CRACKPOT
Jürgen Wagner

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I was born 1976 in Austria, but grew up in Germany. By now I live with my wife and two cats in a small town near cologne. I was always interested in art and painting but because of my red/green colorblindness I decided against a career in that field. In 1996 I finished school and started my career as software engineer which I am still performing now.

I made first contact with the hobby when I saw the starter boxes of Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40K in 1999. Of course I also played with miniatures as a kid, especially I would mention 'Hero Quest' and 'Star Quest' (both from Games Workshop), but by then I wasn't interested in painting, just playing.

So I started painting miniatures around the year 1999, mostly miniatures from Games Workshop because these were the first miniatures that I could get my hands on through local toy stores. I was never a big fan of tabletop gaming, mainly because of lack of opponents, so I was satisfied with painting and collecting. My first attempts of painting were quite rudimentary, I really had no idea what I was doing, but I was nevertheless quite satisfied with my results. By this time I mainly painted full squads of miniatures rather than single miniatures.

Around 2005 I attended a gaming trade fair and discovered many new miniature companies and their vast range of miniatures. At the fair I also made many contacts with other painters and from this point on also visited many local gatherings.

Another big advantage for me was the rise of the internet and the association in local and global painting boards. Tutorials and exchange of ideas with painters all over the world combined with much practice helped me in my development.

In 2007 I started participating on various competitions like Golden Demon, Duke of Bavaria, DUZI or Mini Art Con. I won several awards already but for the last view years my perception on competitions changed a bit. At first I liked competitions because deadlines and the rivalry with other painters can lead to motivation over a specific time. But I think this can also lead to a tense approach to the hobby. Especially if your imagination is restricted by competition regulations (like only to use a certain brand of miniature or only a special setting).

I specialized on dioramas for the last couple of years because it gives me a maximum of freedom to create what I imagine. You can transport many stories with a diorama, that would be difficult to achieve with a single miniature on a small base. The only downside to this is that it takes me months to complete a single project, but the key to keep on going for me is to have pleasure in every single process step.