Good morning watchers, readers, stalkers et al,
It’s that time of year where we all take a breath and step back to see what we have achieved in the past year and look forward to what is to come in the following 12 months. That’s exactly what has been happening at the Brushworks recently and we’ve come to a few revelations… some are a shame, some are exciting but most are a change in some way.
Ch… ch… ch… ch… Changes! (Thanks Bowie)
Fyremane Brushworks has been painting commissions for clients for about two years now, give or take. I started almost by mistake… a cousin of my wife passed me some 10mm infantry to paint and it kind of spiralled from there! The business that I’ve done, the money that I’ve made, has allowed the family to add a little extra to the kitty while we deal with the day to day – shopping, fuel, child care and all that other stuff that needs paying for.
Recently we – Mrs Brushworks and I – have been discussing the future and I’m sorry to say that the commission side of the Brushworks may have become obsolete. There has been job changes that mean time is now a greater commodity to my family than money is. Therefore, I am no longer taking commissions to the same rate as what I have been – if any at all if truth be told.
Currently I am working through a large White Scars order, some Dead Man’s Hand stuff and a bunch of D+D dudes and I have a large Eldar order already to go on the ‘to do’ shelf. As of the end of that Eldar order I’m going to be paring down the amount of commissions I do considerably – probably to the odd character figure or possibly a squad at a time. After the Eldar I’m going to return to painting and modelling as a hobby – I’m hoping to enter at least Armies on Parade and maybe Golden Daemon at some point, but in order to do that I need the time!
So for the time being at least business will continue as usual for the beginning of the year but once the Eldar leave the studio the Brushworks will become a (well stocked!) hobby shop! I really want to turn into a more bespoke shop so I’m going to be concentrating on my own stuff plus maybe the odd character, vehicle or even Blood Bowl team etc for outside clients but external work will no longer be the main focus.
As I said, it is a bit sad but this brings me swiftly on to… the future!
In my experience being a commission painter is relentless. It can sometimes be a slog to put paint to miniature. Sometimes the inspiration is a little thin if you are painting stuff that you wouldn’t paint for yourself but because someone is paying for a service you put your head down and get on. BUT it is very rewarding. Packing an order up and sending it out to a client is a pretty good feeling, especially when you get some nice feedback.
Commission painting is also all consuming. We probably all have a mountain of unpainted miniatures and “projects” kicking about that we are working through. Well, when you’re a commission painter the back burner that these things sit on gets further and further away. I’ve got a Dark Angels army that is still on sprue and boxed up that I’ve had for two years! Don’t get me wrong, someone paying you to use use your skills on their models is quite the kick. It’s an honour to be entrusted with someones vision of their army and try to bring it to life. I’ve probably given my skill set a kick in the pants and my painting has improved over the time I’ve painted, I think when you paint miniatures you wouldn’t normally paint it really forces you to learn and equip yourself skills wise. But now is probably a good time to concentrate on my own stuff. Two years is a long time to be staring at an accusatory Dark Angels Chaplain.
So, the Brushworks will still be active. I’ll still be all over social media and hoping to enter those painting competitions. There are a few projects that I certainly want to get to grips with – the new Relicblade Kickstarter in February time, a canal based terrain set up for fantasy games, a Dead Man’s Hand Old West board, Armies on Parade, Dark Angels, Frostgrave… on and on and on! It’ll also give me more time to play these games! I’ve painted over 200 miniatures plus assorted terrain pieces and I think I can count on two hands how many games I’ve played in the same timeframe. I’m also hoping to get to Salute next year to have a good old mooch about and meet some other people in the business/hobby. It’ll be like Gollum coming out of his cave!
Anyway, apologies for the long wordy post!
Keep your paints thin and your brushes pointy!