Julian Bustos is a low key artist that resides deep in Patagonia.
When our team came across his work, we were instantly captivated by the unique emotion depicted on each canvas. Julian isn’t your typical painter, artist or online creative, but a guru of digitally remastering art-book drawings, using both traditional and contemporary techniques. He’s a family man that lives a conservative life as an artist of the new age and one with a story and inspiration that you’re going to love.
Here’s a little about Julian Bustos and his journey as a cannabis inspired artist gaining traction for his unique creativity around the world. Before we get started head over to @julian.bustos.art on Instagram to check out his creations.
“Art is a powerful tool for transmitting messages, and I think that fighting to give this sacred plant the place it deserves is something worthwhile”
Thanks for chatting with us Julian!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, history and how you started getting involved making digital art?
Thank you. The truth is that I have spent my whole life dedicating myself to art, perfecting myself, learning new techniques, use of color, etc. But the truth is that the most difficult part to learn in art is the purpose, the what and why to draw. Over the years you learn that once you master art as you always dreamed of, and that you can draw anything you want, the big question is presented to you: and now what will you draw? And there, I discovered that art can be used to transmit really important messages, that as an artist you have a commitment to what you do, since whatever you do will inevitably leave a mark on your society, good or bad, but the image always goes directly to the soul of the other and leave his message
Julian is a guru of digitally remastering drawings with a popular image editing software named Adobe Photoshop.
For those who aren’t really aware, what is Photoshop, or digital art, and what does it entail?
I am very romantic and conservative with those things. I really need the noise of the pencil on the sheet, the connection with the paper, I really like traditional techniques. But sometimes there are colors that in painting are almost impossible to get, or extremely expensive because you only get it with top brands, and in photoshop you get them with a single click. Photoshop allows you to access impossible visual effects with traditional techniques, unreal colors, and that opens new horizons in art. I always try to find a balance between the old and the new, to draw on paper and use Photoshop only to paint.
Digital art adds a little technology to the creative process.
How does digital art find inspiration from traditional painting or drawing?
I have a lot of respect and admiration for traditional artists. At first it was difficult to me to accept and respect digital art and digital artists, but over time I could understand that digital art is just one more tool that allows the artist to express himself. I admire the expressive possibilities that digital art offers, I have seen really incredible things. The important thing is in the message that you want to transmit, the medium is secondary. But, I think, the more techniques you can master, the richer you become, more versatile.
Photoshop should be a choice, and not the only thing you know how to use.
Julian has found attention from the top cannabis media publications around the world.
I saw one of your pieces shared on the High Times Instagram profile. Have you had any other notable mentions or media attention?
The most important award I won was the 2nd prize for Natural Cannabis High art 2019, where I was able to finish 2nd among participants from more than 160 countries. I also have several prizes in national competitions for painting, ceramics, photography, even comic books.
I live in a small city called Bariloche at the end of the world, in the middle of Argentine Patagonia, 1600km (990 miles) from the closest big city. It’s really hard to make yourself known and living of art from so far away. Instagram helped me a lot to make myself known to the world
We noticed that you have a few past pieces that don’t feature a cannabis focus, but the majority of your pieces have some herbal influence.
Can you tell us how you got into the cannabis theme, why and what the motivation behind your unique creative touch?
The most interesting commissions began to appear after the award for natural cannabis. Entheogens and psychedelic culture is a subject that interests me a lot, and winning that award allowed me to access a new public, more related to the culture of cannabis and cultivation, entheogens and even cactus growers. And then I started receiving much more interesting job offers, related to cannabis culture, cacti, psychedelics, music,etc. In this way I was able to dedicate myself entirely to making illustrations than I absolutely enjoy creating.
Art is a powerful tool for transmitting messages, and I think that fighting to give this sacred plant the place it deserves is something worthwhile. I also try to emphasize the art and the pleasure of cultivating, it is something very important that we have lost as society and that with cannabis people who have never touched the earth in their lives gradually begin to understand how important and pleasant it is to see grow a plant that you planted yourself. There are many positive values that are being rediscovered, and with which we must work for future generations.
