The Future of Happy Painting ... part 1

by Roman aka jar

Hi painters,

recently there has been much talk about one topic: Games Workshop.

I just want to let you know my personal oppinion to it. 
Call it from a painters view or some Kong Fu.

Recently I read the articles over on masterminis and different forums about what is going on... facts, rumors and a lot more "What happened if ...?"

I felt, while reading the well written articles, that this somehow does not bother me too much. My happy painting still works fine depending on my personal mood. The situation that GW is changing some things radical now and in the near future does not affect my way of figure painting. Sure I see GW as something very important in our hobby due three big reasons:

1. Games Workshop is getting the youth to our hobby as the stores are main access to the hobby newbies. I also started my miniature love with Heroquest, WHF and WH40k.

2. Games Workhop has a great universe to call their own. Great stories behind their armies and such a tense athmosphere to make easily addicted. To help people create wonders in their little figures due the great written universe Warhammer and Warhammer 40k presents.

3. Games Workshop did/does/maybe still will do one of the most important painting competitions: the Golden Demon.

Maybe at this point it is important to dissect the meaning of "hobby" in this context.

From what I have learned in the past I know that our "hobby" offers many different aspects and every indivual who follows this "hobby" with joy sets his own core area or focal point. Some are straight gamers who just enjoy the gaming aspect. Some are builders who enjoy building up scenery and dioramas. Some are just painting the figures. In between black and white there is a lot of grey remaining. Some do enjoy painting a lot and still play tabletop, some are enjoying gaming a lot but use their hobby time for painting more recently. Sometimes this goes up and down. Some don't even paint nor game. Everybody sets his own focus. And that is good. That makes our "hobby" so vibrant.

From my point of view I am a painter. I sometimes try to paint a small skirmish army up to gaming standards, but always fail in motivation of really sitting down to paint, I rather prefer painting cool single models and find my visions on different themed settings. I am fine with that. My focus. When I look back to find the last GW figure I have bought for my own I mainly come to a mass of demonette boxes as I use them on my beginner's painting class. I remember once last year, 2013, when I was looking at one of the new WHF Chaos lords - I really wanted to get that one as I enjoy the sculpt a lot, but when I saw that about four plastic pieces should cost me 20 € + I cancelled that idea and did not buy it. I decided so because I am a painter and I know many other figures from different brands I would enjoy to bring some paint on. I can understand that from a gamers perspective these changes by GW really suck money if you want to build up an army for your own. I was happy not to game, just painting, but that definatly not makes me interesting as a customer group of GW. I also know that a lot of gamers switched to different systems as GW's were not affordable anymore.

Even from this point of view I can say I do like Games Workshop. I would even call it love. Why? Because I do like their background so much. I do love Space Marines and even I painted way too many until this day I don't get bored of them. Space Marines stay Space Marines and even Games Workshop changes things in the future they still will rely on Space Marines, that I am pretty sure of.

Things might change, but it is not me who judges decisions made by Games Workshop HQ. If people are directly involved with GW, working at GW and have to suffer due actual or future decisions, I feel really sorry. I could see this coming if GW closes Stores or other country HQs and I really think this might get some good "hobby" people into big trouble if life brings such a rapid change in a blink of an eye. I also feel sorry for the future of our "hobby". As I said in the beginning GW provides recruitment of youngsters who really learn to enjoy the "hobby" and maybe might keep it for a lifetime. I also feel sorry about Games Days getting rare, even I have not been to many of them and never was the biggest fan of masturbating on throphies they still have been great events to meet up with hobby friends and alike thinkers. I also have made many good friends via the hobby and I am able to keep the friendship alive via meeting on such events like the Games Day. As there are many other events I can meet my hobby friends at and due the fact that I only was able to go to german Games Day so far I am not to worried about to not see my friends anymore. There still will be many occassions where we will meet and enjoy the love for the hobby.

