Weekend really rocked my Imagination!'

So, thanks to Marina for taking the leap of faith, doing the travel and allowing herself to try out new things... :)... I am super curious to see how her projects will develop and look like from now on... Will keep you guys updated!

If you want to book a Personal Coaching with Matt in the future too, feel free to drop him a message ( There are still some spots left for this or early next year.


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