Art and LSD: the iconic duo

art and lsd

In a world saturated with art, psychedelics play a large role. It is no secret that many famous artists we inspired by the psychedelic experience. Psychedelics can expand your creative capacity at an unbelievable rate. According to scans of the human brain, when you ingest LSD, areas of your brain communicate that normally wouldn’t. Taking LSD in both small and large amounts can promote neuroplasticity in the brain. This means you can ‘think outside of the box’ and switch up your general perspective. Consistently creating new connections in the brain can be one of the most important tools for an artist. Most’s artists or creatives have a different approach to projects than the ‘average’ person. Constantly having a different approach can occur with less effort when using psychedelics as a tool. For a very, very long time, professional artists have been using psychedelics to boost their creativity and help push their artistic limits. 

What is LSD? How it affects us and our 5 senses

LSD, also known as Lysergic Acid Diethylamide and/or LSD25, is a drug that falls into the hallucinogenic drug category.

This drug was first synthesized by a very famous Swiss chemist/scientist Mr Albert Hoffman in the 1930s. During the Cold War, the CIA conducted multiple experiments with LSD (along with other drugs) for ‘mind control’ purposes, information gathering, etc. Eventually, as the 1960s came around, LSD joined other hallucinogenic and recreation drugs at raves and parties and rapidly became one of the most popular drugs of its time.

At this point in time, LSD became the father of ‘60s acid wave’. To this day, LSD still remains one of the most well known psychedelic drugs.

However, it is no longer only being used to get high at parties. It now holds a more significant part in neuroscience. As times goes by, we are looking into this compound and its many benefits for the human brain. 

You may be wondering, what are the effects of this widely known and deeply loved compound? The effects of LSD are beyond fascinating and hard to articulate. This hallucinogenic compound is very potent and only a small micro-amount is needed to send your mind to an alter-reality.

This psychedelic compound heightens all human senses. Not only are all the 5 senses extremely heightened, many report that LSD has the ability to confuse your brain and make you mix up the 5 human senses, creating a raw and humbling experience.

This means you may be able to taste a colour or smell the sound of a song. This can make one lose their sense of ‘self’, creating an overwhelming concept of ‘one-ness’. When all of your senses are jumbled up and you cannot tell the difference between yourself and your coffee table, it provides a completely unique sense of connecting with all things. A true feeling of connection to the universe as a whole. 

Each LSD trip is different, which is one of the most beautiful parts of these experiences. It is 100% unique to the subject and cannot be remade. 

Although it is nearly impossibly to accurately articulate the pinpoints of these effects, here is a very brief explanation of how each sense is effected on a general scale when LSD is ingested:

Sight:

One of LSD’s most well-known effects is it’s unbelievable and unique visual hallucinations. Colours become alarmingly saturated, shadows dance with grace and light bends around you like a big huge from the cosmos. Taking LSD can grant your mind great ability to create the sight of actual faces in objects. You may notice your physical surroundings breathing and/or morphing which is nothing less than beautifully captivating. If you happen to encounter your bathroom mirror whilst peeking on LSD, you may get caught up in a 3-hour staring contest with your own reflection, loosing your familiar sense of self by the minute and gaining great curiosity as to who is staring back at you by the second! Perhaps one of our greatest correlations to ‘self’ is our physical form. That being said, simply spending time looking into your own reflection’s eyes can be a magical way to pass the time when tripping.

Hearing:

LSD not only effects your sight, but it also affects your auditory ability. One of the most enjoyable pass times when taking LSD is listening to music. LSD will enhance any song you put on whilst tripping. It is always a good idea to create a playlist beforehand of happy and pretty songs to enjoy when the LSD takes its effect. Listening to your favourite songs after taking LSD can take your mind to a beautiful place. Your sense of hearing can become orgasmic. You could be listening to a song you have heard a thousand times before and it will feel like it is the first time you are listening to it. LSD may affect your sense of hearing in the aspect that it may add extra auditory effects and feel like the sound waves coming from your speaker have been altered in a beautiful and new way.

