Cannabis Interview: Mohan, Cannabis Art Like You’ve Never Seen
We recently had the opportunity to catch up with a really awesome artist, producing cannabis art out of La Jolla, California. He goes by Mohan, and his story is sure to spark your interest. Check out what Mohan had to say in our interview and see some of his fantastic cannabis art below.
CM: Your artwork is quite unique. Where do you get the inspiration for your pieces?
Mohan: My inspiration comes from nature. When I walk my dachshund, Dizzy, along the coast, there are flowers and plants of various colors. The sun shining on the ocean, reflecting on the waves gives off some of the best hues. I saw a beautiful plant called “Bird of Paradise” and I loved the colors. So, I wove two paintings together into one and called it “Bird in Paradise.”
CM: Have you always incorporated cannabis into your art? When did you decide to do that, and why?
Mohan: In January 2018, I started incorporating cannabis into my art. The end of 2017 brought some challenges to my life and I was in a bad place financially. The bills were piling up and I did not know where to turn. Alas, right after New Years, I received a windfall and paid off my debts.
Then I called my manager, Steve Medoff, who has been with me for 9 years. I wanted to try something new. Steve suggested that I start painting marijuana leaves. I am a cannabis consumer and jumped right on the idea. The first few were giving me problems, as I was trying to get the leaves on each painting to line up evenly so that I could weave them together. Now it comes a lot easier, as most things do with practice.
CM: How old were you when you first began creating art pieces? Please tell us a little about your upbringing and younger life.
Mohan: Well, I am 74 years old and started practicing my craft around 20 years ago. I consider myself a craftsman rather than an artist. I don’t create anything because everything is already created.
I was born and raised in Bangalore, a city in Southern India. I was the youngest of 4 children and we had a happy childhood. We made our own toys and I learned how to paint at a young age.
After high school I moved to London, living a carefree life doing odd jobs to support myself. Eventually I landed in Austria and worked with my cousin in the textile industry. We designed scarves and garments and I learned about fabrics and colors.
CM: You create pieces in several mediums (paintings, weaving, metal, wood, etc.). What is your favorite medium to work in?
Mohan: Weaving involves me coloring two canvases of equal size. Then I cut them into random strips.
Next, I turn them upside down, line up the leaves on top of each other, and weave the two paintings into one. I do this on hemp canvas and love the texture.
For the last few months, I had been grinding images on aluminum sheets with a Dremel tool. The light patterns vary according to the heads that I use and angles that I hold them at. I am now doing a lot of work with mixed media; wood, acrylic, and aluminum.
When I am hungry, I crave a certain type food such as Indian, Chinese, Mexican or whatever. When I am working on my craft, all media satisfies me, as I am sending the same message through whichever one I am working on.
CM: How often do you consume cannabis and what method do you use.
Mohan: I smoke cannabis throughout the day every day. I have not used alcohol in 3 years, and I credit cannabis. Mostly I use a small water pipe. I try to stay on an even keel.
CM: What advice do you have for young artists just starting out?
Mohan: My advice to young artists is to be yourself, believe in what you are doing. Satisfy yourself rather than trying to impress others. Never have time to be in a hurry.
CM: How can one see and purchase your work?
Mohan: My studio is in La Jolla, California. For visits or sales inquiries contact my manager, Steve Medoff firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also hoping to do an exhibition in Los Angeles in 2020 and are looking at potential sponsors from the cannabis industry.
You can also find Mohan on Instagram: @mohanartlajolla
Photo Credits: JDixx Photography