Paint to Power – Losing my Mojo (and finding it again) by James Griffin

Altering Commander: The Sissay Project by James Griffin


Yep, it happens to everyone, it’s happened to me many times before in my artistic career, so waddya know, it’s happened again.  I’m making progress, everything is going well then all of a sudden I can’t pick up a paintbrush.  What’s that about?  You have it when you play too right?  You know what I mean, you built that sweet deck, and it’s the first time you crack it out on the battlefield, and the blam!  0-4 and drop, and then all the loss of confidence and hobby related depression that comes with it.

Ok, so maybe you’re really able to never have that affect you.  All credit to you, I’m afraid that’s not me.  I sometimes just struggle for a bit.  As such, I present to you a guide to finding your mojo.  With added pictures of altered cards for your viewing goodness.

My mojo looks like this:

And I’ve lost it.

What to do?

Well firstly, we figure out why it’s gone.  Its always a number of things, and there is sometimes a bunch of things that come together.  I’m working hard and for long hours at the minute back in real life, that’s gonna have an impact.  Secondly, I’ve taken on a massive task in the form of paint to power, and it’s pretty hard to believe that I’m going to be able to actually make it.  Thirdly, a commission that I’ve been working on has been re-done like four times, and I still haven’t nailed something I’m happy with, so I’m going to have to start again.  Finally, my airbrush broke.


cue the picture of the freaked out cat again.

Imagine turning up to FNM with your competitive deck and then finding out that it had fallen out your bag on the way to the venue, and you had lost all your juicy staples.  Now all you could do would be to do would be to play an event deck or something.  Actually that’s not quite right.  You see the problem with my compressor, which is the bit of my rig which broke, is that there is an air leak somewhere.  So, it’s having to compensate by squashing a bunch of air into the canister constantly.  It’s only built to do that in short bursts, not this much, so in actual fact it’s more like playing with your deck at FNM, but if the game goes beyond turn four, your library catches fire.  Yep, that’s more like it, suffice to say running my airbrush for more than a few seconds is now a really bad idea.  If you’ve followed my work at all you’ll know that my style comes partly from this tool, and while I can paint without it, I don’t enjoy it anywhere near as much.  Sigh.

It’s time to turn the tables

Right, gotta be proactive about fixing my mojo I reckon.   I can’t replace the compressor for a bit, so that’s going to have to wait.  I also need to take a few days break from painting, just to clear my head and concentrate ever more on ‘real work’, so I retreat to the xbox for a little bit of gaming therapy, and that clears my mind.  It’s amazing how much even a few days away from my painting helps make me want to paint.  Now it’s time to do a couple of alters for the trade folder – I want some more power nine!

Both of these are already sold, but if there’s something in particular you would like me to do then let me know and I’ll give it a shot for sure.

These two aren’t sold, but maybe they suit you… <end shameless plug, I promise!>

Speaking of the power nine…

I got another one!  The wonderful guys and girls at Manaleak hooked me up for a very reasonable price.   Here it is:

Looks good right?

Well someone has taken a sharpie to the card back, which is pretty frustrating for this beautiful card, and trashes the look of it’s back as well as it’s value.  There’s only one thing to do, and that’s to use acetone and very carefully try to remove the offending ink and repaint the border.  I keep psyching myself up for it and it’s taken a while, but I got the guts to do it.  Here is the before – check out the shine on the border from the ink:

Here is after, it took some time and some very shaky hands, but I got most of it:

So then, that’s three out of nine, and I can use that sort of boost to get some of that mojo back.  Also I have more money and a bunch more cards on my trade list, so the next thing to do is to find someone with another piece of the puzzle.  Onwards hobby soldier!

Yep,  mojo well and truly back.  I have Elesh Norn sitting on my desk ready to have the stuffing painted out of her, so I’ll catch you next time for a full art close up of Ms. Norn.  It’ll be awesome, and fully mojoed up!

Until then, have fun folks,


PS. Lilly has also lost her mojo, which unsuprisingly coincides rather with her taking her little cuddly lion toy outside to play and forgetting to bring it home again.  She’ll get over it too, if I get a mox, it’s only fair that she gets a little cuddly mouse to replace  the other one. when she’s come out of her largesse I’ll get a pic of her sitting on this mox too.  This could be come the wierdly specific collection of pictures I’ve ever taken.  Right there is motivation to find another piece of power!


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