REPRESENTATION MATTERS “I AM HER AND SHE IS ME AND THAT IS OKAY”: Reflection and Recognition this Pride Month

For many of us trying to define ourselves in a primarily binary world is uncomfortable, and in the end, impossible. Seeing ourselves in these polarized “male” or “female” versions of the societal “norms” is like attempting to fit a puzzle piece from one puzzle into another. It just won’t fit, no matter how badly someone else might hope that it will, no matter how angry someone gets because of it, it simply does not fit. I understood this at a young age but was unsure of how to articulate it, and in all honesty afraid of vocalizing it at all for fear of what my homophobic father and people at school would say or do. I clearly remember the first time I saw the movie that changed my perception of myself forever though, Set It Off.

I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada. A city that is most widely known for The Strip and its tourist attractions. The Vegas I knew was a bit more volatile. It’s flashing lights consisted of the red white and blues of the local police harassing the people in my neighborhoods, so when I came across a movie with four leading woman of color, from neighborhoods similar to my own, with a character that I could relate to on so many levels, I was struck. Queen Latifah plays Cleo, a strong, proud, take no shit, lesbian. Finally, there was someone on screen who I felt mirrored my anger and shared my preferences. I was her and she was me and that was okay. 

Representation matters and although comfort with myself and understanding the spectrum of gender and sexuality didn’t come for a long time after, this was a turning point in the acceptance of my strength and my power. There was absolutely nothing wrong with me.

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Ayahuasca in My Art and Philosophy

My first ayahuasca sessions were in January 2001 in Brazil, and I immediately fell in love with this mind- and heart-opening sacrament. My very first journey was so positive I described it as God sitting on my eyeballs. I met a being made of flowing, iridescent jewels who came close to my face so I could remember. The Ayahuasca Visitation was a drawing based on that first trip. My second session was a series of dark and scary visions, including an autopsy on myself and a game of hide-and-seek with God. As I lay among the dead bodies at Auschwitz, God asked, “Can you see me now?” The relentless intelligence of the unconscious processes unleashed during the journey made me surrender to the weirdness and wisdom of the jungle medicine. Over the past 15 years, I returned many times to the retreat center and deepened my relationship with the inner cosmos unlocked by Aya.

Visionary art influenced by DMT often displays ornate pattern languages of dotting and radiating flow forms. I noticed this when drawing some of the angels and fucking dragons I was seeing. One of my favorite times on ayahuasca was while painting Seraphic Transport Docking on the Third Eye. I was able to work without my hands shaking, as sometimes happens with other psychedelics. I could close my eyes and check on the colors and luminosity.

The greatest inspiration I’ve had so far on ayahuasca were visions of the Net of Being. In 2003, deep in the jungles of Brazil on an ayahuasca journey, I entered a great net of being, a fiery, jewel-like web of Godselves weaving an endless anthropocosmic tapestry. It was a realm of universal beings with an omnidirectional topology of interconnected heads and hearts, fusing boundless wisdom and love. A luminous ball inside the basketlike head of each four-faced God was the heartglow shining an eerie under-light for the level of Godheads rising above and beyond sight. The flaming lattice of eyes and galaxies revealed a new order of the x-y-z axis, an endless soul-field of infinite consciousness.

Read more at High Times

ADVOCATING THROUGH ARTWORK: Cannabis, Canvas, Cactus and Cartoons

Arizona artist Frank, known as LIVED1904 (LIVED), is based in the heart of Downtown Phoenix, one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. Working with an array of mediums, LIVED creates some truly amazing works of art that range from playful to political, but always rings true to his signature style. After swinging through my local glass shop, Bud’s Glass Joint, I spotted his work on the walls and knew I needed to meet the artist. I was stoked to learn that LIVED was more than happy to sit down over a session to discuss his work.

After spending years crafting his skills as an artist, LIVED developed his signature abstract cactus paintings, for which he is most recognized. Years later he is still painting beautiful visions of the southwest, but has also branched out and begun to explore other areas of inspiration… namely, cannabis. LIVED has used cannabis for years as a means of relaxing his mind and opening the visionary channels to allow the creative process to flow through him without any obstacles. “I wanted to paint some fun things for a new audience,” shared LIVED. The result is an amazing series of work that I couldn’t wait to see more of.

