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With much speculation about whether or not consumption of cannabis leads to better access to creativity, one question begging to be answered is if musicians can create better music while using it to influence the creative process in general. There are many articles present on the internet on both sides of the issue including artists who feel they did better without it, and artists who feel like they would not have been able to bring their songs to fruition without a little help. Louis Armstrong is noted as one of the first musicians to make his cannabis use public stating, “…it’s an assistant – a friend.” Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys who wrote Pet Sounds also spoke of its use to help him write the music on that album.
THC causes the body to release dopamine. This neurotransmitter can cause reduced inhibition to occur within individuals and remove roadblocks to the thought process. In 2010 at the University of London, researchers discovered that cannabis can help with drawing connections between unrelated concepts. This is called divergent thought, and is what makes a person creative. In addition, University of Temple found that frequency of use and creativity were correlated directly. Many studies exist on this subject matter, and the results often conflict with one another. Regardless of whether or not cannabis can help facilitate better creativity, it is clear that to become the best musician possible, dedication and perseverance while practicing for many years are solidly a part of the road to success.
I think what we may have here is a which came first, the chicken or the egg type of situation. Was the musician creative a great deal already before utilizing an aid like cannabis to help facilitate access to his or her own creativity, or does one or more compound found in the plant provide the development of neural pathways opening up allowing creative strengths to develop more fully (rather than Dopamine levels alone)? It is a question we may not have sufficient data to answer completely for a long time, at least for the unforeseeable future.
Here are artists who their inspired by the use of the magical ganja:
Rachel Tyler (Unlucky Illustration) is a 26-year-old illustration artist based in Arkansas. Working as a substance abuse counselor, and with previous experience in the cannabis industry, Rachel’s time in both fields have greatly impacted her art and how she views cannabis.
Having done strain artwork for dispensaries in her area, cannabis has allowed for Rachel to expand her professional portfolio while also developing a strong knowledge base for cannabis products. Fueled by Purple Punch and Cookies and Chem, she feels hybrid/indica strains best allow for her to dive into her creative groove.
The words that might best describe Rachel’s artwork are vibrant, bold, and expressive. Rachel feels that cannabis allows for her to express herself more freely through her artwork, and that it is a tool that helps her push through whatever stress life may be throwing at her on any given day. Working within substance abuse, Rachel has also taken her cannabis knowledge to the people, advocating for the medical benefits of marijuana and continuing to be a voice for cannabis today.
“The best advice I can give to someone trying to become more involved in the cannabis community is to be loud. Don’t be shy about your passion, talk openly about it. Find ways to get yourself in the conversation, and soak up all of the knowledge that you can from old heads.”
You can find her on Instagram at @unluckyillustration to see more of her work.
Jurassic grows Marijuana in Oregon so that he can have an easy and quick access when he paints and listens to Grateful Dead Music.
"I love The Grateful Dead" Jurassic Blueberries said. "I love to paint, I love painting stoned while listening to The Grateful Dead (Grateful Dead music, marijuana and art are like chocolate and peanut butter), I started painting with water colors colorful tape case covers for my Grateful Dead cassette tapes over 35 years ago."
"Millions and millions of impressions and views from all over the world." Jurassic continues. "I use paint impressions of real cannabis leaves in my art, the image of a cannabis leaf is recognized globally regardless of language or country.
"The internet has called me an "Herbal Muse." For me, every strain of marijuana rubs me a little different, I like to take that high inspiration and take it someplace weird whether it's strange, spooky or beautiful. "
Jurassic's favorite strains are Super Sour Diesel, Blueberry cookies, Hawaiian Sativa.
Formerly a professional skier and athlete. Glenn resorted to using cannabis for pain relief after career ending injuries. Studied photography and multimedia graphic design until his photojournalism career took off. Glenn ended up taking photos at concerts and events for a number of years. During his first festival he discovered live painting which he's recently pursuing as a way to connect with local members of the community.
Glenn started painting in 2015. By the end of 2016, he started painting full time and hasn't stopped since then. He's now the artistic sponsor at Arise Music Festival for The Star-Water Collective.
As of Glenn's role in the marijuana community; "My voice is heard by many people as they encounter my weird artist self painting at a concert in a dark corner or patiently smoking weed on the back deck with others while the next layer of my process dries. It is important to share your creativity and weed with everyone."
"Cannabis and creativity come hand and hand in my artwork." Glenn said. "My main influences Alex Grey and Allyson Grey once gave a speech about Seshat the Egyptian goddess pictured in hieroglyphics with a seven point leaf above her head at all times. She was the creator of scripture and arabic writing which gave meaning to all things! We all have this same power inside of us and marijuana helps to convey these messages through creativity and sharing that with others."
Glenn continued elaborating about how Cannabis assisted him personally and professionally; "Marijuana has helped me connect with thousands and thousands of people on a personal and professional level throughout my years as an artist. I have gained so much inspiration from smoking cannabis every single day of my life.. If you set your mind to it you can do anything you want and create your own reality.
"I believe in self sustainability and legalizing cannabis to help alleviate the pain of our every day misery from the current pollution and destruction of our planet!!! We can save the earth."
To be continued