I’m not sure when to start counting, but I don’t think I’ve had an actual HOBBY, per se, for 20 years. Every time I picked something up and stuck with it (music, cartooning) I quickly turned it into a vocation, or at least something I aspired to earn a living at. I never succeeded with music, but I pulled it off with cartooning.
So here I am with a hobby-ish pursuit (drawing funny pictures) as my day-job. Can I have a REAL hobby now? PLEASE?
It’s a rhetorical question. The answer is yes. I found one. Painting miniatures. I’ve been spending a few hours (maybe 15) per week on this for the last couple of weeks, but I’m not really COUNTING the hours. I don’t have to. This is something I do for fun, when I’ve gotten enough work done that I can feel good about actually playing.
I can also feel good about the fact that I’m starting to get kind of good at it. I don’t for a moment harbor the illusion that my work will compare favorably with those who do this professionally (and there are numerous professional mini-painters out there — I’ve joined a couple of communities where I can see their work and comment on it), but that doesn’t bother me. This is a HOBBY. The moment it stops being fun, I can decide to stop doing it and there are no sharp edges on that decision.
That’s really the definition of “Hobby,” right? Something you can stop doing when it stops being fun?
Anyway, enough talk. Here’s a mostly-finished miniature.
If you’re not familiar with this particular pursuit, please note the following: I did not sculpt the miniature in question. The model is roughly two-and-one-half inches high (6.35cm) and is used in a table-top wargame called “Hordes.” This is a “Dire Troll Mauler” and he is wearing a torn enemy flag as a diaper. His name is Cocoa. Cocoa came in a box with a stat card and was in about 10 unpainted pieces, which I had to assemble using a pin-vise, drill-bits, two gauges of wire, superglue, and epoxy putty (“green stuff” kneadatite.)The painting was done with a mixture of acrylic paints, inks, and non-acrylic varnishes over the course of about three weeks.
(Note also: this piece is absolutely, positively NOT for sale. Not ever. The moment I do that this stops being a hobby, and We Cannot Have That Happen Again. So don’t ask.)
(Addendum to Note Also: Okay… a million dollars. But just this once, and only because for that price I can retire, and then pay my friend Drew to paint me another one.)