Here at Califari we’re on a mission to tell the story and discover the personality of as many cannabis strains as we possibly can. We have an incredible network of talented artists from around the globe to help us with our impossible task. We will never catch up to the bounty of new cannabis strains that continue to multiply with each new season, but we’re having fun trying!
Califari has spent years growing our own Global Artist Network of A-list talent that now includes over 25 artists from India to Ireland to Oakland. We have a diverse group of creative powerhouses ready to paint the future of International Cannabis Branding and Art.
Many artists and writers have used cannabis for creative stimulation - from the writers of the world's religious masterpieces to our most irreverent satirists.- Jack Herer
The Cannabis Strain Art Genre
We believe that Cannabis Strain Art is a new genre of art that is in its early years. Art, music and cannabis have always been a happy trio that seem to influence one another and now we're seeing that influence result in incredible imagery that attempts to embody the vibe of our favorite Indicas, Hybrids and Sativas.
Califari was not the first company to create strain art, but there are only a handful of contributors to this genre so far.
The first one was certainly Pat Ryan, an artist from Northern California who started doing illustrations for mostly fictional cannabis strains that had a sense of humor. He was one of the original Artista Gang in Marin County, and has created well over 100 posters for various live music shows and is regarded as one of the originators for rock posters, underground art, and Native American historical paintings.
We recently met a sort of modern day Pat Ryan named Todd Pearl, who has a 24 design strong series called “What’s Your Strain?”. Todd’s designs are infused with humor and his signature style. We're not sure if he is still attempting to design 700 specific strain art pieces - but we share in the desire too see every worthy cannabis strain get their very own artwork.
If you search a few big strains like Sour Diesel, Blue Dream, White Widow or perhaps Pineapple Express you may find multiple visions of a strain from different artists, which we hope to see much more of in coming years…
Califari is always on the look out for budding new artists or old ones ready to come out of the woodwork and join our Global Artist Network. Send enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Love the life you live, live the life you love.- Bob Marley
Califari Artistic Roots and Creative Process
The Califari Strain Art Series has an interesting set of roots that stems way back to the late 1960’s when Califari founder Jason McHugh’s parents had a unique poster and card company called East Totem West. It featured a small network of artists who specialized in psychedelic artwork that was heavily influenced by their use of LSD. In fact, Joe McHugh used to crack jokes when describing his poster company as “An advertising agency for LSD,” which clearly had a huge influence during the wild and psychedelic days of the late 60's and early 70's. Recently the body of Art Posters made their ways to the walls of MoMA, The Victoria & Albert and other fancy museums, galleries and man caves around the globe.
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.- Steven Wright
Many years later, Jason McHugh found himself on Rock Tour with his friend and collaborator Les Claypool, whom which he’d recently produced Electric Apricot; Quest for Festeroo with… Now McHugh was working as Wonka Tech on world tour with Primus and The Chocolate Factory - which was Les Claypool’s version of the dark tale Willie Wonka and his far out candy factory. As Wonka Tech, McHugh had to make a short film with a real life Oompa Loompa in sixty cities around the world and make sure the Chocolate Factory stage set was just exactly perfect. It was somewhere on this tour, where McHugh had the ultimate epiphany, whilst seeing original Primus poster art fly off the shelves… Why not have special Gig Art styled posters, not just famous rock bands, but famous strains of cannabis that we know and love just like we do Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin and eventually MikeyMike...
Focus more on your desire than your doubt and the dream will take care of itself.- Mark Twain
From there McHugh went down “The Strain Hole” (as his wife likes to call it) doing massive late night research and development sessions of not just smoking the strains, but digging deeper to extrapolate the personality, the genetic lineage and any quirky stories associated with the breeding of top strains that have achieved world fame. After a huge book of vision boards was built - McHugh began to pair a team of artists with strains that he thought could best realize these ideas into cohesive images somewhere between a Fillmore Poster and a Vintage Fruit Crate.
But if you know what life is worth, you will look for yours here on Earth.- Bob Marley
Now the Califari Strain Art Series has 50 designs and more in the pipeline from a Global Artist Network featuring a myriad of styles and backgrounds that are catering to the cross section of humanity that loves cannabis. We are everywhere and its has been exciting to see our strains cross many borders across the entire US and beyond. Our posters can be found in almost all 50 states and maybe someday our actual cannabis will too.
Visualize Victory! In Us We Trust!