Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I Hate Creative Permanence

Another dead week. I don't know what's up with me. I've been fixated on Hubby's latest tabletop game, actually. Between that and working six days a week, I've just been too drained to think of anything creatively.

About a month ago Hubby bought the game Ninja All-Stars by Ninja Division/Soda Pop Miniatures. If you play a league within the game, then you get x-number of starter points that you use to "purchase" ninja units for your clan. There are six clans to choose from, and each one has their own allotment of minimum and maximum of any particular unit in order for you to customize your clan. Then, as you play each game, your units earn experience that you can use to purchase upgrades for them, making them even more customizable to your game play.

As of right now, including me and Hubby, we have five people playing this game. So we each have our own clan out of the six available. Hubby then went ahead and bought the unique miniatures designed for each clan. I have the wind bird tribe Clan Tanchyo.

The reason I'm obsessing, though, is that the minis come unpainted as one solid color to represent your clan. For me, that's green:
I couldn't find my camera, so I just swiped this photo from a review site.
Normally I would just go with it, but I need to differentiate between like-troops, such as the two crow-men Madoushis - monks - that are shown to the right. Or the two eagle onis - demons - towards the back. For troops like those, I've been adding a paperclip to one to tell the difference between the like-units. However, my clan also allows four yajiri - archers - and I can't really tell the difference between them with just paperclips. For the time being, I'm also using figures from the core game.
Again, can't find my camera. This one is from the game developers themselves.
Normally I use the Void Shrine, because the friend who has the actual minis for the Void clan Ijin doesn't really use archers. I then put a paperclip on one of them, and I can tell the difference: one green with paperclip, one green without, one purple with, and one purple without.

The solution works for now, but I know eventually I will have to just paint the darn things in order to help me figure out who is who. It's exciting, but also very permanent. I'm not good with permanent. It's why I bought three scrapbooks while in high school and never used any of them - this was back when you could only get one, maybe two, copies of a photo and that's it unless you could remember where you put the negatives. Permanence is also why I have a bookshelf filled with blank journals. I love them. I collect them. I almost never write in them though, because that's it. You can't use that journal for anything else than what you started to write in it. I have two different "diaries" in really nice journals, only for me to get bored with journaling and giving up about 20pgs in. I also photocopy my coloring book pages so that I can recolor them however I want.

I don't do well with creative permanence.....

Plus, I've never painted miniatures before, and I'm nervous that they'll end up beyond ugly. They're cheap compared to a lot of other miniature games, such as Warhammer, Warmachine, or old-school D&D before they came pre-painted. However, I still don't want to have to go out and buy a new clan set if I really mess up this one....

I want them looking nice like these professional ones:
Ignore that the woman with the peacock feathers in her hair - the Chunin, or clan leader - looks like a Cabbage Patch Kid.
I know I'm not going to get them this nice, though. Hence the point of professional miniature painters in the first place. My main concern is that I SUCK at shading, and that's what really makes these pop. Still, I'm trying to prepare myself for this undertaking by looking up what colors I want for each of my units.

We all unofficially decided to name our characters after anime/video game characters. I branched out a little by naming my one Madoushi Master Splinter from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and my one Oni Hugin from Stjepan Sejic's "Death Vigil":
For those who don't know, Hugin can transform into an albino T-Rex....
Anyway, my point being that I've been looking up the color schemes for the anime/video game characters I named my minis off of, so that I know how to color them so they're still obviously Green Tanchyo Tribe while also being distinguishable from each other.

This is pretty much how I've been spending my spare time this past week. Obsessing over colors for minis and learning how to properly paint them, as well as researching the best bang for my buck in regards to buying the paints. Trying to mentally master the art of painting minis has been my everything outside of work this week.

Kind of pathetic.

And at work, now that I'm hourly instead of commissions, I feel guilty if I'm not working around the clock. So I've been coming up with all sorts of busy work for myself. I barely have time to sit down anymore.

I need to get out of my head. Or, if I really can't get out of my own head, I should at least talk to one of my characters hiding up there. Get back to writing. I don't know why I'm at a complete stand-still lately.

While I'm still trying to figure out what is up with my lack of muse, you can at least enjoy another old writing practice. This one choked me up bad. One of the few times I had a hard time seeing what I was writing because I was fighting back tears. I hit a sore spot with this. Tried to get some pre-mature closure, I guess. I get emotional in my writing, but it's rare that I actually inflict an emotion on myself this severely while writing, so this practice scared me in more ways than one. I hope the emotions at least showed up in this 1000-word short.

"Find. Remember. Love Again."

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