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The Year That Was 2020 and Where I’ve Been

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I’ll be honest, I have not done any painting since some time in August, 2020. While that’s only 5 months ago, it feels like so much longer than that.

Like a lot of other hobbyists (I imagine anyway), this whole worldwide pandemic thing has sapped nearly all my motivation to do hobby stuff. It’s ironic though. All this “free time” and yet I can’t bring myself to pick up a brush and work on anything and that saddens me.

March, just before everything hit, I played my last game of 2020. The Blood Bowl league I’m in was just getting into the playoffs after one of the funnest seasons we’ve had. Then, 1 week after the start of playoffs, everything went to crap and we haven’t been able to play since.

Being unable to play Blood Bowl has really put a damper on my motivation for the hobby. Even though I was painting busts unrelated to the game, gaming just keeps my mind focused in the miniature hobby and without it I lose that.

Last WIP shot of what I was working on last I painted.

Also, back in November of 2019 my wife and I lost our cat of 16 years. Cinnamon became sick very quickly and we had to make that gut-wrenching decision to not let him suffer any longer.

See, we were never able to have children; that’s just what life threw our way. Cinnamon was our baby. I brought him home as a kitten on Christmas Eve the first year my wife and I were married and he was my first Christmas gift to her as her husband.

Losing our child of 16 years has been a huge kick to the gut. Then you throw in a pandemic to the mix, plus some other life events, and it’s been a bitter cocktail to be sure for the past year.

Cinnamon helping daddy with work.

To loop this around, gaming is my mental break from the world. Without gaming to occupy my mind it’s hard to not mull over the unfortunate circumstances of late, and nothing about it makes me feel like painting anything.

However, during all this I have been gaming, though not in the miniature sense. I have been playing two games on PC: Classic World of Warcraft and Minecraft.

Not to turn this into a PC gaming post (though it’s not like this post is anything more than me chatting anyway), but I played Vanilla World of Warcraft back on release in 2004. Some time around 2006 I had stopped playing, just before the first expansion The Burning Crusade.

When Classic was announced a few years back I was interested. My problem though was I didn’t have a machine that was new enough to run the game. This past July I finally got a machine capable and have been playing since. Being able to escape to another world for a few hours here and there has proven invaluable to me.

If anyone else is playing Classic WoW, then look me up on the Westfall server on my Alliance Hunter named Thorruk. Oh, I also started a small blog covering some stuff in WoW, namely Hunter stuff.

Minecraft is a game I have played off and on for about 8 years. I’ll play the hell out of it for a handful of months, eventually get bored, stop playing for months at a time, and then get the urge to play again. I love the freedom of Minecraft and the creativity. In fact, Minecraft is how I’m soothing my creative nature since I’m not doing any miniature painting.

My other hobby that I got into a while ago and never talked about here is knife throwing. My friend and one-time author here Kamui got me into it. Specifically we do instinctive no spin throwing. So, not your traditional knife throwing.

In fact, that’s the only thing I get out of the house to do for fun these days. I go over to Kamui’s place where he has a great knife throwing setup he built. We drink and we throw knives. Drinking and throwing knives is totally the advisable way to do it too. Look it up. I have a few scars to confirm this.


I really just felt like blogging and since I’m not creating tutorials or showing off my work, I figured I’d chat a bit and hopefully I haven’t bored anyone.

I enjoy writing a lot and that’s what’s made the miniature hobby a great venue for me as it gives me something to write about. Lacking the latter has left me wanting to write but having nothing to write about; hence this post.

I’m alive and well and that’s something for this year we’ve been having.

How about you? How are you all doing? You finding any ways to stay busy and have fun?

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Andrew
3 months ago

Great post. Thank you for sharing.

Gary
3 months ago

Sorry to hear about your cat, I felt the same way when I lost my dog a few years back….they break your heart man, they really do.
I’ve avoided computer games for quite a few years now, I find them too addictive and I know if I ever start with them my miniatures will go out of the window….not that I’ve done a lot lately, like you my motivation has been seriously curtailed by the pandemic. For solace I’ve turned to reading, which I always find comforting and it sometimes gives me ideas for scenarios or modelling projects.
Glad to hear you’re soldering on though and I think this is the year to focus on what we have and not on what we’ve lost…….take care buddy.

Martin
Martin
3 months ago

Sorry for your loss. Just wanted to say I really enjoy your website over the years and hope you get your painting mojo back in 2021.

Rory - Stepping Between Games
Rory - Stepping Between Games
3 months ago

My condolences for your loss, it is never easy.
It is good to hear from you though. Hopefully this year we be a brighter future with vaccines, Biden and all. Feel free to drop me a message if you ever want to chat.

Falconer
Falconer
3 months ago

Hang in there bud! <3

NafNaf
3 months ago

Hey Thor. Good to hear from you and that you’re doing ok. Sorry to hear about your cat!

I have been on a similar hobby journey. What little motivation I had going has been utterly sapped by everything this year, plus both of us working full time & home schooling cos schools are shut etc etc. Really hoping 2021 is a much more positive one for everyone!!!

Looking forward to seeing some hobby stuff once you feel motivated to do it again. I have been working slowly on a Mollog’s mob conversion project over the year. Been painful at times but I’ve finally finished them and the hobby juices are a little invigorated again (for the time being at least!)

NafNaf
3 months ago
Reply to  Thor

Yeah parenting at mo is a bit tough. Both of us are having to go to work but our shifts aren’t the same so we don’t have it as bad as some parents do, so I am thankful for that.

Yeah checking out others stuff is always good to get inspiration from. Playing does inform a lot of my creativity too so that’s a struggle I feel you on as when I’m not gaming my output plummets. Always considered myself a hobbyist first but I guess they feed off each other equally. Not sure if this link will work to the finished warband

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1304462766606222&set=gm.2888673078124969&type=3

Mike
Mike
3 days ago

I just discovered your blog and in some ways that links into one of my keystones for dealing with the pandemic. Just after the first lockdown hit the UK, a group of friends and I decided to get together and play D&D online as an outlet for how we were all feeling and to be able have some social contact, albeit at the end of an internet connection. More than a year later we’re still playing through the same campaign but that doesn’t matter because our Thursday evening sessions have become the highlight of our respective weeks: there’s drinking, chat, and D&D (although that can sometimes take a bit of a back seat!)
So, how does this link to your blog? Well, one of our group has a 3D printer and subscribes to one of the miniature production outfits that have sprung up in the last couple of years. He started by sending us his interpretations of the group – 3 player characters, plus me, the DM. At first I was happy to just have this fantastic little statue as an token of my friend’s appreciation, but then I remembered how much fun I’d had painting (metal!) miniatures back in the day that I decided the DM needed a coat of paint. Completely unbidden my friend has followed this initial gift with two further, large scale 3D printed models that are so beautiful they deserve to have the best paintjob I can manage done on them. And that is how I came to your blog: to learn, to get better, and to do my friend and the people who originally sculpted these amazing models as much justice as I can.