Hey guys and gals,
I'm starting this week swinging! I have another artist most well known for his YouTube endeavors: Casey, from eBay Miniature Rescues! Something that caught my interest from the very beginning was the premise of his channel. Actually, more than the premise.....it's the name! He scours the sad, miry depths of eBay and finds models that are in dire need of some love. He sees the potential in these sad, often dismally represented models and begins his work.
I absolutely love the fact that he continues to show his process in every video. I appreciate the artistic cuts or trimming down of the process for visual intrigue, but I am still able to watch him remake these models from the bare plastic (once they've had their bath of course). The second thing about his style is his heavy use of the airbrush. I started watching him and Next Level Painting around the same time, because I had recently had a Sotar 20/20 given to me for my 30th birthday. (old dogs can learn new tricks y'all!) I learned some amazing techniques and tips for both painting and airbrush care from their videos. The major takeaway from Casey's videos for me was being brave in trying new colors and techniques. If something doesn't look right, try again. If it's really bad, drop in the bath! I absolutely love artists that push the boundary, telling their viewers that tests and experimentation are necessary for growth and improvement. The final thing I have to share about Casey is his extremely down to earth and approachable nature. Little fun note: Casey went through the process three separate times to deliver the responses for my questions. As you can see, the questions are numerous, and his responses aren't short. His willingness to go through the entire process not once, but THREE TIMES shows his heart is in the community and I am so thankful for his willingness to persevere through the technical difficulties and deliver some truly fantastic responses!
1. How long have you been involved in the hobby in general? "I was introduced to Warhammer 40k about 20 years ago. I played and painted for about a year and eventually got to a point where getting feedback was very difficult. Online forums at the time aren’t exactly like they are now, or maybe a better way to put it, is that the community is much more supportive these days. I only recently got back into the hobby when Age of Sigmar was released. I was watching videos on YouTube, specifically Tabletop Minions, and Kenny, from Next Level Painting. Things seemed different and I very much felt that pull to come back into the hobby. I dipped a toe in with the release of AOS, but it wasn’t until I started my YouTube channel that I actually truly came back".
2. How long have you been actively promoting your content on social media?
"When I started the channel it was really just for me, so I could keep track of paint jobs and recipes for armies. When it started to pick up about 6 months later, I decided to make an instagram and Facebook to share photos. Up until then I really didn’t share anything online. So I suppose I’ve been actively promoting for about a year and a half at this point". 3. What initially drew you to the miniature model hobby realm? "Initially it was a friend of mine and his older brothers. They were deep into 40k and D&D. Both of us being pretty young, my friend and I wanted to do the things his older brothers were doing. So we saved up some money and started buying models. Outside of that, I have always been into fantasy. My dad has a bookshelf of fantasy novels, as well as a very large collection of movies. So I kind of grew up seeing dragons and magic all the time. I feel like even if my friends brothers hadn’t been as encouraging as they were about the hobby, I probably would have ended up painting miniatures at some point". 4. What tabletop game would you say is your favorite? What particular faction within that game is your favorite and why?
"While I do have a soft spot for Warhammer 40K, I truly find more joy in so many parts of Age of Sigmar. The game itself has always been very fun to play, but it’s things like Warcry or Skirmish that get my attention. The game has so many off shoots and mini games attached, it’s so easy to start a small force and still have it be playable in a variety of games. My absolute favorite army has to be Nurgle. The aesthetics, gross and not gross, are fun to look at, and even more fun to paint. I like the idea of bringing 120 plague bearers across the battlefield in large games, just a slow moving unbreakable wall. It’s intimidating, and ridiculous all at the same time". 5. What is more enjoyable for you personally: painting or playing the game? "Unfortunately I don’t get to play as often as I would like. When I can I almost always forget about painting, but at the end of the day, painting is where I like to spend my time. The intricacies of each model, the challenges that have to be overcome every time I pick up a brush, or airbrush, are more than enough to keep me going, even if I never played a game again".
6. If money or time weren’t a consideration, what single purchase/upgrade/expansion would you make to further your hobby enjoyment? "If none of these things existed, I would probably dive really deep into the Lord of the Rings tabletop game. I’m talking like a scale modeler/train hobbyist level of detail and size. Full rooms with scale boards of Middle Earth. Then I would play through an entire campaign that followed the books from beginning to end. It would be glorious!" 7. Where do you get the inspiration for your particular army theme or style? "It’s hard to say, when I approach painting anything I try and pull from as many sources I can. There are so many good hobbyists on YouTube and Instagram that produce amazing and inspirational work. When I started getting back into the hobby I really took a lot of inspiration from Next Level Painting. I even got into airbrushing because of Kenny, and now that’s one of the things people know me for on YouTube. Another strong influence is a channel that no longer exists( and its a shame) SchnauzerFaceMinis. That guy always did things out of the box, and especially when I was getting back into painting, I really liked the idea that you could use all sorts of products in conjunction to create something really cool". 8. What tips or advice would you give someone just starting out in the hobby? "There are a few things that I try and talk about on my channel pretty often. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s, we are all different and then we learn and grow at different paces. Paint bravely, the first model you paint won’t be your best, and it shouldn’t be. Don’t be afraid to try new things, experiment, have fun. Don’t be afraid to fail, you will learn something every time you try again".
