Tip of the week

by Roman aka jar

"Don't ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions on what should happen, not what shouldn't."

- Michelle Obama

Kulturpark West - one of the three buildings, the one the MV studio is located.
And winter. Plenty.

Happy painting to you all!

Musica

by Roman aka jar



Even the jungle is a little quiet these days, there will always be music and busy monkeys behind the curtains. Thank you all for your patience and support :)

Find my personal music playlist that I am listening to while happy painting on youtube!

Impostor Syndrome and painting - a letter to the jungle

by Roman aka jar

Hey Jungle people,

today we got something very special for you, like we always do in the jungle.

Let's call it a virtual letter that arrived in the jungle mailboxes by Petra,
a german miniature painter on her very own journey like we all travel. If you want to see some of Petra's work or follow her journey, check this link.


It is an awesome read! Intruding, intimate, healing, personal.
If you do not take your time for it, it is your own fault.
I am absolutely impressed and I want to thank Petra for opening up like this. She asked
me what she should do with it. She'd like to publish it somewhere and did not know where she could find the best place to reach as many people as possible. Well, we can help with that :)

I added some photos to the text to seperate the wall of text and add some moments to breathe.
I also added a small comment here and there.

Enjoy and believe me - I am saying it again:
TAKE YOUR TIME AND READ THIS!

_____________________________________________________________________________

Petra:

What the heck am I doing here?
I worried a lot. I never knew why I would feel the way I did, but even in the best company I
sometimes felt like I don't belong; not because I was at the wrong place - it was more like a
submerged feeling of not being good enough and just playing a role to please the others (and
maybe to lull and please myself). It felt like not creating value for the team I am working in, not
giving back to the company that threw money at me every month. That all my achievements
only were met by luck and being at the right place at the right time. I am just lucky, but not an
achiever.

I was always afraid that "the others" might find out that I only screen played, pretended and was
not in the "right" position and that I did not have the right to be right there with them. All in all,
amazing people tend to cross your roads sometimes and you feel utterly lost and you look up to
them out of a muddy hole while they seem to get it all right. They shine. You don't.
It is something that followed me through my adulthood for quite a long time and most probably
started in university. It is an unnamed feeling that I never really understood and tried to ignore
most of the time. It made me feel miserable at work, because even if I worked hard and
succeeded, it faded away when I watched others doing the same stuff with ease. I pressured
myself to get into it even harder, fearing that one day my lead might approach me, telling me
that I am not good enough. Subconsciously I knew this would never happen. Well, no. I did not
know at that time. I can only tell in retrospective that I might have known, but my brain did not
tell me. My thoughts were haunted: when coming to work, this day might be the day they find
out I only gambled my way into the company (I did not). This day would be the day they find out
that I suck at what I am doing (I did not). This day they would tell me I need to resign because I
was not performing well (obviously I did not).

It made my life miserable. I did not know with whom to talk. It was discomforting, unpleasant and
not what I wanted to feel. But as soon as I spoke up, everyone looked at me with big,
unbelieving eyes. Some told me that "it's only in my head". People answered with laughter
because they could not believe what's going on. They tried to hide their own unease and not
being able to cope with this situation themselves, they stormed onward, telling me that I just
made this up and that it is not true what I was talking about. They did not believe that I could
feel this way and why the heck should I?
It got worse with every talk I tried to have with people around me. I hid in my cave. I was a
happy little person to the outside world, always afraid they could find out. Always chattering,
doing things, working hard, not trying to fail (and when I failed, I analyzed why, dug the car out
of the swamp and on I went, trying to not do the same error twice). I didn't even see or believed
in what I achieved, because it never was feeling good enough for me. It was like running behind
schedule, not being in charge anymore and I was going to lose it somewhere on the way,
making a mistake and taadaa: you're out.





A solution?
Then one day I stumbled over Neil Gaiman, and even though I have never read any of his
books (yet), I felt connected. It felt like he was describing me (and lots of other people will have
thought the same):



Source:
http://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/160603396711/hi-i-read-that-youve-dealt-with-with-impostor


This is, what it is called! Impostor’s syndrome!


