Cannabiscapes & the Art of Dankness
Artists crafts portraits and scenes out of marijuana.
Cannabis has caught on in every aspect of mainstream culture and, as an art medium, Cannabiscapes has taken smokable designs to a whole new level that’s quickly gaining popularity.
Cannabiscapes crafts images out of weed itself, using stems, ground nugs and concentrates to create art. Over the past couple of years, Cannabiscapes has evolved from fun small mixed-media landscape pieces to larger-scale portraits that look awesome. Founder Ty Forto recently gave Cannabis Now an exclusive rundown on the history of the chance project.
“Really what it was, was a couple a years ago I was smoking a joint and it went out on me. There was a piece of paper on my desk with a couple nugs on it from when I rolled the jay and I just sat the joint down,”
Forto told Cannabis Now. “I came back to it a few minutes later and looked at it and thought ‘That kind of looks like a winter ski scene.”
There were trees, snow and even a little jump. Forto decided to draw skier into the scene. He laughed to himself and snapped a photo to show his girlfriend. She was equally entertained by the cannabis-infused alpine scene. Then he decided to go for it again on purpose. His first attempt was a fishing scene.
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“I guess the first generation was primarily using the nugs as trees and then drawing characters to give it a little more of a story,” Forto said.
We asked Forto if the promising early drafts made him want to share his work with the masses.
“Something like that,” Forto replied. “I wanted to see what else I could do with it. Once I made the little guy sitting at the top I was like, OK now I’m looking at cannabis in a different way. Now I’m looking at this little nug as a tree. I’m looking at a whole other miniature world of nugs that are replacing everyday objects.”
Forto just wanted to see how he could incorporate all kinds of things into new image ideas. After doodling a bit more he reached out to companies to see if they wanted to do any product placement so he could try and get his hands on cool stuff.
“I’d see people with interesting things in the cannabis industry,” Forto said.” I’d reach out let them know what I was doing and see if they wanted to barter and a lot of them took to it.”
Phase two was when Forto started doing more portraits. He was inspired by a Wiz Khalifa portrait he saw and wanted to take a stab at doing some celebrities. His first go was a Snoop Dogg piece.
“It got a good reaction so I decided to see what else I could do with faces,” Forto said. “I started incorporating stems and trying to catch more detail in the face. It’s always just kind of grown by what else can I do with it.”
His most recent portrait of popular rapper E-40 shows how the technique has developed since he started creating them early in 2017.
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When asked about his favorite strains to create art Forto said he doesn’t have specific preferences.
“I wish I knew. I’m in prohibitionland,” Forto said. “So everything I get, even if I’m told it’s a particular strain I still don’t trust it.”
So is this black market art?
“Yeah, which is a major bummer because I really appreciate everything the cannabis plant brings to the table,” Forto said. “To know what plant I was using, who the cultivators are, that would make the pictures a lot more personal. At least now there are some cultivators and I can get my hands on some good bud to make a picture with it.”
Forto said he wishes he was in a situation where he could make people’s logos with their product.
“But, you know, prohibition.”
TELL US, has cannabis ever inspired you to create art?