Thursday, January 09, 2014

My Creativity Is... A Surfer?

I have (or maybe it was my wife who has) found out that my creative mood rides on waves. I've constantly felt this in a way but never really gave it any deeper thought, until lately.

When I started taking commissions, I noticed that, for time to time, it was really hard for me to keep my thoughts together and focus on the task in front of me. I felt lazy and unproductive. It had nothing to do with the projects that I worked with. I felt that I needed to hit the stones together a bit longer and harder to get the spark.

I've started to understand my mind a bit better while getting older. These seasons – the ones when I just feel like an empty and clean jar – are the tides when I either really need to push myself to do something creative or need to focus on something totally different, like go fishing.

But eventually I do find the spark.

These creativily melancholic tides are followed by the heaps when I just simply can't put my tools down and stop working. It feels great, like everything you do works instantly and looks superb, even after a good night sleep. The downside is that while on this mode, I rarely can think anything else than the projects that I'm involved in, until its finished. These are very difficult times for my family, as all I'd like to do is to get back to my cave and create something, anything.

The cycles do wary in length. Sometimes the mood stays for weeks, even months. Sometimes mere days. A good, long, productive heap season really gives you the boost and is even visible in your everyday life. Even the same coffee that you make every morning tastes better.

How is it with you? Do you have times when it is hard to grab the brush and start painting or are you in constant auto-fire mode, pushing out piece after piece of top grade stuff (like Jeff of Convertorum)?


I think I'm currently climbing towards the heap, my mind working all the time, creating possibilities and processing ideas – and when one idea pops in my mind, it generates a dozen new ones.

Now, I'm literally neck deep in miniature projects. I have a couple commissions under way, all of them coming along with sure steps. Then there are some random projects that just materialized in front of me while putting pieces together. That is one good sign of the creative mood hitting the upswing.

Here's one of the randoms that is currently waiting for priming. Yep, it's another Inquisitor, this time a Puritan of Ordo Hereticus...

+ Inquisitor Valon, Puritan, Ordo Hereticus +

Inquisitor Valon will be accompanied by another character, an Underhive tracker who I will reveal to you somewhere later this month... Maybe they will play a part in the Punk Moth campaign at some point, who knows.


I did mention the commissions, didn't I? Well, here's a sneak peak to one of them. This is a female Inquisitor of Ordo Xenos, high born and noble, very interesting project to work with...

Female Inquisitor, Ordo Xenos

All the details were given to me by the client. I started working out the idea of the Inquisitor on paper, thinking of which bits I would be using for her, sketching her out of my head while putting the pieces together.

This is my vision of her. We'll see how this thing will form out...

- Kari


  1. Hi Kari,
    I too suffer from hobby peaks and troughs, sometimes not even looking at miniatures for weeks at a time. It makes those productive times all the more enjoyable though.
    Loving the new Inquisitor. Can't wait to see some paint on him.


  2. My creativity and general excitement for the miniature hobby certainly comes in waves of periods of great activity and others of virtually nothing. Over the last year however, blogs like yours and a few others have been instrumental in keeping up my enthusiasm and creative muse. Having my own blog has also helped me feel connected to the hobby.

    I really like your new inquisitor, very subdued yet interesting. His sword is excellent, looking like he could actually wield it effectively and not overly large. Even the base looks wonderful and full of life.

    I can't wait to see more of your work this year!

  3. Fantastic looking Inquisitor! I love the sense of motion you achieved without resorting to some extravagant or outlandish pose. I also really like how he is actually kitted out with a fair amount of gear and equipment. It actually looks like is is out in the field, fighting for the Emperor's soul!

    I would say that my levels of excitement and creativity come and go seemingly on a whim, ha ha. Often times I try and have multiple projects going at once, each at a different level of completion. This makes it easier for me to continue working no matter my excitement level.

    Keep up the incredible work! Always an inspiration.

    1. I too like the amount of gear on his back/belt, Usually I try to keep things simple, but sometimes I just let the flow keep directing me.

  4. More brilliant stuff from you mate - stunning stuff once again.

    Echoing the above, and what many hobbyists probably feel, I too have peaks and troughs - theres nothing wrong with that - it happens in most fields - not just miniatures - when I'm in a trough, it is enough for me to trawl the blogs in my list and wait for that one post that will stir my drive again - and then I'm off.

    If someone ever figures out how to bottle drive, they'd make a mint.

  5. Peaks most definitely - wether to draw or a paint a mini - I work from home so it's a constant - holiday ,work or weekends it's all one - each project begat seven more - so a peak is never a lack of creativity but where I lace it at any given time ......

  6. Peaks for me, if it's not top-notch quality, it's no big deal as long as I'm happy with what I did in the time spent, creativity seems to feed itself, the only issue being to find enough time to materialise and hence feed it so it keeps flowing.
    Some very great work on display here !

  7. Your comments on creativity and inspiration definitely resonate with me. Sometimes I have to trick myself into the right state by just getting started and only aiming for a quick 15 minute stint. More often than not, I'll come back up for air a couple of hours later!

    Loving the blog, by the way.

  8. Thank you for your responses, guys! I've found out that it helps to get back on track when you finish a small project quickly while you're on the bottom; Paint a miniature in couple of hours, draw something, kit-bash, write something etc. The main point is to finish the thing that you started, very fast, and not making it another long lasting project.

  9. I definitely find the same kind of peaks in my productivity. I have the additional problem, that the object of my interest often is different than before. First I'm sculpting miniatures, the next week I'm building a full-scale two-hulled sailing boat. Last week all I could think about was Real Racing 3, this week I'm planning starting a new business... I'd like to find an area of life that would capture my attention for more than a few months...

    1. You really are a hyperactive weasel in stereoids, mate. Dare I ask, how's your Tau army project getting along? ;)

  10. I do the same comparaison about painting since many months even if I don't think of creative mood but Mojo :P But these intense periods of productivity seems to be like riding a wave, it's true!
    About the mini, nice conversion, one more time :)

  11. As my day job is a creative one - I work as an illustrator - I've sort of learned not to wait for inspiration and just get stuck in. As the say art is 10 % inspiration and 90 % perspiration and I think I apply that same philosophy to my hobby projects. However - there's ups and downs for me as well, but the down rarely last longer than a week or two....

    Inquisitor looks great - gotta love those running legs... Really like the sketch too!

  12. The movement in this piece is killer. Great work, again!

  13. Hey Kari, i completly understand you and find myself very often struggling to see a good wave outthere on the ocean, but when she is there everything else is forgotten and I am surfing like I never did before ... stupid muse and creativity, but you are doing the right thing: Accepting the waves, don't fight them. It is hard, it fucks your brain and soul but it will be forgotten ...

  14. Thanks fellas! Good to know I'm not alone here.