I'm neither crazy nor too dumb for the world.
Relief - finally! It is something I can start rolling up my sleeves to and attack. Something I can
hack into little pieces and devour one by one, making my life better again. I lived with the fact
that I have it (not tackling it at all) for a long time. Just knowing that this feeling had a name
helped a lot. Even though it did not stop my way down into the snakepit of what I also call my
brain.

Lots of webpages talk about impostor’s syndrome but I found this one to be a good overview of
all the aspects that also hit heavily in my life: http://on.inc.com/2sLeytw
Depending on the time and how well I felt, it was only lurking in the back of my head, not fully
there. Sometimes it unleashed its fury and pinned me down to the floor, unable to move, to
react and to tell people what was going on. Those were the times I just hid in the dark corners of
my soul, ready to attack everyone who came near. I cried, because I did not know what to do. I
asked for help desperately but there was none, because no-one near me could cope with it.
All of the information I gathered in the internet also meant that I am not alone on this road and
that there are lots of people that sometimes feel the same. And that other people can lift you up
again (just not by saying that “it's only in your head”). I know now that I myself cannot get out of
it alone, but that I might need help, someone to mirror me, maybe to assess me and to reflect
on my achievements whenever I am not able to see them.




Introduction: the miniature world
For all of you with a miniature background: you know what I am talking about. For all of you who
don't know: there is a community spanning the earth of miniaturists. People who play tabletop
games (not only Warhammer), people who paint little tin soldiers, plastic and resin miniatures,
busts, vehicles, aircrafts, trains, small animals, huge animals, sculpt, create, make art. It is a
small community, that is really active (and we grow). It is a vast field of gamers, enthusiasts,
collectors, painters, creators and builders. The community starts to get diverse, also women
take part more often in events. We have forums, facebook groups, instagrams full of tiny and
wonderfully painted art, flickr, Pinterest. We are everywhere. We have teachers who hold
workshops and seminars about light, ambience and painting. We have contests and community
events, big and small. Some of the bigger annual events take place in Bavaria, the Netherlands,
Italy, some in Australia and America, Poland and Russia - and even more. Those are the spots
where several hundreds to thousands of people meet one weekend a year and exchange
everything. It is about meeting old friends, finding new, conversate about painting, art and the
miniature economy. All in all a great place to find a whole bunch of creative people clung
together and exchanging creative energy.

Living in the miniature world with impostor’s syndrome

I am still on the road to escape the trap of not feeling worthy and good enough. In the miniature
world, it sometimes is still there; kind of returning "back home" to me. I was attending Scale
Model Challenge 2017 in Eindhoven and on Saturday evening after a splendid day, I found
myself holding a beer, surrounded by some of the (by me) most adored (and still alive) artists in
my life. Every one of them has been longer in the hobby, longer down the creation road than I.
They influenced the way we talk about miniatures, the way we see them. They created new
streams inside the hobby, new flows, new ways to work. They practise mindfulness, chaos,
anarchy and strictly ruled ways. They all had so much more experience, have done so much
more trial and error on their way. They have so much more to say. And then there was I - a
returnee into the hobby for roughly one and a half years. We chatted. And suddenly the wave
rushed over me again. I felt intimidated, at the wrong place, I wanted to flee because I haven't
wanted to be detected as a fraud again. I write "again" because it felt like being close to the
edge of a huge cliff with being there. My brain was in uproar: Now, every moment! They will lay
eyes upon you, judge you and make you go!
They did not.

