Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done

A picture of Joan LeMay

Joan LeMay

Painter, illustrator

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Joan LeMay. I'm a painter and illustrator currently based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I love painting people, animals, plants and things (a kind of anthropomorphic approach to portraiture) in equal measure, and I pack referential objects, color-based symbolism and other subject-specific elements into the busy backgrounds of my work in order to reflect the soul and life of the person or creature depicted.

I am currently focusing on work that celebrates what soothes us (and what soothed me in my childhood) - over-the-top portraits of beloved TV and pop culture personalities and public role models, food, fellow artists, and portraiture of medications. The medication work is also designed to help those who rely on medications to celebrate the existence of treatments instead of feeling stigmatized for having to take anything in the first place. I also take pet portraiture and memorial portraiture very seriously.

I am on Instagram at @joanlemay.

What hardware do you use?

I have a very busted, old MacBook Pro that is so worn, you can't really see the letters on the keyboard anymore. I don't do any digital painting or illustration, but I do have a print shop, and to create limited edition signed and numbered giclee prints, I use the fantastic Epson SureColor P800 printer. Many artists I respect and admire have this baby, so I followed suit. I also have a nice Sony camera that I use to take reference photos and to archive my work. I don't know exactly what model it is.

And what software?

I don't create any work in Photoshop, but I do use Photoshop to adjust the lighting, saturation and crispness in my paintings when I'm converting them to jpgs for making prints and/or for sending to illustration clients. And, y'know, I use a bunch of other stuff that everyone else uses to TCOB business-wise.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup would be a separate studio space that existed outside of my home, but still on the property. Like a studio shed situation. It'd have lots of light, lots of flat files, lots of wall space, and plenty of table space. And a big-ass sink for keeping brushes and palettes clean.