Saturday, 4 January 2014

Comparison, comparison, comparison


This rather humorous scene from the Simpsons is a similar feeling we've all felt when checking out the boxes of our favourite miniature kits or other peoples painting projects. That feeling of looking at a damn fine paint job and thinking, to paraphrase Homer Simpson "That's one fine looking model... why doesn't mine look like that!?"

Commonly thought of as a negative way of thought, believe it or not it is a philosophy I've personally used to actually improve my painting and modelling skills. As much as I always appreciate and take in beautifully painted/converted pieces like a fine vintage wine, even I am a little jealous of the skill required to pull off these works of art.

"But wait!" I hear you cry. "Didn't you say not to let other peoples work put us off our own works in your painting guide for beginners?"

Well done for questioning me if you did, you get a virtual cookie. Yes, I did indeed say that and it would not do to make myself a hypocrite. I said I am a little jealous, I never said it put me off, in fact quite the opposite!

Some find me a little arrogant for thinking this way, but I always assure people that by saying this I am in fact praising their work, not putting it down. If I see a model that looks nicer than mine (but keeping it realistic - not too far above my skills!) I take the attitude "That's a nice model, and I will make it my duty to paint better than that." Yes it's competitive, but no-one becomes the best without competition, do you not think Golden Daemon winners think this way?

Fact is competition is a necessity in most areas in life. Businesses often compete to be the best choice for their customers, athletes compete against others for that fabled gold medal. It's not the fact we like to put other people down that makes us compete, but to set the bar higher that we can push ourselves further and achieve better things. If you believe you're the best, what's the point in improving?

Anyway, I thought I would share my philosophy with all you readers out there. I already have friends who have adopted my attitude here and they have frequently said to me "One day, I will paint my miniatures better than you" and my response has always been "I look forward to the day you do, then I will have to work harder to improve even more". Friendly competition is great, as long as it doesn't turn to arrogance.

Until next time fans!

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