Staying motivated while you're locked down during Coronavirus / COVID-19

Taurox Prime test piece

This is a difficult time for many. Some folks are busy and working harder than ever, helping to ensure the rest of us can stay safe and at home. Some of us are out of work and a few are able to work from home. Everyone is adjusting to a different life and many of us feel like we have nothing but time... and yet it can still be difficult to get yourself motivated to knock out that painting backlog.

Here are a few tips to hopefully help you get you some painted minis!*

  1. Make sitting down to paint as easy as possible. This is huge. The lower the 'hurdle' to over come in getting started - the more likely you are to do it. This is probably the biggest hurdle I faced when I started getting back into painting. Some ideas:
    • If at all possible have a small area with newspaper brushes and water and your current project. During this time, you're spending a lot more time at home - it might be worth just having a piece of your dining table dedicated to painting when you're not going to have guests visiting. It may be tempting to set up all your paints and a load of minis but this really isn't necessary - keep it light and reduce distractions while painting. 
    • If you can't have a dedicated painting space, then get a tray put everything you're working on there and use that to paint on. A box is okay but it's more time and effort to get the bits out and set up and then packed away at the end - we want to eliminate this as much as possible. Get creative here, a tea tray with a dish cloth over it, a laptop tray, a shelf from a Billy Bookcase even. If possible use something you already have.
    • Remember at first you may not have all the items you need to hand. Try to think that through in advance but always keep stuff together once it's out so you won't have to keep going back to get it.
  2. Consider what you like in the hobby and use that.
    • Is it the satisfaction of finishing models?
    • Do you like trying out new techniques?
    • Kit bash?
    • If it's something you tend to get excited about, you're more likely to work on it.
  3. Work on a model you're excited about!
    1. There will be time to paint up the other 600 goblins for your Gloomspite Gitz army in the future once this is a habit, the first step is painting anything at all.
    2. Grab a model different to what you've been painting recently.
    3. Don't aim for a model to be the best ever - we're just trying to get the painting flow going again to begin with, Golden Demon has been cancelled anyway so it can wait! Working on a model with no expectations means you can put it down whenever without it being a disappointment.
  4. Commit to painting every day.
    • The more specific the commitment the better. Thirty minutes of painting while drinking your morning coffee is very doable for a lot of folks, doesn't require extra time and you'd be amazed how much you can get done in thirty minutes.
    • I recommend painting first thing in the morning or last thing at night - these are the times that tend to have the fewest distractions to scupper your plans.
    • If you can maintain a daily routine for an extended period (avg 66 days according to some research - source: then it can become a habit and you may be able to maintain it even after the current shutdowns are over!
  5. Don't do it alone!
    1. The instagram painting community is super supportive. If you're not already a part of it - install and tag me on your post (@raggypaints) - I'll give you a shout out and we'll get you part of the community in no time!
    2. Facebook is another great place. Some communities are better than others. The Independent Characters, Lords and Heroes communities are both great along with 'Eavier Metal so get in there and start sharing
  6. Make painting a place you want to be. 
    • Go somewhere like the dining table where there's a table with a good height and a chair with some back support.
    • Sure the TV is great but I can promise that painting on your lap on the couch is going to end badly (for your back, for your sofa fabric, for your models, possibly also for your marriage). 
    • Get extra lighting if you can
    • Put on Podcasts / Audiobooks that you only listen to when painting - this will help you want to paint more as you also get to find out what happens next to Garro / Loken or whoever else you are following (audible has a bunch of free audiobooks at the moment so pick one you like).

So get your paint area set up, paint something up and share it with the community!

- Raggy, signing out

* These tips were originally written as part of a course I developed for alumni of CK Studios classes. The course guides you through painting a full army and staying motivated while doing it.