In a world where crypto currency, NFTs, virtual reality and artificial intelligence are everyday topics, digital art has also seen a rapid increase in popularity. In the case of Colombia-based Julian Majin, he uses the medium to create futuristic fantasy worlds where cannabis and pop culture collide. Featuring pop icons such as The Beatles and zeitgeist iconography such as the Mona Lisa, Majin assembles engaging scenes that stimulate the mind.
Majin studied graphic design at the University of Cauca in Colombia and quickly realized how easily he maneuvered and manipulated a variety of digital editing tools. Upon completing his studies, he found work with a creative agency where he continued to refine and develop his practice.
Between his work with the agency and his overall interest in digital art, Majin began to follow similar artists on Instagram. He says he’d “saturate himself in visual art” and recalls one evening after a long day’s work when he sat down at his computer and attempted to create work inspired by some of these artists. His career began as a hobby, as a way to relax and let his creativity flow in ways that he couldn’t in his unfulfilling day job.
Majin then says he noticed that other artists had successfully integrated cannabis into their art, and as a long-time pot smoker himself, he found it only natural to integrate the plant with his work too. “I honestly never thought about incorporating cannabis into my art,” Majin says. He found near-instant success, and his very first cannabis-related piece was shared by American national magazines, which he says led to a stream of consistent work. It was then he knew he had found his niche: Julian Majin was an artist.
Despite the reputation Colombia may have for its affiliation with cocaine, Majin says he’s grateful to live in a country that accepts (and loves) cannabis as much as he does. While there’s still no adult-use cannabis market to speak of in his country, CBD products are produced and marketed as health and wellness products.
“It’s been very helpful in exposing everything Colombia is, not just this stigmatized part of it associated with cartels,” he says. “It shows that there are alternatives and the correct way to utilize this plant.”
Majin says he remains hopeful that with Colombia’s newly elected leader, Gustavo Petro, a former rebel and that nation’s first leftist president, the cannabis industry can finally live up to its potential in his native country.
Majin was able to collaborate with local CBD brand Greenlab to create a series of 5,555 NFTs featuring a variety of unique astronauts in futuristic settings. Each piece incorporates cannabis differently.
“The narrative was that the astronauts would travel to other planets to cultivate cannabis in order to expand the plant’s reach and benefits,” he says of his playful, visual series.
Those who purchased these NFTs were assigned their very own plants in Greenlab’s cultivation. Majin says his customers had the chance to watch the plant grow and mature and even received products made with said plant. Compared to traditional art sales, Majin finds that NFTs are simply more exciting.
A clearly grateful Majin says he’s excited for the future. Having created so much of his work on an aging computer, his main focus is upgrading his tools to expand his portfolio to include animations, and maybe even video tutorials. Ultimately, Majin is happy to have found success doing something he loves and he, rather surprisingly, thanks the algorithm for turning something that started as a hobby into a full-blown career.
“Maybe it’s luck, too” he says, reflecting on his journey thus far. “But, you know, I’m extremely happy and grateful to be able to be doing this type of work.”
Majin is planning to launch a second series of NFTs soon. But until then, we’ll just have to keep our eyes peeled to see what world Julian Majin transports us to next. One thing’s certain: It’ll be worth the wait.
This story was originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.