Kat Lamp-Local Winston-Salem Difference Makers

In addition to celebrating Winston-Salem natives that have moved on to do significant things outside of Winston, this blog will also celebrate local people who make a difference currently in Winston-Salem. 
Kat Lamp is a commercial artist that does a little bit of everything in the world of art, including concert posters for bands like The Avett Brothers, Andrew Bird, and Jump, Little Children. Along with the posters, she has some dedicated retail space inside Reanimator Records alongside some friends where she sells pins, greeting cards, and silly drawings.
Lamp shares a studio downtown (The Electric Pyramid) in a building with thirteen other artists, including Laura Lashley who I blogged on a couple months back (Laura Lashley Blog). The building was originally a funeral home for forty years, then the Pyramid Barber school for twenty years.Lamp also has a studio at home where she does most of her commercial work and runs her online store (website).

Lamp has designed posters for The Avett Brothers since 2010. She recently made a poster for an upcoming Estrangers show at The Garage. She started playing in bands in 1996 and started making posters for her bands. Back then it was all by hand, and she didn’t learn how to use a computer until she started working at Kinko’s in 1999. She taught herself Photoshop and started making posters for her friend’s bands and for local show promoters (Gigposters page).
Lamp grew up in Winston and in the Triad (she spent time in Greensboro) all of her life, except for a couple years with her mom in Myrtle Beach. Below she answers some questions about family, art, and Winston-Salem:

Questions about Winston-Salem:

Can you tell me a little bit about your husband and your pets?
Jeff and I have been married for 3.5 years and have been together since 2008. Jeff’s from High Point and went to school up and down the east coast. He delivers sandwiches during the day and runs sound at The Garage at night a few times a month. He also does sound every Sunday morning at Centenary UMC. We have 3 cats- Minime is a 16-year-old orange cat who looked like a mini version of a big orange cat I used to have at the time when I found him-I found him at the BP station on the corner of Peter’s Creek and Academy St. Giada is about 2.5 years old and has huge, silly eyes. We adopted her from the animal shelter. MiniMini is the baby, some neighbors found him at the gas station on the corner of Lockland and Silas Creek last June. His name is inspired from looking like a mini version of Minime, and he also came from a gas station. It gets a little confusing sometimes.

Do you have any local artists that inspire you? How about famous artists?
My studio mates at the Electric Pyramid are a never-ending source of inspiration. Laura Lashley, Shawn Peters, Ian Dennis, Kait Neely, and Andrew Fansler to name a few. Woodie Anderson and Clark Whittington are some other Winston artists who also keep me inspired.
As far as “famous artists” go, I’m inspired by a lot of different artists. This past winter I dug pretty deep into the work of Ed Emberley. I love his woodcuts and the way he simplified forms, color, and texture.


Which Winston-Salem neighborhoods have you lived in?
Quite a few! I currently live in Ardmore. We lived in Ardmore Manor when I was little. When my parents split up I lived with my mom for a little while in an apartment off Healy. Then I lived with my dad in Heather Hills, where he still lives. I’ve also lived in Southside and off First Street.


What are your top three favorite Winston-Salem restaurants?
Mary’s Gourmet Diner, Krankies, and The Porch.

What schools have you gone to in Winston? Who were your favorite teachers?
I went to Bolton Elementary and Philo Middle. I dropped out of Parkland High School three times, and dropped out of Independence High once before I dropped back in and eventually graduated from there. Independence doesn’t exist anymore, but it was a great school for “at-risk” students like myself. (I didn’t figure out I have dyslexia until I was an adult, so I had a lot of problems in school.) The classes at Independence were small and low-pressure. My favorite teachers from there were Mrs. Albert, who helped me understand Algebra for the first time (I’m dyslexic with numbers especially), and Mr. McIver, who taught art. He was encouraging and helped me get an internship teaching art at the Enrichment Center the summer after I graduated. Later I took some classes at Forsyth Tech, and Mr. Pinnix’s history classes were my favorite.


Are you more of a Hanes Mall or Thruway fan?
I’m more of a downtown fan, but I do like Thruway because it’s super close to our house.

If you were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which would you choose: Moravian sugar cake, a Bojangles biscuit, or a Krispy Kreme doughnut?
None of the above! If I was on an island forever I’d have to go with a grit bowl from Mary’s.

What is your favorite North Carolina Beach?
I enjoyed going to Atlantic Beach last year for my first real beach vacation as an adult. (I’m 36.) I liked it so much I went back again with my husband. I have some memories of going to the Outer Banks a long time ago. I’d love to one day visit all the beaches of NC.


Where is your favorite place in the mountains of North Carolina?
I have some good memories from Black Mountain, Boone, and Asheville. I’d love to do some more mountain exploring, too.


Could you ever imagine leaving the Triad and if so, where would you go?
I think the Triad will always be my home. I love the gritty, kitschy, creative culture in Baltimore and always enjoyed playing shows and visiting there. Jeff has family there and I think it’d be fun to live there for a little while just for the experience and inspiration it could offer. I also love the west coast and wouldn’t mind living somewhere over there a little while, too.


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