Johnny Cash was a smart man who also understood artistry and obsession - two aspects of my hobby life that I am certainly aware of and focused on. In thinking back on this year of hobby fun I have realised how much it has changed for me over the last several months - Mostly the last 7 since my son has been born.
Am I still hobby obsessed - yes. DEFINITELY. But it isnt my top priority anymore and as such it has been a year of relearning rhythms of working and ways of accomplishing my hobby goals without compromising my family goals.
In the end I feel really good about how this year has gone for me despite not placing in demons - Heck I came awful close twice - once with an unfinished piece and the other by friends of great skill whose work I really respect. At this point I have finished the first and fully intend to take it back out and have begun work on reconfiguring a few things that I wasnt fully satisfied with (what artist ever is) with the second.
I am a better painter now than I was a year ago and have learned alot more about my art. As a traditionally trained artist I really feel that miniatures have become my dominant artform and outlet for my creative needs. It has been a few years now since I have done any gallery wortk of my own - though I still support several friends in their continued traditional art showings and pursuits (see Ripsey in my links and Nicholas Digenova), instead I have pursued this artform - painting, sculpting and displaying miniatures. I find it a great challenge in terms of balancing technique and personal taste/expression and a wonderful supportive community to develop techniques and styles with.
I have some very lofty goals for this coming year and it will certainly be a challenge to see them through. I have a number of competition pieces in the early stages, a Flames of War army which will represent my Grandfathers unit from WW2 (which has become a great bonding point for me and my grandfather this past year) and several additional scenery pieces/army pieces etc. that will serve to support and inspire the club of young people I have gaming each week at the Highschool where I work (I am an Art teacher for grades 9-12). I also intend to create more useful tutorials for this site in an effort to give something tangible back to the gaming community who supports me here :)
I think this could be a big year for me hobby wise and I hope you will all follow my exploits through another 12 months of silliness and slaughter!
Thanks for your continued reading and support.
James K. Craig Sept 20/2008