The last couple of days I have been on a painting kick, and whenever that happens people tend to ask me if I will paint their miniatures for them, or if I do commissions. The answer is (usually) no. I have then had people try to convince me that it would be worth it, because they will pay me a lot, or by telling me how much they love my miniatures. While it is flattering to know that people love what I am doing, if I am saying no, it is not because of the money aspect for me. Painting is a passion of mine, and normally when I do agree to do commissions (more on that later), I do not charge very much.
If it is not about the money, then why don’t I paint for commissions? It’s simple for me, if I am not passionate about the miniatures I have trouble finishing them. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I don’t always finish one game before moving onto the next game. Most of the time, I do go back to the original game at some point, but not until I feel passionate about it again. If something is on my desk taking up space that I am not excited to paint, it takes away my motivation to even paint. This was a struggle for me for the last two months, having Stuffed Fables on my table. I just recently found my passion for it again, and I am quickly working to finish it so I can start The Grimm Forest. Often times when I hit a midway point of a game, I just lose steam on it. When working with most games, doing a whole second set makes me fill with dread. I like working on new things.
Now, I am an adult. I can force myself to sit and do something I don’t necessarily want to do. However, when you are just doing something to get it off the table, it does not come out with the same quality and care that something I am passionate about would. When I paint for other people I want to hand them something quality that I am proud of. I don’t want them to look at it and feel like they were ripped off, or feel that their miniature was not what they hoped it would be. The other downside with forcing myself to paint is it ends up taking a lot longer to complete a project. I never feel good about taking someone’s miniatures from a cherished game for very long.
There are exceptions to this rule. Sometimes I find a game that I fall in love with painting. For instance, when Jim Henson’s The Labyrinth: The Board Game came out, I was absolutely infatuated. I must have done at least ten commission sets of that game alone. It only had five miniatures and I could breeze through an entire set in a day. They made me extremely happy to paint, because they reminded me of my childhood. Recently, I have been enamored with painting Scythe, and I have considered taking a few commissions to paint it again.
The other time I do commissions is when it is a one off miniature. Most often I see this for people who play RPGS and are looking for their character or a monster painted. I do these models because most of the time they are new to me, plus with only one model I know I can finish it in a reasonable amount of time. I love painting Heroforge miniatures or miniatures that people went out of their way to find for their character. Bringing someone’s vision to life is fun, and I know they will enjoy having the character during their campaign.