WG: When did you discover your passion and talent for design? Did you study it or was it something you were born with?
CB: Honestly, I think I came out of my mother’s womb with a pencil and a piece of paper in my hand, ‘cause, my earliest memories are of me sitting and drawing, creating characters, and coming up with stories to amuse myself. Honestly growing up, in suburban Kansas I was just looking for anything to amuse myself. Plus, I was also born with the misfortune of knowing exactly what I wanted to do with my life at an early age. This obscure goal of having my own Simpsons, oh yeah…did I mention I am a lifelong fan of this obscure television show from the 90s that few people seem to have heard of…it’s called The Simpsons. It’s this show, that has fueled everything I do in life, I know kind of weird, but I have to admit it’s true. Plus, once you get to know me a bit, you’ll find that I’ll always go for the joke first.
WG: Of all the visual art you’ve done, which one is your favorite?
CB: Well, I would have to say what I am doing, currently with “Nick and Kempi’s Cannabis Chronicles” comic The cannabis-themed Book Series I produce, and everything I am doing with, and expanding upon, with the character Kempi as a real life model, social media influencer.
WG: Why a female cartoon? what message do you want to convey with her?
CB:Well, the only answer I have for that is because, woman are at the forefront of what’s currently moving culture these days. This includes politics, science, and especially pop culture and entertainment. So, it only seems right to use a female character to accurately satirize society right now.
WG: What is your art based mainly on? How would you describe it?
CB: I would say that 99 percent of my art is a reflection of my sense of humor. I have always been drawn to humor and comedy, even dabbing in stand up from time to time. My whole life I have always wanted to make people laugh. I am also a very creative person and feel that my humor works best through my art.
WG: What do you think about involving cannabis and art?
CB:Well, If you mean cannabis based art, I think it depends on what the intention is and what the artist is trying to say, I also think it depends on what the piece is being made for. There is a lot of superficial cannabis based artwork out there where all we see is a weed leaf or a bong and there is nothing more to it. But I also think there is not enough cannabis based artwork, and that there needs to be more people, who are creating it, who are more open, and not afraid, to share.
If you mean using cannabis as way to increase your creativity and enhance your art, I am all for that, and have even used cannabis, myself, in moments when I am trying to come up with ideas and be creative. But, I would say, that I don’t think weed will increase or make a person more creative, but I do recommend it’s use to expand the mind, cause it helps us to dig deeper and see a different side of ourselves.
WG: Do you use cannabis? Do you think marijuana can make you more or less creative?
CB:Yes, I am an advocate of legalization and personally medicate multiple times a week. I think there are people who are able to use it to expand their creativity, but I say this about people who are already inherently creative. For me, I will be honest, I have times where I use it, and I am very creative, and then there are other times where I will smoke, eat waaay too much, and then just end up passed out.
WG: Tell us about the first time you tried marijuana, and how important it is for your art?
CB: Well, I was in High School, I was 16 the first time I tried Marijuana, but don’t tell my parents…anyways I will have to say my very first time was not a good experience, mostly because I was a bit naive then, and my expectations of what I was expecting to happen clouded what was actually happening. My second time was a better experience, it was with my brother, who had done it for years, so he was kind of expert at that point. Not with a couple of my dorky friends from school who had no idea either. But, I remember my brother driving me around; we were listening to the song Anesthetize by the band Porcupine Tree, who, by the way, I absolutely love. And boy can I say, I now know what they mean when they say you can feel a song, because I felt that song so intensely that night, it was beautiful, that’s when I knew I was hooked. But then my brother made the biggest mistake you can make when you’re stoned, and that is…to stop at a grocery store. Man, I bought so much shitty food that night…rule number one kids, never go to the grocery store when you’re high.
As for how important it is for my art, I’m not sure exactly, but most of what I have created for the last couple of years has all had a cannabis element to it in some way, so cannabis has played an pretty big part in my work. But it’s not absolutely necessary to my work and this is the line I like to blur, it brings more people in. This is how I feel about cannabis in general, in that I don’t really see it as that big deal. Some people smoke, some people don’t, it’s cool either way.