Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Struggle

I don't really consider myself an artist though I do think I'm a pretty creative person (you will see below I did add some old drawings I did back in the college days in a sketch pad I found in a box recently - when I used to draw all the time) They have to be pretty close to the same though, no?

What most of you will probably find extremely funny is that I don't feel like I really accomplished a lot or what I wanted to on this break.

I felt like I was all over the place - the photos below (stuff I've been working on the last few days) kind of show that - and felt like I didn't hit that homerun like I did the last couple of years during the break with the wife and horses down south. I have two weeks left before everyone, both two legged and four legged, returns and then I go back to normal work schedule.

Last nights workbench

I read an article yesterday on how creative people are nonlinear, imaginative, and introspective. And the shadow side of those characteristics is that most creative people struggle with productivity, authority, and insecurity. It's like I alone was the case study for this article.

Thought it would be neat to get some retro Stark/Iron figures

Productivity - because creatives are often nonlinear, they tend to not be “process” people. Therefore, they don’t usually think in terms of cause-and-effect as much as they think in terms of raw potential. Possibilities. Dreams. Aspirations. These are the lifeblood of a creative.

The unfortunate result of this is that it is quite feasible for a creative to come up with a bunch of ideas that don’t connect to each other at all, causing you to spin your wheels without gaining any traction. This is me 100 times over - possibilities, endless possibilities all the time.  This really sums up my Jonny Quest campaign to a T, with absolutely no real direction.
It’s hard to be creative and productive.

Authority - most creatives struggle somewhat with submission to authority or with adhering to bureaucracy. Because they are imaginative and visionary, they can often see a better way of doing something, or simply a different way. This was me all day long at every job I've ever had, especially those corporate ones over the last 15+ years. If all the other managers in the district were turning right, me and my store, we were turning left. This one really hit home for me from a workplace standpoint - it was never really me being blatantly defiant, but more 'Umm, I don't care what the policy is, there's a much easier and smarter way to do that people, how do you not see that?'.

If the “powers that be” are not open to change or being questioned (and not all are), then a creative will most likely struggle in such an environment. Most creatives don’t make good soldiers.

Insecurity - most creatives struggle with insecurity at some point in their lives. Because they’re introspective and often sensitive, they are prone to identifying closely with their work. They tend to be their harshest critics. For me it's a constant, not an 'at some point'.

The Jonny Quest lost tomb pieces and parts

While this can be overcome through experience and maturity, the natural tendency of a creative is to be hard on themselves. At the same time, they may be somewhat defensive and not receptive to feedback. It’s hard for creatives to separate their identity from their activity.

Why share this? Well, it immediately made me feel like someone actually understood the struggle I have every time I walk up those steps to the studio or even back down them - and even way back in the day when I would stair at a blank sheet of paper.

I had my game and table I ran at Historicon published in Wargames Illustrated last year and all I could focus on looking at the pictures were 10 things right off the top of my head that I knew could have been done much better. Madness, right?

I can only imagine a lot of you are the same way - I see the creativity on every single blog I subscribe to. Especially being your own harshest critic - I never really feel it's good enough. Something could always have been done better.

As I mentioned, I'm about two weeks away from everyone returning home from South Carolina, as well as two weeks away from submitting a game to the PEL for Historicon in July. And as you can see by the photos I shared, I am all over the place again and not sure what I'm doing for Historicon. But one thing I can tell you is that I've got a ton of really great ideas!!!!!

Not really a turtles fan but thought they looked cool

Hey, look what else I bought.

Apologies for the off topic post, and we'll get back to our regularly scheduled programming as quickly as possible, but as it is right now... the struggle is real :)
As always, thanks for looking!


  1. Hi Ivor, before I say anything let me say those drawings are ace, creative people are different from the normal ones but there's also something else in play that haunts us a thing we call the new shiny thing that draws us like magpies.

    My answer to that of late has been to try to stay focused on one project, you might have notice there are a lot of different thing's happening on my blog but there all heading to one thing that while be starting at the end of the month.

    Now look at things another way your an artist most people aren't, having to put up with dreams & been a bit all over the place is a small price to pay for you talent mate, so don't be to hard on yourself your doing great things.

    1. Thanks Frank, appreciate the kind words! I think it's just an overall frustration on my end right now that I have so many good ideas (in my mind anyway ☺) and I just can't seem to work them all out on the table. It's something I've struggled with since I was young, and it's still just as frustrating! Oh well, hopefully you were able to relate to parts of the article with your own process and know that you're not alone on Creative Island!

    2. Your welcome my friend, were all in the same boat & half the fun is getting it from your head to the table even if only a few of them make it, so keep up the good fight.

    3. Thanks Frank, though it is hell inside the 'ol bean right now that's for sure ☺

  2. Brilliant drawings!

    I get where you're coming from (it certainly strikes a bit of a chord with me) but I'll echo what Frank said...don't be so hard on yourself! You're a talented chap...having so many great ideas that you can't settle on one is a small price to pay! seem pretty productive to me!

    1. Thanks Gordon! I'm glad you could see a correlation with your own situation too - when I read the article it was very eye opening and immediately I was like "this is me!". I knew that many others had to be in the same situation, so I thought I'd share to let everyone know you're not alone in the struggle :)

  3. You sir have more artistic talent in your left pinky that I do in the whole of my body - excellent drawings! I'd show you my best stick man ... but even in the world of stick figure drawings I'm fairly terrible. It's always nice to see that others have just as much wargaming ADD as I do :-) lol Love the Patrick Star meme ... lol!!!

    1. Thanks Jay! I knew that you would relate as well, probably even a bit more - you have a game going in almost every era ☺
      When I was searching for a meme and the Patrick one popped up, it was like looking in a mirror!