Scale Model Challenge 2017
- somewhere in the endless hotel labyrinth :)

I forced myself to stay. To listen (I always was a better listener than talker - and a better writer
than talker as well). I drowned in the laughter, the joy, the people. I was there. And I had the
right to be there. Even though I still did not understand why. They did let me stay and even
introduced me to new people. I was humbled. I was even fangirling a bit. And I was stuck. I
needed someone to ground me again. I was flying high, looking down at myself, standing there
in the middle of the night, surrounded by creative people. I adored each and everyone of them.
The creative energy that they exhaled filled my soul, and it was thirsty for more. But my mind
still tricked me into thinking I had no right to be here. I did not know what to do - please, please,
please do not turn on the spotlight on me, do not ask questions, do not interact with me; I am
happy for just staying here . Just smile and wave. They are all in all humble people and they
would never say any of those things, that were hammering in my brain at that moment, to
anyone. Still, my brain was firing everything of the above at full speed, light speed, even Warp
9.9 was not fast enough. It was a lovely evening that did not turn into a disaster - even if my brain foretold this a hundred times.


Fast forward to other events:
Everytime I show something to people, they are going mildly crazyabout what I created (or in the reasonable voice of everyone else: they like it). I receive the praise and the likes - but my mind was telling me " WTF! This is nothing. It is not even worth thetime and effort to comment on it, you people! Why are you even doing this?! Now you go on, brush off those words as if they mean nothing and move on. Go, create, because what you just did was shit ". My brain kills the happiness out of creating something that others liked. This sucks. Big time.

In social media times it is even worse. 
I want to show the community what I did; also to train mywary brain to accept praise, likes and thanks. And with every like and compliment it feels like people overestimate what I did. Meanwhile I underestimate myself heavily - there are times Iunderstand that (most times I don't). There's no internal “success light” that switches on and enlightens the room when I finish something. Being proud on creations only lasts for a week max - which makes it a wee bit hard to always feel good about creating things. Being brave enough to show others has an even more limited time frame.

Looking around and trying to measure one's own "success" by comparing to others is just plain
odd and nothing one should do. There are so many talented and hard working painters and
artists out there who are on a different journey and skill level. But still we do it from time to time
(some people more than others). People write "I will go home and snap my brushes, I will never
achieve this level". Please don't kill brushes; you are just on another level of learning. I know I
commented about breaking brushes once on a posting as well (mostly, because I haven’t found
another way to express my deep admiration for the piece), paying into the whole comparison
competition. I do call it “comparison competition” because we tend to make a competition out of
mostly everything. This person is evolving faster, that one is painting cleaner than me. We are
excellent in making “comparing” a competition.

I don't know, but my own comment about snapping brushes might also have influenced another
person who read this comment back then to build up their impostor’s syndrome. I only
understand this now. People like me are rather sensitive when it comes to comments on their
own and other people’s works (mostly on their own works, though).

No brush should ever be destroyed.
They all should die in the name of painting.
Word.


It's hard. It's in my head.
I need to deal with it - but I cannot do this alone (which makes me
angry and sad at the same time, as I want to have control over my life). I need you. Each and
every one of you in my life to at least help from time to time. To recall for me that feeling
incompetent and being incompetent are two different things. That I sometimes have unrealistic
notions of what it means to be competent. Also that it is in my head and that I have to deal with
it; you need to tell me that I am being unrealistic in my own view on myself. I cannot do this on
my own. Because I do not see it.
It feels like lots of people out there might suffer from the same. Maybe not as heavy as I did
somewhen in the last year - but if this helps only one person understanding that they need to
become aware about their impostor’s syndrome before being completely shattered to the
ground, then all my words are worth it.

Now, what can I do to live a win-win life with my impostor’s syndrome?


I talked a lot about myself and my path, my journey in this article. I don't know if it would help. It
is not a big deal (hello, impostor’s syndrome speaking again), and maybe no-one will read
through the end. But this is what I get from being open, and I need to understand that the
uncertainty that comes with publishing those words, might influence myself with even more
questions my brain might fire at me.

Lot's of the following points actually can be distilled into one short and easy sentence:
"No matter what: You are worth it."
(I don't say that often enough to myself.)