Touch:

All I am going to say is… When you are tripping, take the biggest and fuzziest blanket you have and wrap yourself in it. You can thank me later! If you don’t have a huge fuzzy blanket, try petting a soft pet, rolling around in some grass or playing with some water. There really isn’t any way to put this pure magic into words. Your sense of touch when tripping can be one of the most fun ones to experiment with. 

 

 Smell:

I don’t know about you, but my sense of smell is one of my favourites. If you are tripping on LSD in a home and you encounter a candle or stick of incense, don’t be surprised if you spend an hour sniffing it with great passion! A very common occurrence when taking LSD is experiencing the ability to smell sound and colour. There isn’t a way to properly articulate this experience as this seems like an in-comprehensive ability to gain. It is one of those things that you must experience for yourself to understand it’s magnificence. 

Taste:

Although eating food when tripping seems like the most impossible task, you may find your sense of taste skyrockets. When you catch yourself looking at your own hands with great wonder and curiosity, putting together a sandwich, biting into it and swallowing can seem like a mission impossible. If you want to see how LSD affects your sense of taste, I recommend trying to drink a tall glass of cold water. I promise you, it will taste like the best cup of water you have ever had in your entire life. Drinking water on LSD is equivalent to drinking a cup of God’s very own holy urine. 

Needless to say, LSD provides consciousness-expanding and life-changing experiences, making it many individuals favourite drug for obvious reasons. Of course, LSD is not for everyone and it is essential to make sure if you do take it, you ensure it is around people that love and care for you in a comfortable environment. The psychedelic experience is a vulnerable one and is to be taken very seriously. 

 

What is ‘art’?

There is absolutely no way to answer the commonly asked question ‘what is art?’.

However, the official definition of art is ‘‘The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpturing, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.’’

When we think of ‘art’ what comes to mind? Often colours, history, music, paintings, etc. When we think art, traditional ideas of art often come to mind. Yet, art can be seen in all aspects of life. When you think of art on a deeper level, it is much more profound than seen on the surface. The varying concepts of ‘art’ is deeper than any black hole in the universe.

There is no right or wrong answer as to what art is. Perhaps, what it is doesn’t even matter. Maybe what matters is our personal relationship with art and how we allow it to impact us as individuals.

One of the things I find most beautiful about art is how personal it is. Let us not forget that art exists in many things. From painting to movement, to architecture, to cooking, to photography, to writing, to breathing. The list only goes on and on. Art is infinite. Art is vulnerable. Art is profound. Art is pure expression and invested emotion.

using lsd for art

There are many general misconceptions about art. As times goes on and we study art more carefully and approach art from different angles, it is becoming more of an intangible thing than a tangible thing.

Art tells a story. Some of the most impactful art has no public meaning behind it, leaving it’s meaning up to the observer. This is when it becomes very personal. This is most commonly seen with a painting with no public story behind it or a song with no explanation. 

‘True’ art is boundless and unapologetically free. Many individuals will explain art as ‘complete freedom of expression’. How beautiful is it to live in a body that has a brain like ours that allows us such outlets of intense expression.

Not only does the human experience allow us to grasp the concept of expression, but also release it via various outlets we call art. Many artists will say true art lies in the process rather than the result. The process of creating art is where all the emotion flows, creating an artistic space outside of time. To be an artist doesn’t mean you make/sell art to make a living. Being an artist doesn’t mean it has to be what you do for a living. It simply means that you create/experience art, whether you show the world or keep it to yourself. 

Realistically, I could sit here for hours and hours and write on about the paradox that is art. In reality, anything can be made into art if you wish. You can even turn the act of making coffee in the morning into art.

When you look at art as the creative process and not the creative result, art becomes a very reachable entity. In this world, there is no such thing as an over-saturation of art. Art is about expression. Or, maybe it is not? Who am I to say what it is and what it isn’t? That is the beautiful and remarkable thing about art. It is all up to you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The effects last for 24hrs with it leaving your system within 48hrs. This is due to it’s fast metabolisation.

LSD is most commonly taken sublingualy (under the tongue) on blotters (small pieces of absorbant paper) or via liquid droppers.

LSD or Lysergic acid diethylamide is a hallucinogenic drug. It is semi-synthetic, being derived from a type of fungus known as Ergot.