From the rumors, facts and blabla I have heard in the last couple of months I can say: Well, things might change, yes, but who is able to tell in which direction it changes. Everybody seems upset and says: "Man, I told 'em... if they would not take care this would happen ... and if they would have done this and that different things might be different today!" ... Well, right ...

If the Empire of Rome did not fall apart in history things might be a lot different today too. We still might have slavery, cruel gladiator fights, cruxification and teenage slave girls and boys sold to prostitution. Things changed since the fall of Rome and I would say to the better. Who knows what the changes GW HQ is doing might bring in the future to our hobby? Who dares to say what the future brings? I know people paid money to Soothsayers back in ancient Rome to have a glimpse into future happenings, but most of them were charlatans ... things also changed in this point. So, I from my point of view am not able to tell actual decisions in our hobby world are bad or good. Ancient Rome died away, but left great things to learn from, other empires arose from dust and everything that happened, good or bad things made us all end up here: at this moment. And believe me no ancient soothsayer saw what was coming in the year 2014.

Well, I am loosing point. Why am I writing this from a painter's perspective?
Well easy to answer. My brain works like Tetris, I put some information in like a Tetris brick and it is placed. Sometimes it makes "bling!" and I learned something from the information (forming a straight horizontal line in Tetris did the same), if too much silly information enters my brain I am loosing the game and I got to start a new one. That is how my brain works. Saying so, maybe you are already feeling where I am heading. To be a happy painter my Tetris needs to stay put, even it is already at a high level and going fast with todays information (bricks).

I asked myself a lot recently while reading forum posts and articles about the future of Games Workshop:

Is this information useful to my game of happy painting? No. 
Does my oppinion change something in the decisions GW HQ makes for the greater good? No. Would something be different at the way GW works and plans if I supposed that to them? No.
Can I forsee the future of the hobby? No. 
Can I be a happy painter against all odds? Yes, with just painting and by accepting the information my brain really can work with while painting. With my friends, my projects, other hobby people I still stay a hobby nerd who loves what he is doing: painting. Even if GW might completly dissapear and I am sure they won't in the near future.

Well, for me the informations and discussions running mad in forums and blogs about the future of GW are not important. I am just filling up my brain Tetris-game with bricks I can not work with, which brings me nothing and is also nothing I can change from my position. From my point of view I stop reading about it. Maybe this is wrong, I do not know, but I feel better. Maybe if all is going wrong with GW something new arises, makes the hobby even greater than before, maybe not. What I am sure of is the fact that as long as there are people outthere who enjoy and love their hobby, it will live on and will grow. No matter which company is on top of the selling ladder, the hobby only lives with people who put their hearts in it and if future changes at GW HQ will have hard impact on some who work at GW I feel really sorry. I really do. I can understand that gamers and fanboys are upset with what is going on and how things are going, but keep in mind that some changes might look bad in the beginning, but maybe bring out something good in the long run.

From my point of view I don't fight too much with the future and its worries as I never know what will happen. Everything happens for a reason, ey? So let's wait until the point when we see the reason behind changes and all the universe has to offer. I personally don't like to make my heart and brain heavy by reading walls of texts on things that might have been different if things would have been done different. What positive Tetris brick to I get out of that? None. I just keep my mind busy with an information I can not work with or change something with. I save this space up for positive Tetris bricks on what to remember while painting, on what I am learning everyday by nature and how I find my joy in the hobby.

So in the end of this part one I can say I am not even sure if there will be a part two, but you never know what the future brings. I hope this wall of text (really there is no picture in here) was not too much and it was ok to understand what I am trying to tell. For sure this is open for discussion. So let me know what you think about it via comment. I am eager to read your thoughts.

Remember these are my personal thoughts and don't stand for everybody involved with Massive Voodoo. Just my personal statement about the madness that is spreading like wildfire through the hobby community. Maybe they show that you are still the master of your own mind, the master of the Tetris game you play, the master of your happy painting mood.

I rather paint than going mad and worry too much. Thoughts from a painter.
Keep on happy painting!
Best Wishes


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