We all have been there. You look at your stash and you feel uninspired. You want to build something but not feeling it. Not another F-16, F-15, etc. right now. The feeling of just temporarily losing your excitement and motivation or creative "mojo." It's cool, it happens to all of us. I've been there myself, and what I have learned over the years is to change it up and do something different altogether.
We have a lot in common
Take photographers, painters or sculptors for example. Some have told me that when they're in a funk or having a creative burn-out moment they try other forms of art, be it a different medium, subject or take a break from it altogether. When they come back to their work, they feel inspired, rejuvenated and motivated again. Like many modellers, specifically an aircraft modeller might try doing a auto model, ships, armour or Sci-fi/ Real Space subjects.
Stepping outside of the box
Another way to change things up and do something different is trying your hand at something totally outside plastic scale modelling. For example, as you all know I'm a modern military aircraft modeller; so to change it up, I tried clay sculpting years ago for one whole month and found out that I was decent at it! Who knew?, I sure didn't! I learned to pre-visualize the finished work, I gained more patience and I learned more about the creative process, both with myself and the piece I was working on. In addition, I learned how to use new, never-tried-before tools, and techniques that I now use today that help me create my resin products, sweet!
Another avenue that was helpful for me in the past was to step away completely for a while and give my self a related project for say, a month to help build a skill that I may have been struggling with. As an example; airbrushing. A project you may try might be to practice different camouflage techniques on a small piece of styrene sheet. Practice hard-edge, fine feathered edges and soft-blend demarcations found frequently on military aircraft. Practice paint-thinning ratios, learn the sweet-spot for your air pressure, distance to the model surface, etc.
When you take a break from your usual subject you tap into skills you likely didn't know you had. For instance, auto modelling has a slightly different sequence of construction. You may learn to apply better sequential techniques to your aircraft modelling. The same sequential difference may apply to sci-fi as well. Some may find this a refreshing break from the often predictability of aircraft modelling. With Sci-Fi, you can more express your artist freedom. You'll enjoy the freedom when it comes to finishing the model in alternate colors, decals, or adding fictional touches to put a totally custom stamp on it; creating something entirely new. Unlike model aircraft where typically one tries to match the model to the real thing in as much accuracy as possible- and that can sometimes get old. Also, scratch-building often goes hand-in-hand with Sci-Fi modelling. It goes without saying how valuable this skill can be in your aircraft modelling.
Which ever avenue you try in changing things up to avoid burn-out, try creating a one-month project, dedicate yourself to it and just enjoy it. Be patience with yourself and give yourself the artistic freedom to learn new things, no matter how small or big. The point is to return to your favourite subject refreshed, rejuvenated, and motivated to create your best work yet!
What has been successful for you to avoid modelling burn-out? Feel free to leave a comment, suggestion or tips of your own!
Some of my favourite resources for stepping out of the box:
Auto & Armour modeling:
Sci-Fi & Real Space:
- Fine Scale Modeller Magazine (online)
- Starship Modeler
- Cult-TV Man (Sci-Fi Movie Models)
- Real Space Models