Right. Did you read the title of this post?
Crystal Brush, the Adepticon competition at least, has come and gone, Golden Demon North America is in 1 month and the local voting for Armies on Parade is TOMORROW. And that doesn't even begin to touch on the numerous tournaments that require fully painted armies to participate in.
Deadlines are one of those necessary evils that make the world go round. The vast majority of us make our living according to deadlines of one sort or another. Trust the graphic designer on this...even if you think you don't have deadlines in your life, you do. But what exactly do deadlines do for us in the hobby world? Are they a Bane, or a Blessing?Bane
Let's get the bad news over with first...deadlines can be, and are, applied to many aspects of the hobby. And every single one of them have the same result, should you ignore your deadline. Simply put, if you don't finish, you don't get to play in the sandbox with the rest of your friends. Models aren't done for that national tournament? I hope you have a back-up army to bring, because otherwise you won't be able to play. Didn't leave enough time to finish your last required unit for your Armies on Parade entry? No entry for you! Procrastinate on that Golden Demon or Crystal Brush entry? Yeah...yeah well, I can tell you that I didn't enter Crystal Brush with what I wanted to this past year because I did just that. Don't forget the deadlines that come with taking commissions...ignore those at the risk of not just not finishing, but your reputation!
When ignored or underestimated, a deadline can creep up and bit you on the arse. So how do we combat this evil need of our favorite past time? Simple, don't ignore them! Respect your deadlines in the hobby, and plan them accordingly with respect to the rest of your life and time demands as well, and instead of a Bane, we can have a...
After all that doom-saying earlier, how can deadlines be a blessing? Again, this is a simple answer if you think about it. It all boils down to motivation. Without proper motivation, I enjoy sitting on the couch, watching way too much TV, and generally being a bit of a layabout. However, with the various motivations in my life, work, my wife and son, fishing, and wanting to get into better shape, I have a reason to get my lazy butt off the couch and do something! The same outlook can be applied to deadlines and our hobby. Have a hard time finishing an army? Sign up for a tournament with a painting requirement! Want to better your painting skills? Plan an entry into a painting competition!
Personally, I've always worked better under pressure. What's that old saying? "Necessity is the mother of invention." Trust me, I've pulled off some tight deadlines for painting an army because I paid good money to enter an Adepticon Tournament. I've also expanded my green sculpting skills because I wanted to pull off a specific conversion for a commission, and there was no other way to do so.
I challenge you to set some deadlines, with real consequences, and rise up to meet them. You'll grow your hobby skills, I guarantee it. If you've done so, tell me! Did you pull it off? If not, what have you learned from your mistakes to better meet your next deadline?