Friday, January 18, 2013

How Do Others View Our Hobby?

And how do you view your hobby?

"Another word for creativity is courage."

Modeling has played a huge roll in life for a long time now. Though I've been modeling seriously for about ten years now, the joy of the hobby was ingrained in me by my father some two decades ago. Whenever some one asks me what my interests are, how I pass time, or what my favorite hobby is - the answer is unequivocally modeling.
Its hard not to tell some one that I build plastic models and not for a second, in the back of my mind, wonder what exactly it is that they are thinking. I have no problem admitting that this hobby is some what archaic, and guys like us are misconstrued as geeky history buffs who watch reruns of Wings on the Discovery Channel while painting that tank just the right shade of green...well, okay, that isn't far from the truth. I've certainly been met with my fair share of playful ridicule, from friends and strangers alike. So, whenever some one asks me what I like to do, before I respond I can't help but think of that scene from the movie 40 Year Old Virgin...

Now, that scene is probably not that dissimilar to what many of us have going on in our workshops, and basements...
Its not that I'm embarrassed to admit my passion for my hobby, its that I understand some people don't recognize the depth of my interest in it. To them it is superficial, and probably think we put too much effort into it and get nothing out of it.

"No great thing is created suddenly."

There are many stages to building a model, and what other people see is just the finished product. They do not appreciate the hours spent cutting parts from the sprue and cleaning up each piece for just the right fit. They don't understand the patience of waiting for glue to set; the frustration of poor fit corrected by lots of filler and sanding; the thrill of finding the right reference photos; the pain in your hand after hours of airbrushing, and the satisfaction of all the blood, sweat, and tears culminating into a finished work of art.
On the surface, what we do looks easy, but it sounds boring, which quite often doesn't appeal to a lot of people living in the fast pace world of reality television and instant gratification.  But its OK, I'm proud to be carrying on an interest that I've had since I was young. Far too many people grow up and abandon their childhood, spurred on by technology, or the pursuit of the next trend.
As for me, I'm comfortable living with my misinterpreted creative outlet. I get lots out of it. Modeling gives me a chance to relax, and decompress after a long day on the job, and coming home to three rowdy children. My body rests, but its a workout for my mind. In fact, the only limit of this hobby is my own imagination. It is a hobby rich in history, and covers a wide range of subjects from fact to fiction, to war and peace. Finally, I have the satisfaction of knowing that what I've made has not come easy; that I've created something from nothing, and I am proud of it!

So, despite what other people think of our pass time, we should continue to be creative modelers- expand your horizons, embrace what it has to offer, incorporate new ideas, techniques, and subjects! Continue to be courageous as an artist, and in the end, enjoy what you do, for that is the best defense of our hobby.