Following I will line out some things I tried and that helped me on my way (some more, some
less). In the end it is up to you. Try, fail, improve; listen to yourself and what helps you. It is not
working if you just follow the rules and you gain nothing from it. Debug yourself. If things don't
feel good, leave them and experiment. It is easy as that (wow, that took me long to understand).
So: not easy as that, but more like running a marathon. In a swamp. Even if done slowly (and it
will be exhausting), it will lead to your goal. The good thing is, there is no-one to judge you
except yourself. Be kind to yourself; it is like learning a new language or instrument or a new
painting technique. It might take some time, but you will master it eventually. In your own time.
Do not compete. Do not compare. You are good enough. You are worth it.
This really should be your mantra. :)

The nice thing about the following points is, that you can also use them for your daily work that
is not miniature painting.

Have a schedule of when you want to work on things.
With everything that you are learning or that you try to improve, there is a good way to
practice. When I was young, my music teacher told to practise at least half an hour a day
(max an hour) with my instrument. Try to get into a routine and do not do overtime , not
even if the brain commands you to - it won't help (at least it did not for me). If afternoon
shifts do not work, try getting up half an hour earlier. Experiment. Maybe you are happy
with only painting once a week. Stick to it.

Come up with a plan on what you want to work on.
Write down the techniques you want to learn, the miniatures you want to paint. Plan.
Planning does not necessarily mean that you need to stick to it 100% (plans are not set
in stone). But it helps you focus on what topics are still there to tackle. And written down
topics can be ordered, scheduled and moved around. You can set your goals, and the
steps that you need to take to achieve your goals. Write it down. Make a plan. Even if
you don't stick to it, you know where you want to head.

Make realistic goals.
Rome was not build in a day. If you want to learn a new technique, try it, make errors,
ask people, watch videos, read blog posts, and the most important thing: go to
workshops, meet people, connect. You are on your own road and journey, you will never
be a fraud there.

Take before and after pictures of your miniatures
(or everything else you create).
It helps getting focus. You can see what changed in the time you painted, even if it is
only minimal. And having all pictures lined up near each other also might help to see the
progress and improvements you have made.

Create a miniature diary and add
what you liked to work on that day.

Put in colour recipes that worked, brush strokes, random thoughts, ideas, base designs,
scribbles and drawing, pictures of the progress, everything that you find adds value to
your miniature experience. It will be little at first but it helps you getting your creative
energy flowing as soon as you revisit the pages.

Keep a personal diary and write down
at least one achievement per day.

This can also just be a Post It hanging somewhere - the key idea is to visualize it so that
you can see it. This challenge might be hard in the first time, as you won't see
achievements a lot popping up. But try. Maybe it is something as tiny as getting a perfect
lining, a blending that you saw. Reading (or writing) a blog post that you always wanted
to do. There can be so many things.

Whenever viewing other artists pictures,
don't get discouraged.

They all have different lives, different styles, different backgrounds. As written earlier: try
not to fall into the trap of comparison competition.

Another thing to keep in mind and repeat as a mantra:
It is not talent (even though talent gives you a head start). It is hard work (also: hard work can be fun work!). It is hours and hours of practice and study. Don't expect to perfectly handle a new topic in one day.

● Don’t compare your life to someone’s Highlight Reel.
And yes, this most heavily applies to social media. The pictures that are shown only relate to
the achievements, normally not to all the failures on the way. No-one wants to look bad
on social media. Everyone is smiling. Stop thinking that other people only have luck in
their lives.

● If you suddenly feel like a fraud in a situation, voice it.
It is difficult and you need some trust and maybe a safe space to do so. But it helps to voice your concerns and that you feel you wouldn't fit. Take care and time to approach people. Voice what you need right then. Tell people you cannot engage into small talk right now. Tell them you only want to
listen for a while because you need to have some space or you don't know how to
handle social interaction right now. This might be awkward at the beginning, but making
people aware of your condition helps relieving the stress that your brain puts upon you.

If you see someone cope with impostor’s syndrome,
don't approach them and tell them "Hey, you have impostor’s syndrome!". Guide them passively. Tell them about your own way, your journey about not feeling good enough, and eventually they will open up. Help them see their achievements and the way they already went, if you are already closer to them. Offer an open ear and a helping hand.

