Cannabis Art for the Modern World
When you hear the words cannabis and art in the same sentence, what comes to mind? If you’re like most people, your mind defaults to typical “stoner art”. Images based on the plant itself, its use and on scantily clad women abound. Edgy, cool, in-your-face depictions reflect the foundation and culture that sustained the market for decades. This art style will always have a stronghold and a place in people’s hearts. However, as the industry expands, partakers come out of the shadows and new users step up, the images that reflect the movement are adapting, too.
When Doug Mau founded High Art Studios, that was exactly his goal – to create high quality pieces that art lovers, in general, would be proud to display in their offices or homes. Coming from the music industry, Mau aimed to create a collective of artists reminiscent of a 1970’s record company, where artists have the freedom to create quality work without a focus on bottom line profits. Mission accomplished. High Art Studios is a collective of artists who create artistic interpretations of the 420 experience. The images they develop are reminiscent of old travel, circus, magic, fruit crate, rock and pop art styles.
All About the Experience
With years of experience developing, designing and manufacturing merchandising items for touring acts like Missy Elliott, Phish, Toby Keith, Snoop Dog and many more, Mau is a master at communicating experience through imagery. Whether a given piece reflects a certain strain, product, grower, etc., it uniquely conveys the feeling associated with it. Casting your eyes upon one of their prints is like standing in an art museum gazing at a painting and becoming immersed in it. “My goal with High Art Studios is to convey the story of the experience,” he explains. “And the way we do it is subtle and inviting. We want to appeal to all walks of life. The fact that our first customers were a couple in their 80s, art enthusiasts, let me know we were on the right track!”
Artist Alan Karalian created this owl gliding through the wintery nighttime sky. The image represents the overwhelming peacefulness of the Northern Lights strain experience.
Since their inception in 2013, they’ve developed over 200 images. Twelve of those images were used on the walls of “Ruth’s Alternative Caring,” the fictional dispensary in the Netflix comedy “Disjointed”, starring Kathy Bates, that aired from August 2017 until January 2018. Mau and his team of artists look forward to more placement and branding opportunities as their reach expands.
Doug Mau says this Tangie piece is exactly how he imagined it. Artist Michael Green did an unbelievable job of bringing it to life. It represents a celebration of the joy of the the first time we get high. “The story goes that this dude was out in the desert with his buddies smoking Kush for the first time,” he says. “He was having such fun, he hopped on his magic carpet and went for a joyous ride.” The look on his face says it all.
The goal for Girlscout Cookie was to create an image that embodied the magical allure of the cannabis experience. “When the Girl Scout Cookie strain first came out it was like OG Kush or Acapulco Gold, in that they all have this magical allure” explains Mau. “The allure of finding this rare and beautiful creature, the allure of the experience…it’s all wrapped up in this one image. Michael Green did an unbelievable job bring our Magician Girl Scout Cookie to life.”
Bob Dob is an accomplished artist and former punk band member who Mau ran across in Los Angeles. “He has an amazing style and this image of the Pineapple Head is just pure joy. If you look closely at the plane, you’ll notice that he is the one who is High. I never get tired of looking at this Pineapple Express piece,” Doug says.
Look for High Art Studios at cannabis expos and other events. If you’re headed to MJ Biz Con in December, Doug Mau and his team look forward to seeing you there.