Ladies and gentlemen,
It felt like a good time to reflect a little bit, to savor some of last year’s work and share some details of things to come. The problem with these sort of posts is that they become self congratulatory and I generally hate the type of looking in the past as a critique of one’s own voice award ceremonies so prevalent this time of the year in different blogs.
So not only might this be a bit like that, it’s also going to be a pretty personal post. Iron Sleet is four miniature artists with grim, dark, Finnish roots and a shared passion and vision to create in the dystopian setting of the Warhammer 40 000 Universe. Yet four very unique individuals, living in three different countries and with four different approaches. So this article is one viewpoint, one end point of this collective vision. Mine. Of this mission to push the imagery and miniatures to new places, with new techniques, with the most care and passion and fun.
This week I bumped into this comment at the absolutely fantastic Ex Profundis by an artist I respect immensely for his sense of purpose, deep sensitivity and originality. (BTW Jake, if you read this, I wanted to congratulate you on the amazing AOS war band, but your site uniquely doesn’t allow comments from the WordPress app I use mostly to browse the goodness)
“Iron sleet is currently unmatched with regards to it’s collection of unique 40k models”
2016 in Retrospect
Was the culmination of the hobby for me thus far. Work in three categories. The Pilgrym, Vlka Fenryka and the Ghost Legion, each a labor of love and it’s own experiment. I look back absolutely blown away by what the Pilgrym became and frankly a little shocked about my own productivity. I can share it’s strictly down to power of habits. Half an hour to an hour pretty much every day goes a loooooong way. A few 12 hour panicky days with the Cathedral and the rare multi hour paint or converting flow thrown in.
Pilgrym was a hobby privilege of a life time. Getting to collaborate with so many artists and friends and then having Games Workshop embrace the project the way they have, White Dwarf and the Warhammer World Museum in particular, was incredible and a huge surprise that we never even imagined or thought of. So grateful for all of that.
I tried to see how many models I actually finished last year. (In pictures.) More than 50! One of them a gigantic section of a Terran Cathedral. Each of them pretty intensively converted, except perhaps for the 4 vehicles finished, which feel like big achievements for other reasons.
What will 2017 bring?
I’ve increasingly begun working more like a “movie director” of these dystopian worlds and themes and narratives. Collaboration, imagination, experimentation… Less a lone artist, less about what is and more what could be, more confident and more bolder in the experimental approach that has always defined my work.
Sometimes personal missions clash with other people’s approach. There are many artists out there who’s work I adore to bits – yet whose approach would be my personal nightmare of mannerism and developing a chosen “style” to perfection. Equally mimicking other people’s work religiously or being defined by a genre, such as Blanchitsu, in approach rather than philosophy is not for me.
I thrive to be able to think and produce independently, constantly and happily subject myself to feeling like a complete novice with new tools or new paints, or new subject matters. It’s not a better approach. It’s my approach. Part designer, part artist, part director and part fool.
I admit I also admire and respect productivity. John is such an inspiration for his incredible originality, but also the sheer inevitable, unmovable, never ending productivity. I hope I can help Iron Sleet to overall be more consistently productive this year. Looks like we have Mikko back with some stunning WIPs now, so that will help.
2017 will bring my favorite legions to war, in a setting created by FPOA, the distant Thorn Moons. The Vlka will be unleashed on the Renegade Green Mechancvm, and amongst the shadow of the defenses stand the XX.
The main goal will be world building – terrain and mood making for the Thorn Moons. One of the absolute highlights in 2016 was my six year old getting into the hobby big time. Painting his first miniatures. Helping me build the Cathedral all the way. And a good half a dozen games of 40k that we played.
So with that cinematic goal of Thorn Moons in mind, this is what has happened so far this year!
Lastly and most importantly, even more so if you made it this far. Thank you so much for your on going interest, comments, shares and the work that inspires us in return.
GW is clearly gearing up for an incredible year of releases. Lets make the most of it!