The magical mixture of art and LSD: the birth of psychedelic art

To start, let us explore a few of the similarities art and the psychedelic experience share. One major thing both art and LSD share is consistent complexity.

You can try and explain how both LSD and art make you feel, but everyone knows that in that case, words are very limiting and can seem useless.

The LSD experience can be explained as ‘everything and nothing all at once’. The same goes for art. Great vulnerability can be found in both of these things.

Experiencing LSD can put you in the most vulnerable state of you could imagine. Artists will tell you the same thing. Although my above explanation of LSD and its effects seemed like all sunshine and rainbows.

Art can also be portrayed like this. However, both can be very dark as well. Such intense things have room for both light and darkness. I am sure you have heard of the term ‘tortured masterpiece’.

This concept is often referred to in music. When a musician goes through a low period of their life is when some of their best work is birthed. As sad as it may be, the best art comes from the deepest lows. However, the outcome is ghostly.

When talking about the LSD experience, sometimes the worst trips can bring the greatest lessons. Ego death is a great example. Ego death is a hot topic in the psychedelic community. It is a ‘complete loss of subjective self-identity’.

This process can be absolutely terrifying. A simple way to explain it is the experience of your self-identity dying and being reborn; a rebirth of the ego occurs. When talking about both art and LSD, sometimes the most beautiful results are the source of deep pain. 

Let’s discuss the relationship between LSD and art and how they work as a unique team to create psychedelic art.

It may be clear to many how these two magical wonders work well alongside each other. To others, not so much. 

 

Psychedelic art is an entire ‘art category’

When talking about painting psychedelic art, many layers, shapes and, colours come to life. By itself, art can provide a ‘think outside the box’ perspective. When using psychedelics as a tool, this can be greatly amplified. To keep it simple we will focus on psychedelic art such as music and paintings. Some of the greatest art is considered psychedelic art. Some popular psychedelic artists include: 

 

Psychedelic art is often projected from an alternative state of consciousness. As you may have already guessed, psychedelic art is often best enjoyed during the psychedelic experience.

Many psychedelic artists will claim psychedelics hold great credit to their art.

Psychedelics- a great tool for many things such as meditation, therapy and art. LSD can take your imagination to places you would not be able to visit without the usage of this psychedelic. LSD does to your imagination what Mentos does to a bottle of Coca Cola.

When ingesting substances that amplified your imagination in a way such as LSD does, the inspiration that radiates is unmatched. LSD can keep you in touch with the beauty in normality and life in general, which helps when creating art.

This really does makes psychedelics and art the ultimate combination. The same role imagination plays in art, psychedelics play as well. Psychedelics hold space for artists to reach limits they once thought unimaginable.

Psychedelics can be the ultimate source of inspiration for artists where ideas and new artistic concepts can be found. 

If you are an artist, psychedelics could open a portal to a world of art inside of you that you didn’t even know existed. If you are not interested in using psychedelics as a tool to further yourself as an artist, try checking out other psychedelic art and artists and study their approach for some insight.

Psychedelic art pushes the boundaries of art in all aspects. It thrashes norms and creates space for unearthly emotions. LSD and art both push the fold of reality in their own way. When put together to create, the results are mystical.

Both of these things have a lot in common, which helps it make sense to us why they work so well together. A major objective in art is the attempt to free the artistic process of rational restrictions. When artists consume psychedelics it helps to expand their artistic freedom and create inside of a space and time outside the concrete walls of our minds.

When we expand our minds, we expand ourselves. When we expand ourselves, we expand our art – and what could be more supernatural than that? The importance of art and LSD hold for humans is in-explainable. 

I highly encourage you to look into psychedelic art of all forms and support psychedelic artists all over the world. Art is sacred. Psychedelics are sacred. Psychedelic art is sacred. On that note, I will leave you with a famous quote by Thomas Merton on art that I believe apply to psychedelics and psychedelic art. 

‘‘Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.’’ – Thomas Merton.

DISCLAIMER: 

* The objective of this article is specifically for speculation and discussion on the comparisons between art and LSD. I do not condone or encourage the consumption of any illegal substances. Please take this information as personal opinions and not as facts. Thank you.*

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