Travis Lampe Interview

Chicago based artist, Travis Lampe, is a gifted storyteller who captures the nightmares inspired by children’s storybooks and bedtime stories. Travis has been featured in exhibitions in Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles and Art Basel Miami. The following is an interview that introduces you to the imaginative world of Travis Lampe. Enjoy.

mm : Your work captures the nightmares imagined from children’s storybooks : Did you read storybooks as a child? And is there a story or group of books that inspired you to pursue this further in your latest collection of work, “Best Loved Tales of Misery and Woe, Etc.?”

TL : I read a lot as a kid, but this show isn’t inspired by any particular story from the past. It’s about how the malaise of the present can get so intense that it actually ruins previously happy childhood memories. A feeling probably triggered by the current grim atmosphere. Then I take that and try to put a light spin on it .…Exaggerated sadness is funny to me for some reason.

mm : Do you have a favorite piece from this current exhibition or do all of the pieces complete one story being told? Please explain :

TL : I most enjoyed making the sculptural pieces like “1:6 Scale Magnus,” “Anders” (the rat head) and “Prize.” Because I’m crafty. I also really enjoyed painting “Rat Herder,” “Rainbow Drooper” and “Love Proof.”

The paintings in the show are but snippets of parts of a collection of ne’er-been-told tales. So if you pieced them together you still wouldn’t have the whole story. What links the snippets is that they’ve all been spoilt by the backwards creeping stain of woe…

mm : With Comic-Con just around the corner, are you planning on any special toy releases or signings?

TL : Unfortunately I won’t make it to Comicon this year. But if things work out I will have a prototype design of a sweet new platform toy on display. And yes it’s sad.

I’ve got plenty of other projects in the works, too, but due to delays as a result of the economy, I’m not sure that several of them will be done in time. Bleh.

mm : What is next for Travis Lampe and what subject matter would you like to feature in your works over the next few months?

TL : Next I’m taking a small break and travelling to Italy and Slovenia, both of which I highly recommend.

Soon after I get back I’ll be taking part in a group show at Merry Karnowsky Berlin, which I’m excited about.

As far as subject matter for upcoming stuff, it’s hard to say. I often start out with a plan and end up veering off in an entirely different direction. Right now the images in my head are of half buried creatures with lots of arms and legs, but I’m not sure where that will take me…I’ve been reading a lot of Lovecraft lately, so maybe that’s where the images are coming from.

mm : Where can people learn more about the imaginative world of Travis Lampe and do you have any other exhibitions or projects that you are working on?

TL : I have an interview in the next issue of Hi Fructose Magazine (vol 12) due out in July! In it, I reveal all. Questions such as "why all the sad stuff?" are answered in detail.

There's also my interview on

I suppose a person could most successfully stay on top of my comings and goings by signing up for my newsletter at this shortcut link:

Otherwise, there are my websites, some of which have been recently updated: (merchandising arm of my enterprise):

A link to the work in my current show at Roq La Rue

Kind thanks Travis for sharing your thoughts before you head to Europe. Travis will be featured at the release party on Friday, July 24 on the wall and in fashion. Check it out.

Related Posts by Categories

Total Pageviews