Take a picture of your first and most recent miniature.
You will see the difference; you are not an impostor, you get better over time and this is your outcome. No-one else will paint like you do.

Just so you have something to hold in your hands and re-read it to understand that you are valuable and good in what you do: ask people to write you Kudo cards (it’s a tool that is usually used to increase recognition of valued work). Tell them they should write down
what they value in your work, your hobby, what they admire about you, where you are
succeeding expectations for them. Let them visualise a picture of you, so that you can
catch your mind as soon as it is out of the window again, telling you that you are not
good enough.

Try to hold on to praise once in a while, don't shy away and go into duck-and-cover position. Gain trust in the fact that people tend to mean what they say. Even when they
say that they like something built by you. :)

There could be a million more ways to get out of the dark hole into which the impostor’s
syndrome is pushing us. Most of the ways apply to any other situation as well, it is not only
hobby related, I know. But this might be the first step into the right direction.

I am still on my journey. 
How about you? 

Petra :)

Good Morning, Jungle!

by Roman aka jar

Hey dear jungle dwellers,
just a quick note why the jungle is rather slow from my side these days.
I am going through some changes in private life right now and therefore energies are bound to these things. I can not help it. It is like it is. Do not worry, I am doing good. It is just that I am behind tasks such as organisational emails, shipping out the final charge of the MV challenge, answering messages all over the social places, prepping upcoming private coachings and weekend workshops and much more. I ask your pardon and patience as I see writing articles on MV not on the highest point on my priority list right now.

I am on it.
Push on, but mails and messages somehow do not get less :)
This does not mean I would like to stop throwing my thoughts and updates in the jungle, it is just getting irregular. I am off and do the things I need to do with ...


Find my personal music playlist that I am listening to while happy painting on youtube!


Keep on happy painting!
Roman

Article: Project Ping-Pong!

by Roman aka jar

:)


Now this is a very special article.

An article about a conclusion. A decision. Something that healed me. Healed my creativity.
I had to analyse what makes me go sad while #happypainting in the last couple of years.
I can tell I am already over the point, I am healed. It took me quite the while though.
I write this up to inspire others to give it a try and to open up to the idea.

What kept me down: an unknown pressure
It was pressure I put on myself. A weight on my shoulders that had no reason to exist and take so much influance on my happiness. I usually start a figure project if it has a strong call and yells at me: Paint me! Paint me! I usually do not paint other stuff anymore. If my heart does not feel the urge to create something I should let it be or I get unhappy during the process. Of course as miniature painting is also my job I do have to follow deadlines or client's wishes, but I even learned to be frank about these and honest to myself before I do something that might turn out to not be a win/win situation for both, the client and me.

So first important rule:
Be honest to yourself. Do not just buy figures, because they are new or you have the urge to buy something to make you happy or a better painter. Usually, if they are not limited, they can be bought when you hear their call. If the call is strong enough you will get them, no matter what.

What speaks to me there I called painter's instinct and it is not only speaking to me on decisions what I am about to paint. More about this later.




First step to healing: Analysing the pressure
Well, easier said than done. When arriving in the studio, dressing up for painting I usually know - in the meantime - what I am looking forward to paint on. This was different in the past. I had the feeling I must finish something I started or I failed if it is not happening in a certain time frame. Also the internet can put pressure on yourself, subconciously. So many great painters outthere, so many different styles, so many great figures, so many great blendings, so many great ideas. Actually it is a good thing that is happening right now: Our passion is growing and spreading, but sometimes you got the feeling that you are staying behind. You are not improving as fast as others, or just do not understand that one technique somebody explained in his patreon, no matter how often you look at it.
Analyse it:

- Why do you feel that way? What keeps you from happy painting?
Accept your very own journey as a painter. Some do it as a hobby, find a certain time frame a week to be able to paint. Others are professionals and do nothing else. By comparision you think your own improvement is not going on fast enough while the internet is rushing on. Here is the deal: Calm down. Improvement just arrives with training and people have different painter personalities. Some understand faster, some have to wait a little longer for their "click-moments". I know what I am talking about as I am teaching hands on since over a decade and meet many painters.