9. What was the moment you realized commission painting was something you wanted to pursue as more than a hobby? "When the channel was really starting to gain some traction people just started sending me models. At first they were donations to the cause, but after a while people were asking if they could commission me to make a video about one of their models and have me send it back to them. I wasn’t making any money from the channel so doing some commissions seemed like a great way to keep the lights on so to speak. It was kind of an all of the sudden deal. I wasn’t thinking about commissions, but one day they were just there". 10. What was the most difficult obstacle you had to overcome on your path to becoming a full-time painter? "This is something I’m still trying to figure out. YouTube is a beast. Right now I dedicate 3 full days a week to making content. At first it was whenever I could, but that really meant that I was taking time away from my family, and when it comes down to it, it’s just not worth doing if I’m missing out on important time like that. The biggest hurdle was figuring out a schedule that would work for my whole family. Luckily, my son just started preschool, so there is more time to dedicate to painting. It’s still a struggle each week, but we make it work". 11. What was the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a painter? "Probably the most rewarding part of all of it is when I get a message, private or public, where someone is telling me how much they enjoy the hobby because of watching my videos, or that they are getting back into it much like I did after a long period of time. Being able to bring a little joy into someone’s life isn’t something I was anticipating when I started making content, but it’s definitely been the most rewarding part of the experience. The other thing that I wasn’t totally expecting was getting to know the people that I enjoy watching on YouTube, becoming friends with people I look up to and being regarded as a peer".
12. If you could do anything to expand your company/studio/hobby footprint, what would it be? "Actually, I just started work on a studio space! I’ve been working out of a small walk in closet for the last year, so having a wide open space with everything organized properly has been an incredible upgrade. At some point I plan on putting out a line of 3d printable parts and pieces that apply specifically to rescuing miniatures. It’s still a work in progress of course, but it’s a goal that I have and am working on currently. Expansion in general, I would love to hire an editor. Editing videos and podcasts takes up a great amount of time and, somewhat unfortunately, that means that I have to stop painting by a certain hour of the week or I won’t be able to finish a video for release, having someone with me to shoulder some of that work would allow me to really focus my time on creating the best content I possibly can". 13. What product line do you endorse and what about their products do you feel sets them above their competitors? "For a lot of miniature painters, when they start out, you kind of have to pick a product line to go with, almost for comfortability reasons. After a while you start to get other products and figure out which ones just work better than others. I’ve gotten tons of brushes, paints, sprays, etc. and I still couldn’t tell you which full line/company is better. Personally i prefer to use Citadel and Vallejo paints, but only because they are readily available to me. I enjoy AK interactive products quite a bit, but they are only good for so many things. Finding a good balance of products seems to be the way to go, not being exclusive for the sake of being exclusive. I will say this though, my buddy Emil from Squidmar miniatures just released a line of Kolinsky Sable brushes, they are very nice brushes and I have been using them a lot more than my usual Windsor and Newton Series 7 brushes. I suppose that kind of counts!" 14. If you could earn a sponsorship or endorsement from your dream company, who would it be and why? "I would love to design an airbrush with Badger. I enjoy their airbrushes quite a bit and am constantly recommending new airbrush painters to buy into them. Bulletproof brushes that never let me down".
15. What advice would you give to someone interested in taking the plunge to becoming a commission painter or hobby content creator? "Whether you want to be a commission painter or a content creator, the same rules apply. It’s a fun job, but it’s still a job. Don’t get me wrong, this is the absolute hands down best job I’ve ever had, but it’s also the hardest. Something that comes up quite a bit when I talk to people who want to start making content is that they don’t have the equipment to do it, same thing with commission painters, they never have enough supplies to start. Those things just aren’t true. I built my channel off of the back of an iPhone 7. Filming, editing, uploading, all from my phone. I started painting with a very minimal amount of paints, and a master airbrush, yeah, the $20 one off of eBay. If you want it, you just have to go for it, everything else comes with time. Be persistent, and always be learning. Never stop watching tutorials, practicing, and getting better at your craft. If you can keep going, even on the bad days, you will eventually get to where you want to go. It will be the toughest, best job you will ever have. Also, probably grow a second layer of skin, YouTube comments can be quite harsh..."
Casey, again, thank you so much for enduring the technological weirdness and pushing through. I absolutely love your stuff man, and I am always pumped when I see another EMR release!
Readers, you know what to do. Don't worry...I'll attach the links to his YouTube, Instagram, and I'll even use this to make a little plug for his and Goobertown Hobbies' collaboration podcast: Paint Bravely. It is so cool seeing two of the most chill and entertaining people in the industry get together and discuss the more...sensitive sides of the hobby. People always talk about techniques, or styles. Not often do they focus on what drew them in, or why they love particular models, products, artists, etc. Give Casey a follow, sit back and relax and become a fan, just like I have.
Until next time.....