The cannabis culture is a diverse and growing community that has been evolving over the past few decades. Cannabis flower-based products are increasingly popular and have become a new form of artistic expression.
If you’re into cannabis or music, you’ve almost certainly come across Greg Welch’s work.
The teenage artist has created hundreds of art works utilizing ground cannabis flowers and other associated items for everyone and their grandparents under the Cannabiscapes moniker. Cannabiscapes have become a must-have for cannabis enthusiasts, appearing in art galleries, shops, and on record covers.
But how did this man go from hiding his real identity in order to share his work to being one of the most well-known potters? (Image courtesy of Cannabiscapes)
Collaboration and bartering, according to Welch, are key factors in his success. There was no ego involved in the process; just a desire to share his work with the world.
“At exhibitions, people would bring new cannabis-related things, and I would offer to exchange. I’d create some marijuana art, share it on Instagram, and have something interesting to add to my archives. “It’s a win-win situation,” he remarked in a recent interview.
And his excellent deeds were rewarded. Greg is still working with several of the businesses he worked with early in his career four years later.
Let’s take a step back for a moment and consider where the concept for creating art with marijuana originated.
Putting The One-Hit Wonder In Front Of The Blunt
Greg was never a cannabis user as a kid. He began drinking it in his early twenties, when he relocated to South Florida and became involved with a group of individuals he describes as “successful hustlers.”
“I thought it couldn’t be all terrible since everyone was responsible and used weed,” he said. “That was the beginning of me using cannabis and understanding the connections it makes.”
Greg decided to seek for work in the cannabis business a few years later, and landed a sales position with a track and trace software firm.
He remembers making hundreds of cold calls to businesses on the West Coast and in Colorado, as well as the opportunities that resulted from these interactions. He was traveling throughout the nation, meeting pioneers in the cannabis sector, establishing friends and business contacts, and learning about the industry.
He said, “That truly showed me that I was in the right place with the right people.”
Around the same time, he began creating marijuana art and established the Cannabiscapes Instagram account.
“I was considering who I’d want to smoke marijuana with and how the ideal method to do it would be. “I came up with the idea of making their faces out of weed,” he said.
Snoop Dogg, in his opinion, mentioned marijuana more than anybody else in the planet. So he went out and got a reference picture, which he spent “far too much time molding into, in hindsight, a very terrible depiction of the Doggfather.”
Ultimately, his aim was to make works that people would enjoy even if they didn’t realize they were made of clay. And he didn’t think the first trial was good enough.
“My aim is to make something that my 85-year-old grandma, who doesn’t like marijuana and isn’t particularly fond of what I do, would like. That’s the kind of game I enjoy.”
Greg improved his technique with time. As a result, the public’s attention was drawn to the situation.
In late 2017, he composed a tune for a Berner album, and things really took off.
For him, this was a unique opportunity.
“It was noteworthy not just because of who he is in the game, but also because it was my first big assignment, and it placed me in front of a vast audience of cannabis fans right away.”
Despite the acknowledgement, Greg was not yet ready to come out of the cannabis closet. Ty Forto was still his signature on all of his works.
“For a long time, I was creating things out of Florida, and it was still pre-medical at the time, so the landscape wasn’t really favorable for putting my name out there publicly for making images out of pot,” he said.
Greg was worried about public image in addition to legalities.
“I was also concerned about being judged. And, returning to the location, I was actually living right behind the police station, and it was one of those things that…not that I had anything to conceal other than some marijuana… but don’t cause issues that can be avoided, you know?”
In 2018, he believed the moment had come to go west. That’s exactly what he did.
“Now I don’t give a f*ck; all I care about is getting my name and face out there to support the proper elements of the industry.”
Making A Living From Weed Art
This column, which previously focused on interesting cannabis occupations, looked into the development of cannabis art and the feasibility of earning a living from it. It’s evident in people like cannabis photographer Bentley Rolling, comedian Rachel Wolfson, performance artist Laganja Estranja, and multimedia artist Emily Eizen.
“I mean, anything can be a profession if you work hard enough at it,” she says. — When asked about the situation, Greg expressed his thoughts.
But, he said, one can’t do it alone. It’s all about making the proper connections and building genuine, long-term partnerships.
“It’s very humbling to see how much they put into what they do and what type of sacrifices, personal risks, they’ve taken on by spending time with some of the individuals who have pioneered various parts of the game or have been in it for a long time.”
Greg now produces cannabis art and consults with a number of businesses on marketing, design, and aesthetics.
“By networking properly and utilizing those connections, there are certainly possibilities to make a company out of the cannabis art. That’s something I’m still looking at and experimenting with to determine which way I want to go with it. I’m still in the exploring stage and having a good time. But my mind is always searching for market gaps and methods to assist the parts of the business that I support,” he said.
Greg is launching a podcast and online series in 2021, based on his own advise, to explore new ways to develop around cannabis culture.
“I have the privilege of spending time with so many inspirational individuals that I feel compelled to begin sharing more of their experiences. And that’s where I’m headed in 2021; I’m going to launch a podcast and web series about the hustle to teach folks what the actual marijuana game is all about. He said, “At least what we’re ready to reveal, if you know what I mean.”
‘Before requesting value, provide value.’
Greg has no intention of slowing down. He has around ten ideas “swimming around” in his brain at any one moment, he added.
“I want to surf the marijuana wave wherever it takes me. Whomever has events planned, or a pop-up at a dispensary, or whoever I’ve just worked with on a logo piece that I’d want to drop off and meet in person and sesh… Whatever is going on, I want to be a part of it because it’s unparalleled, it’ll never happen again, and I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the greatest to ever do it.
“My number one piece of advise to anybody aspiring to be a content producer of any kind is to give value before asking for value,” he said. “What I mean is, show them how you can assist them before you ask them to leave with their hard-earned money. So many of my projects have resulted from me producing a piece for a company I like and then just putting it on the internet. In weed, the proper people see and share stuff that they like, and that goes a long way.”