*Today I start with a new series I called interview time. This category will consist of mainly english interviews with well known painters. I did my best not only to ask the same old questions. I will start with Rafael Garciá Marín, better known as Volomir - he is running the well known blog http://volomir.blogspot.de.
First question. Is painting miniatures art and why or why not?
Well, that depends quite a lot on what the purpose is, in my opinion. Also on what we understand by art. It is a very tough subject to discuss about really, and everyone will have their own opinion. There are many people that say miniature painting is an art trying to make the activity more valuable, others say it isn't trying to make it less valuable. To me, being an art or not depends on the intention of the creator. If I paint miniatures just as a means of colouring toy soldiers, for gaming purposes, or just because they are cool, then that is not art for me. If I paint miniatures and I'm looking for something else, if I'm trying to tell a story with the miniature, try to provoke some sensation on the spectator, a feeling... then that is art to me. The line between them is quite thin, since one could consider that making a miniature cool is trying to create a sensation of coolness to the spectator. Well, then I would say we are making art, yeah. But in the end it doesn't really matter. Call it art or not, it's just a tag. What we do is something beautiful which fills the hearts of many people and for them life would not be as cool without it. That for me is saying much more than the word 'art'.
If you visit your family/friends how do they react if you tell them you are painting "toysoldiers".
For a long time, when I started painting quite seriously, my friends and family had a hard time accepting that I painted for many hours and that I sometimes stopped going out to prepare for a contest. Time passed and then they saw the results of my work. They saw me progressing, they saw me getting better, and having higher objectives, and then they understood that I was doing something that I really loved and cared for. From that point on, all of my friends and family not only respect my hobby, but also encourage it, and many are also interested in the outcome of my activity, they follow me or ask me how I'm doing. It took some time, that's true, but when people around you support you, everything is much better. I would have probably continued even if they didn't support me actually. I would have found new friends then! What good is a friend if it does not support you?
Is the hobby still fun when you paint on a professional level?
I think it is still fun, but probably not as much. When it is something you have to do under obligation, then you feel the lack of freedom. Working is great when you want to work, but when you have to do it even if you don't feel like it, then it is not fun. That is probably one of the most important reasons that prevent me from becoming a fully professional miniature painter.
What do you dislike about the painting community?
There's not much I dislike about the painting community. I love it very much actually, and I try always to be part of it. I think I've done a good job in that aspect, trying to keep in touch with many people all around the globe. There's so many good friends that I made while painting minis. If I had to say something that I would like to see in the community is probably more desire to compete. I love game and I love competition, and painting contests are very fun for me. With the recent downfall of competition formats like Golden Demon, the community is shifting heavily to miniature events in Open format. Those are nice of course, but not so competitive, because everyone is a winner in one way or another. I really like the thrill of winning and also the desire of improvement that you get when you don't win. Open formats contests are more of an exam to me. I like the game of winning and losing like you have in Golden Demon, and I would really like the community to demand more contests in this format. As you can see, it's not such a bad thing to point out from the community, right? I really love it very much!
What do you like about the painting community?
I think that my previous answer will probably give you an idea of what I love about it. Everything else! To me, the feeling of sharing the passion we all have, improving together, getting advice constantly, meeting and having fun, competing and admiring the work of others, encouraging and being encouraged, appreciating... everything you do in community is much better than what you do alone. I am a big fan of painting miniatures in group for example, its much more fun to me than doing it alone, and whenever I can, I try to organize gatherings like that. I am a very social painter and I really like community. Painting miniatures would not be as cool to me without it!