After returning from this latest edition of MSS, I decided to take a few days to reflect and write some words beyond the scorecards and results that we usually publish on social networks.
As some will know, I earn a living, for the most part, by painting figures in my studio. I combine this with some courses and classes in Spain, and I hope I can do it more internationally soon. My studio is a street level place near my house, where I usually spend most of my time painting projects for companies or private collectors. Although for some time my intention was to share it with other people, whether from the world of miniatures or not, today I work alone. During my stay in Madrid I had the possibility of working with people, either in the Big Child studio or in the studio that we shared with my friend Alfonso Giraldes. There I could see the advantages of sharing your work space with someone, especially in something creative where sometimes it is easy to get locked into oneself.
Once I returned to Barcelona I realized something that had happened to me before my stay in Madrid, and that working alone condemns you to only see your figures. Only your figures. The works that I see of other people I see them through a computer, in a format that is not the format under which they should be seen. A miniature is a 3D model and to be able to see and really understand it, it must be seen in hand.
I have always liked to attend competitions as an event that is not merely competitive but as a social event. Many of the people we know in this world of miniatures are from different countries, and barring some exceptions, it is difficult for us to see each other more than once a year. I think that the character of contests or events related to static modeling, beyond the obvious, allows us to look out from our table, from our own figures and observe from a more general point of view.
This weekend, like every year in San Savino, I was lucky to be able to share many moments with fans of the miniature, but also with other professionals, and it is from this point that I wanted to share this reflection.
I think that most of the people dedicated to the world of figures agree that we work from solitude, and that in general, only from self-criticism and feedback of social networks we can make progress. In “Monte”, talking with some friends and professionals I realized that it is in these events where I can better understand the point where I am. It is not so much the competition but the enrichment to be able to expose my works next to others and see how they look. Not so much the fact that one is better or worse than the other but to see the differences of approach, the other ways of doing.
Under my light, from a certain level, it has been difficult for me to find a way to advance in the development and improvement of my work. Sometimes I think that working intensely without rest, encloses us in our own focus, makes us somehow lose sight of the outside world and immerse ourselves in our vices and defects. It is likely that at some point we want to change something and our heads are so involved with our works that we do not know how to leave our comfort zone, what we already know how to do.
Finding yourself in a room with lots of other people’s work is not only refreshing but necessary. It is a way of positioning ourselves, of raising our heads and seeing how the world moves and advances, not behind the fence of my garden but in the field with the rest of people, taking sides, exposing ourselves and sharing what we do.
The vices that we fall into most of the time with regards to our own work often prevent us from a more general and objective approach. I understand that investing money in a trip and attending a miniatures contest may be tough for many people, especially if they think their level is not enough in comparison with the rest. However, I think that what can be achieved is far greater. Not only can you see wonderful works but also the perspectives and minds behind them. The ideas and the ways to translate them. In that sense I think it’s really worth it, just as an amateur, to attend Monte San Savino once in a lifetime at least. In a sense, Monte is a reproduction at scale of what is happening in the world of miniatures. Absolutely not everybody but most of the great artists are there represented, and in that sense it offers a fairly reliable global vision.
To finish, on a personal level I think that in these events, especially MSS, but in others also, we seek understanding. And we find it, I think. Although the world of miniatures is gaining more acceptance, partly because of the professionalism and openness of the world, there are still many stigmas and it is not always easy to obtain recognition for what we have created with such dedication. In that sense, and I speak from my personal experience, to be able to meet with all the people I know (and always some new ones) and talk about my work and passion in an open and comfortable way, with the certainty of understanding and recognition, makes me feel like at home. Those of us who usually attend this type of meeting always come back satisfied, with the feeling of having been able to empty ourselves of all the emotions and thoughts that we accumulate throughout the year. It does not matter if we know each other much or nothing, it does not matter the personal differences in other fields, everyone knows that at least we have something in common that unites us. And I think that’s what makes us repeat.