Frank PicazoIt can be difficult to pinpoint where an artist’s inspiration comes from some times, but looking around his studio it became blatantly clear that LIVED was not only a fan a cannabis, but also a fan of cartoons, a lot of cartoons! The most impactful of which were, “The Simpsons” he noted. After years of collecting Simpsons memorabilia, LIVED found himself surrounded by inspiration, which quickly found its way into his artistic style structured in bold colors and thick black outlines. LIVED also draws much of his style from his years of experience writing graffiti in San Diego in the ‘90s.

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Denver’s Puff, Pass, Paint Goes on the Road

An evening of painting where the cannabis is BYOB drops down in cities across the country.

Art and cannabis go hand-in-hand. Mankind has turned to this wonder plant to help boost creativity for centuries and it’s been linked to some of history’s biggest and most beloved musicians, filmmakers, visual artists and other creatives from many different eras. So, it makes sense that an event that combines making art and smoking cannabis would be such a hit.

Artist Heidi Keyes is the woman behind Denver-based company Puff, Pass & Paint. She opened her business at the beginning of 2014 after a light-hearted comment from one of her friends who suggested that she start her own operation similar to Canvas and Cocktails events.

Read more at Cannabis Now

Ganja Goddess Getaway: PRESS RELEASE

The Ganja Goddess Getaway announces “Why I Love Weed!”

Women in Music and Arts Contest with $1000 Prize Pool!!

January 12, 2017 – Northern California –  The Ganja Goddess Getaway is all about women who love Cannabis. In the interest of fully supporting each other, we are offering women Musicians, DJ’s, Film Makers, and Comedians the opportunity to headline one of the next two GGG events, one on March 18, 2017 in Pescadero, CA and one on April 8, 2017 in Joshua Tree, CA. Contestants must enter by video submission, and will be awarded a cash prize for their set. Artists will receive $10 per minute upon completion of their live performance, or premiere of their film.

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Muralist, Jeff “Weirdo” Jacobson

Muralist, Jeff “Weirdo” Jacobson

On art, cannabis and the multi-dimensional life

If you’ve been to Seattle, you’ve probably seen his work—the psychedelic sea life mural at Second and Yesler; Ken Griffey Junior swinging a palm tree on the side of Neumos; a photo-realistic cat in a digital world, barreling down the road on a delivery truck. Jeff “Weirdo” Jacobson’s massive-scale, surrealist murals augment the landscape with his “Post Internet” vision of beauty, illusion and the nature of reality.

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HollyWeed – Interview with Zachary Cole Fernandez

Strolling just after midnight under the famous Hollywood sign as rain trickled across his face, Zachary Fernandez had no idea the attention he was about to garner. This was not the first time the famous sign had been altered, but this was no prank, this was intentional artistic outreach with a message.

On the morning of January 1, 2017, the city of Los Angeles awoke to what immediately topped national New Year’s airwaves. The “HOLLYWOOD” sign now read “HOLLYWeeD” just after California voted to legalize cannabis recreationally. Seemingly most people got caught up in the wrong part of the conversation, but he didn’t miss the mark, his intention was to inspire discussion. After a year or so fraught with divisions and a lack of intelligent conversations, Fernandez wanted to push people back into a space where intelligent conversations and relevant discussions were the norm. He wanted to bring people together.

As a SoCal native himself, cannabis is nothing new to Fernandez. In fact, Zach has had his hand in almost every corner of the cannabis market, from legal medical production to a medicinal delivery service, but his drive as a father and as an artist is to open minds and inspire ideas. Though he’s being prosecuted for trespassing, something he openly accepts, his efforts to preserve the landmark were admirable. Funny enough, the first thing Zach mentions about the venture under the sign wasn’t the impending sense of getting caught or excitement to create such a large demonstration, it was a feeling of sadness upon recognizing the insane amount of garbage that had been carelessly piled under a national landmark. “I wanted to make sure I didn’t contribute” to this destruction says Fernandez, “I’m a true preservationist,” that’s why he only used clamps and banners.

Read more at Dope Magazine