Thursday, December 20, 2018

2018 Year in Review!

The Brush Wizard's 2018 Year in Review!

It's been a hell of a year in 2018, this year I went to 4 different conventions, upgraded the hobby desk again, started up a YouTube channel, I entered painting competitions and gained a couple medals. The year seems like it has completely flown by and I didn't do a whole lot. In actuality I've done so much stuff!

Let's take a look at what's all happened in 2018.


This year I hit up Adepticon again and had a riot, It's always a good time seeing all of these folks who I don't get to see otherwise. We played Warhammer 40,000 all weekend, had fancy steak dinners and made the waitstaff anxious. I entered the Crystal Brush again this year and once again made it to web voting in the chibi category. I met up with a few different companies and chatted about their products and the hobby too. I want to say that this Adepticon was leaps and bounds over the previous year, it was that good.

In June I went to St. Louis, MO to hangout with Dan of The Lonely Havocs. There we went to a tiny little convention called Midwest Miniatures Madness where I painted minis all weekend and recorded video. The con itself was kinda a bust, but the rest of the weekend was a blast! Dan and I played a crap load of 40k and hung out at his FLGS and with his buddies.

Come August it was GenCon time and I once again went there thanks to the folks at Ninja Division. I was under the assumption that I'd be going there to paint minis and talk chibi painting, while judging their painting competition. Instead, Drew and I were wrangled into demoing games the entire weekend and working the booth on top of our judging duties. Due to the set up, it made accepting entries a hassle, as we didn't have a dedicated space for folks to drop off entries. It was less than stellar.

But on the bright side I entered the P3 Grandmaster and walked away with a bronze medal for Kommander Sorscha. I was also able to snag some free time and wander, meeting up with folks I know and hanging with Dan and his daugther, as well as our friends Alexa (@_redkitana_) and Sophie (@hobbyistgirl) along with Sophie's friend John.  Plus since it is GenCon, I also walked away with a bunch of neat stuff, so that's a bonus too.

Finally come November I spent a Saturday teaching Warhammer 40,000 with Dan at U-Con Gaming Convention in Ypsilanti, MI. I brought 500 points of Admech and Deathwatch and pit them against each other in a king of the hill type scenario.

That's a lot of conventions and trips for me. Generally I'm lucky if I'm out of town once or twice a year. 2019 is definitely going to dial back on that.

More Hobby Area Upgrades!

This year I added more upgrades to the hobby area. After dealing with the desk lamps shining in my face for too long, I got sick of it. I swapped them for a pair of Youkoyi A16S LED lamps. These new lamps work great! They are above my field of vision, I don't have them shining in my face and they have adjustable brightness (though I only ever use them on the highest setting). These are all thanks to Hobbyistgirl, who suggested them to me.

With the new lamps in place, I had the old lamps left over and didn't have a use for them, or so I thought. That's when I realized that I could used them to build a dedicated photo area on the desk!

It feels so nice having a dedicated photography area, and the pictures all look better than ever.

I also added a couple of shelves from my parent's house when they were moving. I now have all my competition pieces on them!

The last upgrade came in the form of a new desk chair, thanks to my girlfriend! She was super awesome and got me a new one for Christmas. It's a swanky and much less squeaky chair. I'm still getting used to it, but since I've been using my old one for something like 10 years or better it will take a bit  yet.

Miniature Monday!

Last year, I would only post when I felt I had something to good talk about, or I would forget about it entirely. I ended up with a  bunch of minis that were never posted on the site. This year, I resolved to work through that backlog of unposted miniatures and started doing weekly posts about it. Thus, Miniature Monday was born.

If you're used to social media such as Twitter or Instagram, Miniature Monday is the day in which a lot of folks share finished projects. So it only made sense to post these write ups on Monday and then use the hashtag.

One nice thing about doing these posts was that it forced me to keep the site up to date and it really helped rejuvenate the site.

Around August I had to stop doing Monday posts for awhile, because I was running out of models to share. I'm in the midst of building up a collection of posts though and will start sharing them again soon. There's lots of cool stuff to share! I'm planning to start up Miniature Monday again soon, so keep an eye out for that.

Wizardry in Progress!

This year I started posting weekly progress reports under the name Wizardry in Progress. This has become that main update on the site and has been great at keeping me going.

Some weeks are lighter than others, and some weeks are heavy on new things. But it's fun sharing all of the week's progress in one place. It works are a nice recap of the week and as a place for folks to see what I've been working on in case they missed it on Twitter or Instagram.

Let's Paint

I've always loved watching time lapse video of things. It could be weather/ season changes, crystallization, or artwork, it didn't matter. I always found it to be really neat. At one point, we even had a screen saver for our PC of paintings, it was great.

That said, I love time lapse and seeing things change/ come together. So, after a few years of thinking about it, I decided I'd try my hand at making YouTube videos of my own painting and feature miniatures from start to finish.

I started with a customized Cybernetica Datasmith for my Admech army and made a video of the entire process from start to finish. I really like how it turned out, and tried my hand at another one featuring a Sydonian Dragoon and then a Kastelan Robot.

I'm pretty proud of the series and managed to make a lot of videos. But, as you all may recall, I had to suspend the series at the end of the Terminator Captain series. The weekly commitment was just too much for me to handle and I always felt behind the 8-ball.

I'll continue to make new videos, but they are going to trickle out slower. With my 6 day a week work week and other commitments I just don't have the time available for a weekly YouTube channel.

Crowd Funding and Ad Revenue

Early in the year I let myself get talked into trying my hand at public funding for my hobby endeavors and such. I started with a Ko-fi account to test the waters, but it never went anywhere and after awhile I gave up updating the Ko-fi page and I decided to bring ads back to the site as a possible revenue option.

This time I tried using Amazon's affiliate program instead of Adsense. This has worked out fairly well and thanks to Amazon I have been able to cover things like Bills, a Frontline Gaming Mars  playmat and some other neat hobby purchases.

As Let's Paint started rolling more, I figured it would be worth a shot to start up a Patreon account and did so around the end of August. I had a couple of patrons stick with me throughout, but after putting Let's Paint on hiatus I decided to shut down Patreon as well. I think that If I could have continued with regular Let's Paint content that Patreon would have taken off eventually. Maybe one day I'll return to it, but for the time being I need to step back and reevaluate if it's even worth it. But currently there's a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that maybe I'm not "good enough" for crowd funding. So, the chances at the moment seem pretty slim.

White Dwarf Model of the Month!

Earlier in the year I had sent in the Onager Dunecrawler to White Dwarf magazine, in the hopes that it would get into the Reader's Models section of the mag.

Well, a few months later I was contacted by the White Dwarf crew and that it would be featured as the Model of the month for November 2018!

I was beyond stoked about it, and still am. This is the second time I've made it into the magazine, the first being with the Deathwing Terminator Captain. Luckily, thanks to my newer lighting set up the Onager looks 10x better than the Deathwing Captain did when it was published.

It now hangs at my desk next to the pages from the other White Dwarf issue and the pic of my sister and I meeting Cary Elwes and showing him the Princess Bride diorama.

Well, that's pretty much all I can remember about 2018. It's been a solid year, I traveled the country, earned some medals, was featured in a magazine. I upgraded my painting area again and tried my hand at earning money to support my projects. All in all, a solid year.

Let's see where 2019 takes us!