Skip to content

3 Things the Sims Taught Me About Painting

July 28, 2011

Finish a painting, toss it into the air and get cash…

If only it were that easy!

Okay, so the Sims isn’t completely realistic when it comes to being an artist, but it actually has a few things to teach us about being a successful painter.

For those of you who are living under a rock and are thinking, “what the heck is the Sims?” here’s a quick rundown: The Sims is a game that simulates real life. You take control of a household of sims, or people, who have unique personalities, aspirations and goals. You are responsible for making sure your sims are cleaning house, cooking food, going to work, socializing, and having fun.

And here’s my dirty little secret of the day… I love playing the Sims! Yep, I’m that much of a dork.

The cool feature about the game is that your sim can be an artist. It’s more a hobby than a career, but with some practice, it can be quite lucrative. As I was playing yesterday, I began to realize that this mindless game has some valuable things to teach us about what it takes to be a successful artist.

Here are three lessons about painting learned from the Sims:

1. Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Even in the sim world, bills have to be paid. The myth of the starving artist is just a myth, and the reality is that a day job serves a very necessary purpose. It’s the day job that keeps you clothed, fed, sheltered, not to mention able to buy art supplies. The key to having a job and being an artist, in life and in the Sims, is making sure you spend time painting. Try to dedicate an hour, or even half an hour a day in the studio. It doesn’t have to be  a lot of time, but making that commitment is important.

In the Sims, as you progress as an artist, you are able to sell your paintings for more and more money. When you get to the point that you are selling paintings for more than you can make at work, then it’s time to quit. In reality, this would take much, much longer! The same rules apply, though, and when you get to the point that your art can consistently sustain whatever lifestyle you have determined necessary, then lose the day job. Until then, keep it up and don’t resent it. Without that day job you may not have a roof over your head!

2. Paint, Paint, Paint

The only way for a sim to become a better artist and increase the value of his paintings is to paint. A lot. The more the sim paints, the more quickly he will gain skills. Isn’t this true of real life?

We’ve all heard the phrase “practice makes perfect,” but do we really buy into it? I don’t think we do, but we should because it’s true. The only way to get better at something is to practice, and the more you practice the more you improve. If I spent as many hours out of a day in the studio as my sim spent painting, I’d quickly become more experienced and more skilled. It can be hard to fit everything in, especially considering number one, but give yourself permission to skip the dishes one night and do a little painting. It’s important and it’s worth it!

3. Quality will Follow Quantity

Perhaps the toughest lesson to accept.

In the Sims, artists have different types of paintings they can create: regular, brilliant, and masterpieces. The more skilled your sim, the more likely he is to paint brilliant paintings and then masterpieces. But, he will never consistently produce either. It’s totally random.

This absolutely applies to real life. People often think that quality and quantity are mutually exclusive, but the more paintings you paint, the more likely you will be to paint a really great piece. I don’t mean that you should be whipping out piece after piece regardless of the quality. It’s more that you should focus on producing as much as you can of the best work that you can, but don’t get caught up in creating a perfect piece every time. Accept that some pieces will be better than others and instead of worrying at it forever trying to fix it, move on to a new painting. You can always come back to the other piece to fix it.

There you have it, three things I learned about painting from playing the Sims. Follow these three lessons and you could be selling paintings for upwards of $5000 in just a few weeks just like my sim!

…Or not.


From → Art General, Painting

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: