Creatives, designers and drugs: what are they on, and why?

Being a daring bunch, disinfonauts aren’t scared of a bit of biohacking their brains with substances that lead them to altered states. Check out and compare your own experiences with what drugs “creatives and designers are on, and why,” via It’s Nice That:

Long before acid advocate Timothy Leary advised people to “turn on, tune in and drop out” back in 1966, people have taken that doctrine and lysergically run with it. From the French exchange students browsing Bob Marley stash tins in Camden Market to Miley Cyrus harping on about ayahuasca, people are looking to buy into that heritage of intoxication and creativity. Coleridge was laying back and writing poems on opium, Basquait was emblazoning New York with murals and his veins with heroin, Hendrix was noodling away on LSD and Warhol buzzed about his Factory frantically coursing with amphetamines. As such, it’s perhaps the creative community that has most visibly combined intoxication with their job description. Either that, or they just talk about it more than accountants, or landscape gardeners – or do so in a more public forum.

There’s a long and clichéd lineage of creative drug-users that bears no repeating. But in today’s creative world, are people still looking to higher consciousness to inform their work? Or are they too busy scrolling through Tame Impala album artwork on Instagram to bother with lysergic or opiate matters? Are young people just plain sensible now? Has the recession meant that everyone’s too terrified about not having a job to spend their school nights hoofing ketamine?

Of course people today take drugs: yes, even graphic designers. I wanted to speak to normal people working in normal creative roles about how and why they use intoxicants. Hopefully, it’ll avoid the well-formed character tropes of the strung out fine artist, the coked up advertising executive or the stoned illustrator. What I discovered was fascinating – not least how willing people were from across the disciplines willing to speak to me about their experiences with drugs and how that relates to their practice. Naturally, it turns out it’s not as simple as someone using hallucinogens making trippy patterns or someone using uppers to stay awake for days straight to meet a deadline…

[continues at It’s Nice That]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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