W H Y C A N N A B I S
I grew up in the Midwest and was conservatively trained to fear cannabis and despise its users. When I finally began to learn about its (shockingly many) benefits, I found myself frustrated and disturbed by how people, myself included, viewed the plant. Knowing what I now do, I strongly feel that cannabis deserves admiration - and at the very least, respect.
I want to help positively affect this change in perception by encouraging both open-mindedness and education. I believe that both lifestyle and design are powerful tools for influencing opinions and seek to use elegant, responsible design to model and reflect a healthy, balanced, cannabis-friendly lifestyle.
W H Y D E S I G N
Design is not just graphic. It’s not just image or illustration or type on a page. Design is the way something works. It’s the way it’s held and felt and used. The way it's abused. It molds the way an observer experiences their interaction with a moment.
Design is powerful in its silence. No one likes to be told how they should feel; people believe the derivations of their own conclusions. When you present to them, however, a collection of visual messages, individuals have the opportunity to decide for themselves how to feel. Give them the perfect collection of visual messages, and they’ll conclude with the idea you want to communicate. I believe if your intentions are honest, you’ll finish with a loyal patron who trusts and respects you.
M Y S T O R Y
I was raised Methodist. I went through D.A.R.E. in the fifth grade and lived by every word. I spent my middle school years at K-Life, scolding other pre-teens for cursing. I was part of the Smokebusters and about nine other clubs at my high school. I never once encountered drugs before college. I was Editor-in-Chief of the yearbook staff for two years. I graduated one of nine Valedictorians of my class, and received a full-ride scholarship to “The Harvard of the Midwest.” My sophomore year, I became the Treasurer of AIGA for two years, and in August 2015 I graduated Summa Cum Laude with only one B on my entire academic record (it was a really hard class). I completed three separate projects for my Capstone, held a campus job for four years, and simultaneously worked on an internship my last semester.
I also used cannabis on a regular basis both my junior and senior years of college. (No, I didn't attend class or go to work while intoxicated.) I got to a point where I knew exactly what dosage of cannabis would keep me motivated, enthusiastic, and anxiety-free while working late into the night on creative assignments without going overboard. I would even go so far as to say that it helped me with school.
Anxiety is real, and college was stressful. A tortured perfectionist, I too frequently found myself stressed out, overwhelmed, and absurdly unhappy as I waded my way through endless assignments and countless all-nighters. When I would sleep, it was restless and short-lived. Cannabis was a way that I could rejuvenate while relaxing my mind and body. It allowed me to enjoy the moment that I was lucky enough to be a part of without worrying about the list of things I had to do or what people thought of me. During the darkest of college days, my attitude and outlook on life were more positive because of it.
And I’m not the only one. Lots of incredibly successful, intelligent, hardworking, and wonderful people regularly use cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes. It’s just that many of those people hide their connection to it because they have been hard-wired to feel shame and fear surrounding their cannabis use; instead, lazy stoner stereotypes are still being portrayed in the media, only slowing progress toward legalization. To rid the plant of negative stigmas, it’s important that the public see it is possible for productive individuals to responsibly consume cannabis – and what better way to present that evidence than through honest and humble example.