Updated: Jun 26, 2020
Hey hey Ladies and Gentledudes!
I wanted to start a fun little blog series about people I have come to respect in the hobby-sphere! In today's blog, I spoke with Jeff Beyer, aka Redbeardboss on YouTube or @sleepwalkair_brush on Instagram. Before I hop into the Q&A, I wanna talk about what drew me to this guy.
When I was considering making the commission painting guide, I wanted to get other painter's opinions and viewpoints. I stumbled upon his video Start Commission Painting Warhammer Miniatures and I learned a lot! My major takeaway from that particular video was to paint to the best of your abilities for the first few commissions. You want to build a good reputation for your name, so do your best, even if you have to charge less at first in order to secure the commission.
After that video, I was hooked. I bought some of his Ghost brushes, have attended several of his live streams on YouTube, and chatted with him back and forth over random and wide-ranging hobby topics. So, without further ado..... to the questions!
1. How long have you been in the hobby?
"I started in 2nd edition 40k when I was around 12 until about 18, then got back into the hobby around age 28 or 29. Im turning 35 this year".
2. How long have you taken a more serious/business approach to your hobby work?
"For the last 4 or 5 years I have been really focused in working for myself and never having a normal job again, so thats when I started really trying to figure out the puzzle of earning an income doing things I like. My main source of income comes from my paint brushes and not painting. Im confident I "could" live off just mini painting but never tried painting enough minis to sell each month to do it. For me its a fun side job I mix in with my painting stuff for my games".
3. What were some important steps you took in the transition from casual gamer/hobby painter to painting for money?
"The most important steps I think in painting miniatures for sale on Ebay is understanding value and taking a good picture, assuming you already paint good.
Value is the most important aspect of painting miniatures because they are not large enough to cast their own deep shadows on themselves. The darks almost always need to be darker and the lights lighter to help pop the small details on minis. Even if you look at every award winning painter, they photoshop their minis in photos. People think "wow how did you get the red so bright!" But they did it on a computer by boosting the contrast. It's easy to spot because your eye can easily see into the shadows of a painted model but when you see an amazing pic of a mini if the shadows are pitch black and you can see into them, it's been adjusted. This is done because better values make the mini look better. Paint can't go darker than black paint but the computer can, thus further increasing the values of the model to really make it look amazing. Good use of values sells miniatures on Ebay, in my opinion".
4. What would you say was the most difficult hurdle to overcome when you decided to make this a full time thing? "The most difficult hurdle was crippling anxiety that came out of nowhere and being unable to drive a car. All the sudden, at the age of almost 30, going from driving everyday to being afraid to be in a car meant I had to figure out how to work from home just in case I could never drive again. It felt like life or death. With practice I can drive again, but still work from home because it's just better. It's freedom. My Ghost paintbrush line launched in 2019 and did so well, that's when I felt secure and decided it will be my full time job, with mini-painting as extra income".
5. What tips and tricks would you offer to someone trying to find balance between family and hobby time?
"If you're worried about hobby life balance, i would suggest just try to paint for 30 minutes 4-7 nights a week. Everyone has 30 minutes. I suspect what will actually happen is often that 30 mins turns into 2 hours, but hey, if you hit the 30 mins and stop, at least you reached the goal you set. Another approach would be paint one color a night. Tonight i'll paint the boots, tomorrow the pants. But what happens is, many nights you will do more. Small goals".
6. Finally, what is the most important thing to you when it comes to considering a project or commission?
"The most important thing for me is "do I want to paint it?" For me, it's a part time income, so I'd rather paint what I want and sell it on Ebay than have someone pay me to paint an entire space marine chapter. Painting what I want has turned out to pay MUCH MUCH BETTER anyway. People will pay $40-100 for a DnD character...much easier than people paying even $25 per marine".
Well folks, there you have it! Check Jeff out on YouTube and Instagram!
Jeff, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with the little people! I absolutely love my Ghost brushes and cannot wait until the kickstarter packages arrive!