SKUNK Magazine is excited to focus attention on artists in the cannabis community who enrich our culture and industry through their unique creations. We continue this Artist Spotlight series with SKUNK writer Matt Jackson’s recent conversation with an exciting creative in the global cannabis industry. — Editor
One of Europe’s premiere cannabis artists, Venya Son, has a style that really shows off the colorful, happy, and playful side of being high. He’s spent the last few years as the in-house artist for Masters of Rosin and developing many of the illustrations released by their social club HQ. After releasing a set of incredible Tolkien-inspired illustrations for the 2024 MOR competition, we caught up with the artist to ask a few questions about his connection to the pen, the paint, and the plant.
Matt Jackson: When did you get into making art?
Venya Son: My uncle is an artist, and when I was a kid, I was obsessed with his drawings. Later on, when I was around 12 years old, my classmates at school and I discovered graffiti. I started to paint, and later on, I made the decision to go and study illustration at a university.
MJ: Which mediums do you like to work in?
VS: A lot! I do paintings, murals, tattoos, and illustrations, and recently I’ve started to do linocuts as well. I illustrate using both digital and paper, and when I paint canvases, I mainly use acrylic and spray paint, but sometimes I’ll use airbrush as well. Overall, I like to experiment with different mediums and mix them.
MJ: Who are your artistic inspirations?
VS: To call some names from the graffiti and street art scene, I admire the works of Kaws and Banksy for obvious reasons, but if we’re speaking about the cannabis scene, I admire the work of Killer Acid and Papriko Ink, also lotcomedy. I follow a lot of amazing artists, but my main inspiration is my wife. She’s very supportive and has helped me a lot since day one. I try not to focus too much on other artists and instead center on what I do; however, seeing others succeed is what inspires me to go on with my art career.
MJ: How did you get into cannabis?
VS: When I used to live in Ukraine, my older friends who were in the graffiti crew “Kush” introduced me to cannabis. At that time, I wasn’t really reflecting my passion for cannabis in my artwork. Things really changed when I moved to Barcelona and started to work with HQ Social Club. Since then, cannabis has been one of the main subjects of my artwork.
MJ: What about combining art & cannabis excites you?
VS: I use cannabis as a tool that helps me to focus on mechanical work. Let’s say I have an idea for the artwork, and the sketch is done; this is the perfect moment for me to smoke and focus online work and colors. It’s easier for me to come up with ideas when I’m sober, but to focus on drawing, I use cannabis.
MJ: What’s the favorite thing you’re smoking right now?
VS: It’s Haze for me, as for what kind of Haze – Lemon Haze, Purple Haze, and the Amnesia, which is a classic. Gelato is also good. Honestly, there’s such a big menu to choose from here in Barcelona it’s hard to remember all the names. However, I pick sativa over indica anytime, any day.
Follow on social media: @venyason @actionmattjackson
All Graphics Credit: Venya Son
Matt Jackson is an independent writer and designer with a BA in Creative Writing from Humboldt State University. He has been working with cannabis in California since the early 2000s and has experience with both the traditional and recreational markets. A fan of stoner music, art, and technology. You can find his work highlighted by brands as well as publications.