April 15, 2022

Cannabis + Art — Putting Some Of The “Pop” In Pop Culture

April 15 isn’t just the dreaded Tax Day in the US (though this year it’s the 18th), it’s also World Art Day.

World Art Day is a global celebration of arts and culture. The International Association of Art, a nonprofit that partners with United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), started this “holiday” in 2012 to promote creative endeavors and to bring people together.(1)

And, of course, cannabis is no stranger to the worlds of art and culture. So, looking at art through the lens of cannabis seems like an A-OK way to observe World Art Day.

In honor of this much-more-inspiring-than-1040EZs occasion, we’re going to meander the galleries of cannabis and art.

Art & Cannabis, A Natural Pairing

Cannabis has been zigzagging through every aspect of society — like medicine, recreation, religion, industry, and crafts — since before recorded history. So it’s no wonder that as it elbows its way into the contemporary mainstream, it’s showing up in all shades of pop culture.

In fact, it’s been there all along. At the beginning, it was a counterculture rebellion and is now evolving into a manifesto of self-actualization and shifting norms.

Where Cannabis Meets Art

Perhaps this is why cannabis’s juncture with the arts is so varied. No joke, there are all kinds of cool cannart jobs and endeavors out there. All sorts of funny, creative, ambitious, and/or talented artsy-fartsy folks are meshing cannabis with:(2,3)

  • 3D art
  • Branding and marketing communications
  • Choreography and dance
  • Collage
  • Comedy
  • Commercial art
  • Creative writing
  • Culinary arts
  • Digital arts and NFTs
  • Fashion
  • Filmmaking
  • Graphic design
  • Interior design
  • Illustration
  • Jewelry
  • Journalism
  • Light installations
  • Modeling
  • Mosaics
  • Multimedia art
  • Music
  • Painting
  • Performance art
  • Photography
  • Podcasting
  • Web documentaries

 

Famous (+ Up-And-Coming) Cannabis Creatives & Collectives

Despite maybe being less-than-100%-legal, cannabis has pulsed through the artistic veins of modern culture for a long time.

Household Names

So, you’ve probably heard of many these A-listers who’re associated with cannabis and art.(4,5)

  • Fine artists. Pablo Picasso, Adriaen Brouwer, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Amedeo Modigliani, and David Hockney were fond of cannabis and often attributed some of their inspiration to the effects of the plant.
  • Comedians. George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Whoopi Goldberg, Dave Chappelle, Bill Maher, and Sarah Silverman were/are all known for consuming cannabis. Many of there jokes revolve around their use or the insights gained while under its spell.(6)
  • Musicians. Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Louis Armstrong, Jay Z, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Drake, Miley Cyrus, Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Garcia, The Beatles, Willie Nelson…. Really the list goes on and on
  • Cuisinartists. Martha Stewart, Ben and Jerry, Miguel Trinidad, and Scott Durrah are but a few of celeb foodies skulking around the kitchen and cooking or baking up goodies. The first three are enthusiasts, while the last two use cannabis in their dishes.
  • Film and television personalities. Oliver Stone, Tommy Chong, Kirsten Dunst, Brad Pitt, Woody Harrelson, Robert Mitchum, Cameron Diaz, Kevin Smith, and Roseanne enjoy cannabis when not working the silver and small screens.
  • Writers and publishers. Maya Angelou, Louisa May Alcott, Stephen King, Carl Sagan, Susan Sontag, and maybe even Shakespeare indulged in cannabis to get the creative juices flowing before putting pen (or quill) to paper. Le Club des Hashischins was a famous group of cannabis-smoking authors in 19th-century Paris — Oh là là!(7,8)

And, while not art-art, cannabis has been a friend to creative technologists and innovators like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates. Who knows if their visionary and futuristic creations would be different sans cannabis?

