The quest for perfection – or lack of it

I don’t normally do ‘think pieces’ or link to external ones but I read the following from a link on Facebook and thought it very good. It kind of epitomizes a lot of my views and so though I would add a little post here about it. I work hard on my ‘toy solider hobby’ and gain a lot of enjoyment from it but I’m never going to win awards for painting etc and in fact have zero interest in even getting or trying for them.

For those who do then that’s great and I respect and admire the efforts they put into their toys but that’s just not ‘my hobby’. I also still get magazines/games which include amazing works of art. I admiring the great works of art some people in the local group do as well and respect their skills immensely. I continue to try to improve my skills but I am quite content to show the level of work I produce now. If it gets better over time, and I think it does a little, then great but I’m not killing myself to do that. I also have way too many interests even in the hobby to focus on one thing for too long.

The competitive aspect of gaming is secondary to me to the social side of things as well. Don’t get me wrong I don’t like losing, but winning when my opponent is having no fun playing the game is something which I’m not interested in. I have stopped games and started again or then moved to other games, because of that. This also effects the type of game I play. I’d prefer a close loss than a blow out win. Ultra competitive games or massively complex ones hold very little interest for me these days. I have participated in various tournament games (and even won a few in DBA) but I’m actually as happy to have won best opponent awards in a couple of events as well.

I also find the gaming/painting hobby takes second place to other things at times. It fits in with say my poor golfing in the summer etc. It also fits in with my reading (sci-fi, history etc,) and other interests and those will spur me on or deflect me into other things. I ‘miss out on’ gaming/painting events at times because of timing conflicts. All those kind of decisions are easy – a hobby is for fun and as soon as it is not then stop doing it in my opinion.

So overall, it is interesting an important point to ensure that the aim for perfection or being the best does not spoil the actual act of enjoying this hobby or others, whatever they are, in the first place. I sometimes see painting miniature really dropping into this model. The industry and web tends to highlight the great skills of some and by implication highlight the lack of skills in others. But the story is more that it’s as much about the getting there and doing ones own work for the enjoyment of it vs the end result of the perfect model. I do wonder how much a barrier of entry or enjoyment this makes at times for people in this hobby though.

Anyway, enough from me now I’ll go back to my usual posts this weekend.

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About mellis1644

A painter and gamer who has no illusions about being the best painter but likes to play with decently painted toys and have fun gaming
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7 Responses to The quest for perfection – or lack of it

  1. Tim Herrmann says:

    I like your thoughts here and I echo them. No interest in trying for award worthy minis, just doing the best I can. And like you, I think I improve. Just sent a batch of 2 year old FIW Indians back through some touch up to match the latest batch of FIW French. But they’re still tabletop quality, better than some of my gaming group produces and worse than others, but they’re mine and they make me happy, so….

    • mellis1644 says:

      Glad to hear and I doubt we are alone. But it’s so easy to get caught up in the web/GW trend of prefect figures. Also, 2 year for a touch up I think shows real progress, which is great.

  2. I suspect this narrative probably applies to how many of us feel. On a personal level I nearly gave up because I knew I could never reach the incredible heights that some, very few I expect, achieve. Confronted with giving up or accepting and enjoying what I do whilst trying to improve I decided on the latter course. In short that’s why I chose the blog name “The Imperfect Modeller”. I don’t pretend to be much else and as a consequence I love what I do. Great post and thanks for sharing.

    • mellis1644 says:

      Glad to hear you did not give up. Modeling and the hobby in general can be so much to people. But as you say it’s easy to fall into the comparison of the best in the world and few of us can get to those heights or maybe even want to. Understanding what you get out of the hobby is hugely important for overall enjoyment.

  3. Argentbadger says:

    I also saw this article and felt the same as you’ve written here. There is much to be said for personal achievement in any field. For example, I’m not going to win any races, much less earn a world record in running, but I don’t wake up and think ‘Killian Jornet exists, therefore I might as well not bother trying’ and immediately go back to bed.

    • mellis1644 says:

      Thanks and you are right. I do wonder though how many people don’t try painting or get put off because of the super pictures in some publications. I give GW credit for showing great mini’s but also working hard to help people get into the painting side of the hobby.

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