-You adore the freehands a certain painter did?
You think you never reach that level? 

You get sad, depressed even when you look on your painting table. Did you ever think that this person you look up to just might be on a different journey as a painter than you are. Did you take in consideration that this painter might have studied russian icon painting at university and trained his skillset on this specific level to a form of mastery. Did you go the same road? No, well, then calm down and paint on. Train your very own skills. If you want to learn a certain thing or grow it on, put focus on it for a while.

- Analyse your very own painting motivation.
Why do you paint figures?
What is the reason why you paint up miniatures? Ask yourself. Take your time for it. Is it competetion with others. Is it to shut of from your daily work, to relax, to meditate? Is it for no reason? Is it because you meet up with friends? Why do you sit down and spent hours on small creations? I recommend reading the comments on this article. You might also want to check back with the ten most important rules when it comes to miniature painting.

- Know about your decisions and accept them
If you decide to paint full armies or models for gaming, well it is a decision. Yours. It is nothing bad on it. You just decided to paint a full working army that pleases the eye. It works as a full, maybe not on a single model. There are painters outthere who can combine their painting patience and passion to a full army. I am not one of them. I decided to paint single models mainly as I love the spark of a newborn idea, but sometimes on the road I do lose my project motivation.
It is my decision now to push through or put it to the side to wait for my muse to return. Not anyone elses. Even it is a client of mine. If he wants the best outcome from my paintwork, he has to be patient about my passion. I can not force passion and the will to create when my muse is out of the building. Of course this is much easier if you just paint as a hobby.




- A short story about decisions, Basketball
I am quite lucky to was able to lose some weight in the last couple of months due discipline on food and working out. My second big passion in life is basketball. I was not able to play it in the last years as I just was too heavy and my job as a miniature painter did not help me with this. Sitting down to paint, sitting down to write emails, sitting, sitting, sitting. I learned to paint standing now for once in a while and I am much slower in answering my emails. Well, back to basketball.

I was planning to have a knee operation last autumn as I had my first knee issue when I was seventeen, several more followed. Being heavy in body size did not help either. I build my whole self-emplyoment around it to be prepared for it and as I walked into the hospital that one day with my calender under my arm I was lucky. Lucky that there was a young doctor who told me the truth: I got a knee like a sixty year old and he did not believe that I still can do what I do with it: Cycling, swimming, hiking, playing basketball once a week and else. He just said it is confusing as my knee is a mess and I should barely walk without pain. The initial plan was to do an angle correction of my upper leg to make my right knee side on the right side less pressured. Plan was to use the left inside of the knee to balance and to keep me away from a knee prothese for the next couple of years. Well, he was honest and frank and I appreciated it. He said there would always be the risk that the operation might go wrong and I need the artifical knee earlier. He told me that the angle they could do would not make a big difference in my case. He said I should decide myself. I decided against it. I decided for losing weight and build up my muscles in my legs.

During my last years I was at 125 kilos once, now I am at 92 kilos and I love to play basketball every week on wednesday with friends. I am much faster, much stronger, much more focused. I just love it. It gives me back so much energy for my daily life, for my work, for my activities, for my moments of rest and everything else. I am able to live both my passions: Miniature Painting and Basketball. I thought this would never happen again in my life and this made me very sad in the last couple of years. Very.

If I look back how I played basketball in the last years it was always like that: I could not make a decision: Should I pass the ball, take a throw, dribble on or what not. In fact most of the time I lost the ball. Now all this doesn't matter anymore. I just follow my instinct. Am more brave, just do what I my basketball instinct tells me. And I love it. Of course I fail. I do lose the ball, but not because I was not able to make a decision. I do fail because others are faster, better or more focused in a certain moment or just luck is not on my side, but on the other hand I do not regret to decide something. If I lose the ball, or miss a chance I do learn something for the future. Thanks to Michael Jordan who again came back to my life as one of the biggest inspirations I ever had and now enjoy again.


