Q&A With Joe Karame AKA JoeK Minis Part 1

With Christmas fast approaching, we thought we'd bring you the present of another Q&A session, this time with a man whose talent is only outmatched by how nice he is - Mr Joe Karame of JoeK Minis!

Tell us a little about yourself

Um…well, my name’s Joe Karame, I’m 41 years young and spend my time between designing kitchens for folk who don’t understand how much these things cost (and get most upset when I can’t give them what they want for a couple of quid and a pack of crisps), painting miniatures for people and running JoeK Minis! What can I say, I live a charmed life.

How long have you been painting, and what made you get into the hobby?

I’ve been painting since 1981 (more or less), which hurts when I type that.
As for what make me get into the hobby, my route lies through my fondness for fantasy and a love of the old Fighting Fantasy books. As GW was founded by the authors of these books, it wasn’t long before I started noticing little lead figures appearing everywhere and I was pretty much hooked from them on!

Have you ever won any competitions?

Only really ever entered one competition, and that was back in 2008 after my long hiatus from the hobby (all of 15 years!). I got a little pin in the Open category for a piece I spent very little time on and had absolutely no thought of it placing! This is a lesson I try and shout at folk who can sometimes get far too over-excited about these sort of things ;) .

Name three things at your workstation you couldn’t live without.

My mug of water, my lovely triple tube light and a white tile or two.

Do you have a brand or size of brush that you favour using over others?

Rosemary and Co brushes, Series 33s. I use a number of different sizes, but most of the leg work will be done with a larger No.2, detail work with a No.1. I’ll occasionally use a 00 for eyes and the like, but really as long as you have a decent point on the thing (and R&Cos usually do), then you should be fine with the larger ones. I’ve used all manner of brushes over the years from basic synthetics to W&N Series 7s, but I always return to the R&Co. 

What’s the last model you finished painting for your own collection?

I have to say I rarely paint for myself these days – aside from the Odyssey figures of course – but I admit to picking up the new look White Dwarf and painting up the Chaos Warrior it came with. That was great fun!

True Metallics or NMM?

Whilst I think NMM can look stunning from a technical point of view, I’ll always prefer true metallics!

Do you use an airbrush and if so, what do you use it for?

I’ve got an airbrush, used it a few times and realised that it really wasn’t needed in my life (despite numerous people mumbling on about the features and benefits of it to me). Quite honestly, as a very messy person at the best of times, the cleanup operation involved in maintaining the thing are just far too much for me to deal with. I have absolutely not issues with them in their multiple uses, and If they came with some little chap to clean and prep it for the next time I use it, then I’d be all over it. Not the little chap, just the airbrush, mind.

Do you suffer paintbrush envy? Is there a particular painter that you wish you could paint as well as?

Not especially. There are loads of painters out there who I admire and love, but I’ve never really wanted to paint like anyone else. I think it probably stems from starting in the hobby when I did and the only place you got to see other folks’ stuff was in White Dwarf or popping along to a model show…which really weren’t the greatest of places. I still think the works of John Blanche and Mike McVey are some of my faves! 

What do you feel the need to improve and why?

A bit more patience would be a good thing. I find if I don’t make the most of the pockets of inspiration I get, I lose interest very quickly with things! Having said that, painting for other people focuses the mind something good. But even then I’m constantly aware of sometimes pushing things before they’re ready to be added to, and you end up wasting more time correcting those silly mistakes!

Do you, or have you ever, felt like a Noob with just his Paintbrush?

Not for a long time – I definitely did back in the early 1980s when I was a youngling. And I most definitely did in 2008 when I came back to the hobby (there I was thinking green flock would still cut it as a basing material…sigh), but these days I’m without a feeling of ‘noob’ :)

Is there a colour that you seem to favour and like to add to your models when you can?

Easy – Turquoise. It’s by far my fave colour and – despite clients sometimes protesting – if I don’t put at least a splash of it on any figure I paint, I’m convinced the world will end.

What are three things you’d want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?

Some nice blank paper, a brushpen (I love brushpens so much it hurts…), and probably some nail clippers…having long nails is a terrible thing, and unless appropriately manicured, you get awful hang-nails. Which irritate.

Of course, if the desert island had some sort of power supply hidden within, then that’ll all go down the tube and it’d be all technology baby.

Here are a few examples of Joe's work - I particularly love the Dragon!

Fire Dragon Ancient from Warploque Miniatures

Dark Lords Warband from Warploque Miniatures

Mantomba from Warploque Miniatures

Sea Troll Bull from Warploque Miniatures

Old Grogg from Warploque Miniatures

Cataphractii Terminator from Forge World

Paul Bonner's Trolls of Trudvang from JoeK Minis

Jungle Gremlin from Warploque Miniatures

Lek'Saa and pet Grishak from Anyaral - The World of Twilight

Lorenti Pargal from Anyaral - The World of Twilight
 Joe's store - JoeK Minis is currently open for business but will be closing soon for Christmas so if you fancy getting yourself a little something to paint for his Odyssey painting contest (more on that on Facebook and in Part 2!), get moving now!

If you have a question for Joe, leave it in the comments below and we'll put it to him to be answered for in Part 2.

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