How to lose at Golden Demon?

by Roman aka jar

How to lose at Golden Demon?

Sounds provocating, doesn't it?
This write up is by far not meant that way, doesn't include any offence and it is also not only about GW's Golden Demon.

I was very inspired by Chris aka Bestienmeisters blog post about winning a Golden Demon.
You can find them here, listed up:

After reading those posts by Chris you really prepared your head about winning a Golden Demon. Lets get over to the message I want to tell now. Somehow while reading this I found myself in worries about maybe these great articles could affect the one or the other in the wrong way of motivation, like putting too much pressure in winning a Golden Demon. Ok, I stop now about the Golden Demon thing as there are many other things you can win out there in the Miniature world of Events, some are less important than a Golden Demon, others are more important but in the end you choose yourself if winning something is your main force behind your motivation of painting figures and what means "important" for you.

Please make sure that what I am trying to explain now is just my own personal oppinion, my exeriences and a summ up to understand what I mean. There is no offence in any of my words.

About Winning 
- the light and the dark side

Winning is something nice for sure - you always feel happy when you win something and you can be proud of yourself but this can fast change to the "dark side". The dark side that keeps your mind only focused on the goal to win at any cost and this changes you. It changes the way you think, the way you prepare, the way you act to other painters, the way you share your love of miniature painting and it changes your passion. It changes the passion why you paint, for example you find your passion in painting figures or you find your passion in painting figures to win something at all cost. That is a difference you should be aware of.

To avoid the dangers of the dark side I recommand thinking about winning for a while. If your painted figure wins you something it means it gets credit by some judges who compare different works from different painters to call out the winners. This is the same at the Golden Demon or a small Online Contest. That means your work will be judged by 3~or more persons of the jury. If you have  competent and fair judges the contest will be a fair thing and every painter will get what he deserves to win. You don't have much influance in the decision of the judges, in fact none - but if you prefer for a competition try to bring out your best you can do. Judging is not an easy thing and everyone who already did knows how hard in can be and what heavy weight responsibility you carry during your judging work.

Winning is indeed something nice but it ain't all.Winning means credit and you should be proud of, but not glorify it, not glorify those who won. When I used to play basketball in the 90s I was pretty good and my team and me won a lot of games, me the top scoring machine of some games, the wall of defence, the wave in the offence. It was nice and I did not know about the dark side when I was young and jumped around with that orange ball without ever thinking of it. But winning puts something up to yourself. On one hand you got motivation to go further, to reach more, to try new things, to get it on with bigger projects, to make what you did to win even better with the next try.

BUT it also puts pressure on you - dark pressure. Maybe you don't recognize this but it is there, no matter what. Like: Oh yes I have won something, now I am a better painter than painter X or painter Z and my figures are better than figure X or Z. More pressure in form of keeping your position for the next event - to win again, to show what you can do and still are the one who is able to win, to fullfill the expectations of others. That is the dark side of winning and it can lead you to paint in exile in your inner self. Always think about the right motivation why you paint. It should not only be about winning in the end.

I was lucky to learn to feel humbled when I won something. Humbleness is a gift in such situations. It stops the dark side from coming up right at the spot and you don't put yourself or your painting or your trophies over others.

About Losing

Even I am still young I lost many times and I am thankful for it. 
Way more thankful than I ever was during winning something. Losing learns you humbleness and brings much more motivation than winning if you take a closer look on losing.

Losing at a figure competition means your work was not best in the eyes and oppinions of the judges. That is ok. That is nothing bad. Maybe it is because your actual lack of experience because you are a beginner in painting figures, maybe it is because you did not put as much time in your project as you would like to, you know the weak spots of your figures the best - this is always for sure if you are honest on your own painting experience and skill. Maybe other reasons too but in the end you always know them if you are honest to yourself. Learning to lose and fail protects yourself from the dark side, from the wrong ideals of miniature painting for competitions. Losing never should stop your love of figures, never should stop your flow of happy painting, never should stop yourself from the drive to gain more experience in painting figures.

I know many painters who in case of losing a contest are losing their motivation too, searching for reasons, searching for their muse to give winning another try next year for example and totally got stuck at the dark side. Most of those already have won something earlier and did not think about winning or losing so far. 

In fact for me the moments when I lose in life are more important than winning ever was and would be. Losing will help your character to grow, for sure not your trophy-collection, but a trophy collection means nothing compared with your character and person and the joy you find in all your senses while painting figures.


Summing this up I am not sure if you all might get what I exactly mean. After Chris faboulous blog posts of Winning a Golden Demon I just felt that I have something to tell about this too. I did not want to talk too much about winning and the way you can win something and the things you should do to win something. I just felt that I wanted to tell that losing is not bad at all. Losing won't destroy you if you don't glorify the goal to win. If there are some to win there are also some to lose and that doesn't make the winning painter a greater person as the losing painter - in my eyes :)

Humbleness in both aspects is the key to stay a happy painter, who paints for the fun of gaining experience and the joy in creation whatever your skill level is.

I hope you get what I mean?
Let me know what you think about these thoughts and if they were really worth the typing. I am really interested in your oppinions and experiences about this topic. Hit the comments if you got something to share ...

Keep on happy painting!
Best Wishes

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