It is the same with miniature painting.
Make your decisions, follow your instinct.
If you like something, keep it, improve it. If there is something you do not like, analyse it why you do not like it, instead of asking fiveteen other painters for feedback. Of course you can ask others, but in the end all that matters is your very own decision. The more options you get by asking others the more confused you will be in the end. The answer is in you already. You just have to follow it with self-confidence and accept failure as a part of learning.

If you want to train a technique by another painter, train it. Take everything you like from it and put it in your very own toolbox. Be open, there is no golden rule on what is good or bad or right or wrong. You decide what this is for you. Just for you. No one else.

If you want to paint for competitions because they motivate you, do it. If you do not, paint for yourself and the joy of it. Follow your instinct. See back with things in retrospective on what made you happy and what not and change things to be more happy with yourself. Not only in miniature painting, but also in life. Important is the decision. The answer is already in you. You can take time to think about it, but there are these moments in life and in painting where you just have to decide and take a decision or you will end up in thinking about thinking all the time. Been there, done that.

If you feel pressure - unhealthy one - from a certain project, an idea or high expectations you got to understand for you if that pressure is healthy for you or your drive in learning or not. Then decide what to do with it. Going down a road that might make you unhappy or deciding for another personal path. Decisions.

Try not to aim to paint like somebody else who is on a complete different journey than you. Learn from others, share and enjoy happypainting. Be respectful to others and accept their journeys. Learn to paint as the person you are. Painting and working with colors and emotions and techniques is something so indiviual that it should not frame your individiuality nor creative spirit. Set it free. Of course some are more controlled and like the way of controlled painting more than others, while others roam freely and paint with their big toes. Be and paint who you are. Learn the basics, improve them, but be able to step back from only technical aspects if you see you do not have a big learning curve anymore - maybe you got to step back several steps to improve again. Follow your instincts with self-confidence.

This all lead me to: Project Ping-Pong
When I arrive in the studio I am always surrounded by too many work in progress projects in all kind of different stages. Instead of being angry with myself or putting on pressure on myself I just follow my instinct and pick the work I am in the mood for. Sometimes I like to slap a wash on top of something or paint with my fingers, sometimes I do like to paint a blending on female skin, sometimes I just want to build a base without a reason. Decide color choices from your instincts and from what you have learned or seen by others. You decide and I bet if you do start to decide, after a while you will feel a freedom unknown to you.

Happy Painting?
This is what happy painting means to me. It does not mean I am always happy.
It does not mean that happy painting keeps me from learning or working hard. It does not mean happypainting is limiting your very own progress or the goals you set for yourself. I even do happy painting when I am sad as I use my emotions to paint with color. Happy Painting mainly means for me that I am in control of what I do, what I like, how I like it, why I do it for, what I decide and where my own journey as a painter goes.

Sometimes the internet takes this away from us, due all its fast information and the many tutorials outthere. On one hand it is great to see our passion grow to new heights. People sharing their experiences much more and many more are able to save time on their way to learn. So thanks to everyone who is teaching and spreading his knowledge. May it be professionals or hobby painters, this does not matter as long as we share and respect eachother as this is what makes our whole community bigger, stronger and massive. The only issue I see - this is also the reason why I do not teach in video format - is that often things are thaught like "monkey see, monkey do!" with not providing the teaching on how people think for themselves and learn by themselves. To all teachers outthere: Try not to teach robotics or you will have robots in the end. Our creative passion is much more than this.

Always remember,
in the end it is you who is sitting down with a brush in hand and an idea that you want to breathe life to! Be inspired, inspire others, but do not be scared of yourself and your journey as a painter.

There are no wrong or right decisions, there are just yours.

