In anticipation of this week's limited edition print release with artist Travis Lampe, we sat down to get to know about his life, art and his release with us, "The Fancy Magicians."
Take a look below:
Where were you born and where are you now?
I was born in a very, very small town in Kansas, but have lived most of my life in Chicago.
What are your earliest artistic memories?
My grandpa was a locally respected artist of the Bob Ross Happy Trees school. He always had a big pad of newsprint for us to draw on and would give us art lessons about perspective and how to draw trees - stuff like that. I used to sit over his shoulder and watch him paint. Or under his shoulder. I was very small.
How has your art evolved over the years? Have you always focused on the same subjects?
Over time I've gotten a little better, technically, I suppose. But I've always painted the same dumb stuff. My main goal being to entertain myself and avoid growing as an artist.
Could you tell us a bit about your release with us, "The Fancy Magicians?"
This was a painting I did for a BLAB show in 2018. I love synchronized movement and period costumes. Also the sense of creepiness you get in Freemasons iconography and alchemical paintings and engravings. I kind of mushed it all together for this one. What are they up to? Where are they going? Why do they induce rage in frogs and birds? These are the questions we should be asking ourselves.
What's a normal day like for you in the studio?
I have a day job, so my normal day in the studio is from 5am to 9am. Weekends are more of a 9 to 5 affair. If there are ideas to come up with I do that, but I get impatient quickly and move to painting or sculpting prematurely. So a lot of ideas come as I'm working on the finished product.
What's the most difficult part of creating?
The dumb middle part of a painting where it looks horrible and seems like you'll never get to the fine details. It's then that I doubt my color choices, second-guess my concepts and generally get down on myself. But then I push through and it always turns out fine. You'd think I'd gain wisdom from repeating this cycle so many times, but no.
And what's the most rewarding part of creating?
Putting the highlights on and seeing that it all turned out alright and now a funny thing exists that never did before.
What's some of the best advice you've gotten throughout your career?
Gary Baseman gave me so much good advice right when I started it's hard to pick just one thing. Probably it's this (paraphrased): "Be honest with yourself about how good your work is. Is it as good as the successful artists out there? Are you giving people something they can't get somewhere else? If not, change what you're doing."
What else can we look forward to from you in the near future?
New toys, new art shows, general chicanery. There is plenty in the works.
"The Fancy Magicians" will be available Thursday, July 15th at 1PM Pacific in our shop.