You Should Know These Cannacreators, Too

Here are some names — just a few to whet your appetite — that might not be as familiar to you. These creative geniuses are exploring a diverse array of plant-based themes using a variety of techniques and materials. Most of them both consume cannabis as well as make their art from and/or about cannabis or cannabis culture.(9,10)

  • Melanie Bernier, a punk activist turned musician and artist, is known for her playful and kitschy spliff packs.
  • Ricardo Cortés is the author and illustrator of a not-you-average-kids’-book called Marijuana: It’s Just a Plant.
  • Laganja Estranja, a through-and-through green queen, infuses cannabis motifs into her choreography and drag acts.
  • Bentley Meeker combines glass bongs and lighting elements to produce funky chandeliers and other illuminated art pieces. Fun fact: He’s even created the lighting for the Burning Man temple.
  • Tom Sachs is a sculptor and media artist whose work typically is a commentary on consumer behaviors. His cheeky video Bong Hit Station is up this alley.
  • Fred Tomaselli uses a variety of media to create art that portrays botanicals. His most famous piece, Super Plant, is a resin-based images of a marijuana plant.

Inspired? Intrigued? Want more? Look up the creations and stories behind the works of Alexandra Caprice, Pierre Schmidt, Vincent Gordon, and other cannaloving artists!

Cannabis & Creativity Go Together

We have an entire post, Tapping Into Your Creative Genius With CBD, that explores the link between CBD and creativity. That article goes in-depth into the whole spectrum of topics related to creativity. Definitely check it out.

So here, we’re just going to give a high-level (pun intended?) overview of cannabis and artistic inspiration.

Creativity is an activity that takes place in the frontal lobe of the brain. People who are more creative tend to have more going on in that region. And it appears that cannabis lights a fire in that area.(11)

Plus, cannabis has stimulative qualities, and stimulants can produce temporary spikes in output. Cannabis also has sedative effects, which can help you get clear headed and focus. You may need to experiment a bit to find the kind and quantity of cannabis that eases you into a creative zone or flow state.

Because of this, researchers believe that there’s a positive link between cannabis and creativity.

Cannabis & Art, A Creativity Coup

Cannabis has been a part of societies for thousands of years. It’s always featured in the arts and cultural expressions.

Today, cannabis is used both as fuel for creative genius as well as subject matter for artists. As a driver of creativity, it can help boost output, focus, and flow state. As a “muse,” cannabis is a versatile theme as well as a dynamic material to create art pieces from.

There are plenty of better- and lesser-known artistic creators who embrace cannabis. We encourage you to discover all the fruits of their talents! It’s a great way to get into the spirit of World Art Day (April 15).

And, if you’d like to explore and exploit your creative potential with cannabis — we’ve got you covered!

ELEVATE YOUR ART & CREATIVITY WITH CANNABIS

References

  1. (2020). World Art Day. UNESCO. https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/worldartday
  2. Hasse, J. (2021). Cannabiscapes: Exploring Cannabis Culture Through Flower-Based Art. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/javierhasse/2021/01/04/cannabiscapes-exploring-cannabis-culture-through-flower-based-art
  3. Bryant, J. (2022). Crypto Cannabis Club To Launch The First NFT-Powered Cannabis Brand. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelinebryant/2022/02/09/crypto-cannabis-club-to-launch-the-first-nft-powered-cannabis-brand
  4. Grimm, B. (2017). 50 Most Successful Marijuana Enthusiasts You Should Know. Rolling Stone. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-lists/50-most-successful-marijuana-enthusiasts-you-should-know-114790
  5. North, K. (2018). Cannabis and Art; nothing new. High Art. https://highartheadshop.com/blogs/high-art/another-blog-post
  6. (2016). 6 Cannabis-Fueled Comedians Who Changed the Game. The Official Website of Lenny Bruce. https://lennybruce.org/2019/03/04/6-cannabis-fueled-comedians-who-changed-the-game-leafly
  7. (2021). 10 Influential Authors Who Used Cannabis To Fuel Creative Thinking. TheBluntness. https://www.thebluntness.com/posts/authors-who-used-cannabis-to-fuel-creative-thinking
  8. Powell, B. (2018). Nine Authors Who Smoked Weed. High Times. https://hightimes.com/entertainment/authors-smoked-weed
  9. (2021). 7 Brilliant Artists Who Integrate Cannabis-Based Themes In Their Work. Benzinga. https://www.benzinga.com/markets/cannabis/21/11/23963281/7-brilliant-artists-who-integrate-cannabis-based-themes-in-their-work
  10. (2015). 8 Weed-Inspired Artists Whose Artwork Will Take You Higher. Artnet News. https://news.artnet.com/art-world/marijuana-weed-art-cannabis-artworks-338428
  11. Gotthardt, A. (2017). Does Smoking Pot Make You More Creative? Artsy. https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-smoking-pot-creative


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