Keep on happy painting!
Roman

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If you like to support or say thanks the monkeys of Massive Voodoo in what they do, please feel invited to drop a jungle donation in their direction via paypal or check their miniatures they got on sale here.

Musica

by Roman aka jar



Find my personal music playlist that I am listening to while happy painting on youtube!

Quote of today

by Roman aka jar


"Although the world may be round,
we are still trapped in a square."


- Big Shug


I want to add a "sometimes" :)

Review: Jar's OSL Masterclass

by Roman aka jar

Hello Jungle monkeys,

time for a review on the first seminar that I was teaching this year in Augsburg, Germany.
My hometown, my beautiful Paradise City.
Many thanks to Peter who helped me organise this seminar. Without your help there would be so much chaos. It is weird, I know how much you like chaos and metal and beastman! Thank you my dear friend!

If you did not hear it yet: I will stick to Augsburg for the full year of teaching my seminars. I will not travel. I am in need to cure a travel-burnout to be able to enjoy holidays in the future. If you are interested in the upcoming teaching schedule for Augsburg and want to join a class to learn a big deal on miniature painting feel welcome to check back with the



http://massivevoodoo.blogspot.de/2017/11/mv-workshop-roadmap-2018.html

More seminars for the follow up months are in preparation, but still need fine-tuning. Stay tuned and get informed behind the link above. You will not regret a visit to beautiful Augsburg, promised.

Now back to the subject ...

Review: Jar's OSL Masterclass
Teaching this seminar for the first time as a one day, eight hour class I was of course nervous. Even I so far thaught plenty of students on several occasions. It is always something refreshing and exciting to have a new teaching concept on a certain topic, when it comes to Miniature Painting.



I held this seminar as a test-run at last years NOVA OPEN in Washington, D.C.
and was astonished by my students's results. The class at Nova was shorter than the one I recently did as I always make new thoughts and improvements to my seminars :)

My students arrived on time as a full gang,

well not completly but everything happens for a reason, eh? As soon as we entered the venue - the old school were I used to learn on how to become a teacher - everybody was setting up and already brought some of their cool miniatures and cookies :)


I also brought some of mine of course.

The class started with a big theory block on Object Source light.
Thank you all for the great conversations, click moments and funny situations we enjoyed. Can you imagine what you can learn in eight hours if you only focus on OSL with good explanations and a fine curriculum in theory and practical exercises? Well, if not you got to join one of the future classes of this kind. Eight hours are a long time and if you focus on something in particular you will understand it properly.

Thanks to Sebastian and all the other students of this class who supported me with their photos of the class. I did not do many as I was quite busy with, well ... teaching:


... and answering really confusing questions here and there, but well I learned as a good teacher that there is no wrong question, just wrong answers, if you do not listen carefully.

Confusion Level risin'!


Well, just kidding.
Thanks for the fun times, ladies and gentleman. All questions were properly answered or have been discussed to a satisfying result. Then we started painting. There were two tasks for each student: First to understand the principles of OSL in a sketch and then going deeper to include that sketch in everyone's individual workflow.




First round.
Understanding the principles of OSL. You might see figures double time in here as I was so bombed with photos after the class. Thank you all!


















And cookies for those who weren't on a diet :D


Well, good results for the first fun and a proud teacher in me raising his voice for some food and good talks. After lunch we came back for the second task.

Second stage of the class, was to integrate the OSL knowledge into a full paintjob. When do you include it and how? These questions were answered with my help and guidance. This was amazing to see how everyone's figures turned out for the short time we actually had for this. Amazing, ladies and gentleman.












One day, seven hours of seminar and everybody learned a big deal now.


Thank you all for a great day!
Pls ignore the cigarettes. Even they might create a tiny OSL at night, they are not good for your health!





See you for future classes. Got some great concepts upcoming! Thank you all for your support and trust in me as a teacher. Wish you all some happy painting time and never forget, learning never stops!

Yours
Roman

PS: Seminar Roadmap 2018!
PPS: Or are you interested in a one and one private coaching with me?