Written by Maurice Cardinal …
Society has dissected and philosophized the correlation between cannabis and art for longer than forever. Song writers, poets, novelists, scientists, and psychologists all find bud fascinating. Cannabis, marijuana, pot, weed, and the countless derivatives in our modern age don’t begin to describe the meditative and spiritual connection it imbues into our collective artistic souls.
If … somehow tomorrow, alcohol disappeared and was replaced with weed, overnight the world would be a more peaceful and happier place. Less fear and more caring. Less war and more peace. Less carnage and more beauty. Less hate and more love.
Creativity comes from many places. Cannabis is just one path to the grail of divergent and lateral creative thinking. Many artists also use meditation, prayer, discipline, psychedelics, alcohol, and a myriad of rituals and concoctions.
Cannabis is a staple though, a catalyst for creativity, and also a muse.
All paths of creativity, flow from and to our unconscious minds.
The question is;
Does cannabis make us more creative?
It’s debatable, and for good reason–it’s hard to gauge …
Cannabis does however, open us up to being more creative, which is creative unto itself.
Picture your mind as if it were an iceberg in the ocean. The smaller top portion that floats above the water is your conscious mind. The much larger portion floating below the waterline is your unconscious mind. Draw a circle around the iceberg from top to bottom.
It is this sphere, a combination of your two minds, that encapsulates and reflects your personality to make you who you are.
Our unconscious, the core of creativity, is a complex and mysterious cerebral space that our conscious mind never observes unless through mental trickery or emotional lubricants … one being cannabis. Meditation and Lucid Dreaming also allows us brief glimpses into our unconscious.
Ai, artificial intelligence, interferes in the organic creative process because it presents objects the artist chooses. You don’t like it, run it again with a new word. “Curating” becomes the primary creative process, not artistic creation.
Creating art traditionally between your two minds, forces an artist to be more than normally cognizant of thoughts floating in their minds, and to choose which elements to incorporate. The artists chooses and creates each element of the visual outcome until they stumble upon something they like.
Based on common values in society, in order to be a relatively happy person, it’s important that you balance how your two minds relate to each other to form your personality and essentially control your life. Even though your unconscious mind is the much more powerful of the two, it’s a dark and frightening place without filters. If you’re even capable, going there purposely or even haphazardly and too often or deep could cause mental instability. Depending on severity, it could cause unbearable emotional pain, maybe even death for those with an underlying psychological condition.
Artistic creativity emanates from our hidden unconscious. Not many artists are skillful enough though, to show us glimpses of dreams, or nightmares that might even be foreign to the artist, until it’s expressed through art.
We want to explore more deeply what occurs in artists’ minds when they move in and out of their conscious and unconscious as they create. Most of the time, deep creative dives are fleeting, maybe only milliseconds before your unconscious gatekeeper drives you out. Sometimes though, artists stay for very long and dangerous periods, often predicated by heavy alcohol and/or drug use, or maybe even caused by more-than-usual emotional instability reflective of new or old trauma.
Discriminating art collectors are rarely interested in the easily seen and mundane.
In part, they want to experience what the artist sometimes struggles painfully to see–either the depth of immense beauty so pure it can’t be imagined by a conscious mind, or darkness so deep that it turns an artist’s mind inside out.
If your art doesn’t have a story extracted from hidden places, it also probably doesn’t have the weight necessary to hold a viewer’s attention long enough for them to experience what the artist felt.
We want to know how and where an artist goes to find the esoteric presence that will hold a viewer for more than a glance, and also what causes art to instantaneously burn into our personal and collective memory.
Fine and commercial art elicit different emotions and depth of recall.
The difference between commercial advertising and fine art is that an ad has to be seen repeatedly, over and over before it is even perceived as an object.
FINE ART on the other hand, burns into your unconscious at light speed.
Advertising is intrusive and hard to remember.
Art is instantaneous, welcomed, and forever.
Each artist taps into and leverages creative unconscious differently.
BTW, I created the illustration on Black Mamba Indica.