With many of us having other jobs and adulting responsibilities, it can get very challenging to get ready for conventions. Especially when you are planning to compete.
So of course because of those adulting responsibilities and life getting in the way, you have to bring your entry/entries with you and finish them at the con. You arrive at the con, you drop off your bags at the hotel, greet your friends and have dinner. While having dinner and maybe even having drinks, you are thinking about how much more you have to do on your entry. Depending on how much more you have to do, and the deadline, determines how much you are thinking about it and how big that knot in the pit of your stomach is. You are possibly not even enjoying yourself at dinner as much as you could be.
Once dinner is over, you say your good nights, and rush upstairs to your room or a table somewhere in the convention area. After a long day of travel and stress, you prepare to be up until you can't keep your eyes open anymore. Like this lovely and talented woman:
Michelle Blastenbrei, of Mini Painter Ink. Spending what looks like hours 299 and 300 on Reaper Miniature's Mal' Drakar. However, it has been time well spent as it is one of the most amazing pieces that you will ever see.
The deadline is fast approaching and you are in a race against time! Admittedly, there is a little bit of a thrilling feeling to it. That feeling like you are living on the edge, that you just want to see if you can do it. Will you be able to finish with hours or even minutes to spare so that you can brag to your friends?
Does this currently or used to sound like you?
Up until the start of 2017, that was always me.
Inspite of that thrilling sense of adventure feeling, for me, I was finding that it was not something that I constantly wanted to do anymore. For some that thrill still works, and that's totally fine. However for myself, life in the last few years for example, has been incredibly stressful. Therefore, I have been reevaluating and making some changes as I can. One of the changes was regarding stressing out about painting competitons.
In my re evaluation, I was finding that when I was "racing against time" to finish a figure:
It was taking away my enjoyment of painting the figure/s.
It was making me have negative thoughts and feelings.
I was stressing too much and it poured over to other things.
At times, I was missing certain details that I should not have missed.
I was not taking my time so that I could actually do my best. By rushing to make the deadline, I was only hurting myself because I was not doing as good of a job as I could have and should have.
I have found that I have no issues with making some quick adjustments. That's been totally fine for me as long as I don't let it stress me out. I spend the time making those adjustments and when the time comes; if it's done, it's done, if not, worry about it later or better luck next time. Besides, this hobby was not created to stress people out. Furthermore, I want to keep loving my job as a professional painter and owner of Metalhead Minis.
I have not been alllowing myself to lose sleep at a convention like that unless it's because I want to and it's fun for me.
World Expo this year was a perfect example. I had a historical painting entry I was working on. I paid for two categories at online registration (Advanced Fantasy Painters and Advanced Historical Painters). When the time came for the day I left, it was not done. I love the figure so I was not going to rush it. As for the extra money for the second category, I figured "It's okay, they can keep it. I'd rather sleep."
One of the best decisions I made this year was to make this change. I feel that I have more fun at cons even while working at them, I feel a little less pressure and stress, and I actually enjoy time with my peeps when we have our meals and visit at each other's booths and such.
I wanted to share that I am proud of myself for so far sticking to this decision. I also wanted to share this for those that have or are going through the same thing. Know that you are not alone and I hope this blog post helps you :).
Until then my peeps,
Stay Crispy in Milk,
And keep on painting!