“Cannabis makes you break that creative routine, to stop repeating the same creative patterns over and over, and find a new way”
You have a really cool color scheme, I find it evokes emotion to accompany the image we’re viewing.
Did you do this on purpose?
Absolutly yes, the color is sometimes more important than the drawing. The color generates sensations, emotions, memories, and this helps the image reachs not only the eyes but the heart. You could write an entire book on the relationship of color and the human soul. It is a subject that I am very passionate about, the functioning of the soul. In fact I spend more time reading books on spirituality than art. There are the real answers about art. Art is the purest language of the soul
We appreciate the unique style, themes and messages that are conveyed in your art.
How does cannabis influence your creative process?
Cannabis is a very powerful tool. Saramago said “… sometimes you think you have a thousand ideas, and then you realize that you were simply going a thousand times around the same idea …”, well, cannabis makes you break that creative routine, to stop repeating the same creative patterns over and over, and find a new way. It is like a deprogramming tool to be able to see a new possibilities, new thought horizons. It can definitely enrich your potential. It helps a lot to silence the mind and let the soul just express itself.
I think sacred plants can help you to understand who you really are, to see where are you, to understand your society and your place in it, and to see to where are you going. And that is a good reason to make it illegal for some people I think.
“My main advice: do not waste time with netflix, facebook or video games, use that time to do something that enriches you, such as reading, meditating or doing some sport, and above all to practice and practice”
Keeping the mind focused on certain tasks can always be a challenge.
Have you ever found cannabis to cloud the process, or is it all positive?
Sometimes it happens to me that I say “tonight I am going to smoke and draw all night”, and then it turns out that I did everything but drawing. I end up meditating, playing with my daughter, reading, cooking. Cannabis helps you focus on the present, to really enjoy what you are doing, to be in the here and now. And sometimes you discover that everyday things become magical, than that book you had thrown months ago was incredible, that the moment you spend with your daughter is unique and unrepeatable, that the act of cooking is almost sacred. And the drawing sometimes passes to a second level of priorities. (Which is not good if you have to hurry with an important work for tomorrow)
For artists who are looking to use cannabis for it’s full creative potential.
How do you find inspiration in cannabis, what tips can you give other artists on achieving the most potential when using cannabis in the creative process?
My main advice: do not waste time with netflix, facebook or video games, use that time to do something that enriches you, such as reading, meditating or doing some sport, and above all to practice and practice.
And about cannabis, It is a difficult answer. The relationship with cannabis is something very personal. The potential you can extract from it depends on many factors, habits, and your personality. First you have to find yourself. For me cannabis it is not a drug, but a sacred plant, like ayahuasca or mushrooms, and it must be treated with respect and moderation. If you know how to ask for help to the plant and you listen to it, it will help you to discover new horizons of your potential. But, you have to do you part too. It´s not that you will become a good artist just for smoking weed
The effects of cannabis differ depending upon the strain you choose.
What strains do you find work well for boosting creativity?
I smoke classic strains, a Jack Herrer, and a Destroyer x white widow cross, they are my favorites. Always with my old DaVinci vape.
We wanted to share you art and the process with our readers.
Can you take us through the process of making a project from start to finish?
The hardest part is thinking about the idea, the concept. It is necessary to define what sensations and message I want to share, what emotions to generate. Then create a character and a scene according to the message we want to create. It begins with several sketches in black pencil. Generally I try never to stick with the first idea. Once the concept has been agreed with the client, I begin to draw in ink on paper on a large sheet. Then it is scanned and the process of painting it digitally begins.
I really like to work on the small details, even if you believes that no one would ever notice them. I always tell my students that the background must be as important as the main figure. Learning only human figure and leaving the background blank or wanting to solve it with few spots is a common mistake. The background should speaks more than the main character.
I want to say thanks to Julian and his family for taking the time to sit down with the Extract team and give us a look inside his life. At the time of writing this the COVID-19 virus has the world in isolation, not to mention Julian’s family is currently welcoming his new daughter into the world. Congratulations guys 🙂
Check out Julian’s artwork on his Instagram channel @julian.bustos.art.