straddling corporate and queer

Kathleen Boudwin, a self-described “grunge queerdo,” is an artist who values mindfulness, sexuality, playfulness, and freedom. She is also a major stoner. To stay present in the moment, she uses cannabis to medicate for anxiety and emotional pain. She takes pleasure in it too, and her work reflects it. Creativity swells in sensual and hyper-colored pigment. Figurative work is Boudwin’s domain, both as a painter and as an illustrator.

Portrait of Boudwin by V.E. Richmond

While much of her content is considered NSFW, she has been able to accomplish what many artists-on-the-edge have struggled with: Boudwin expertly straddles the thin line in-between high-profile corporate beauty and fashion gigs and edgy transcendental feminist artmaking that centers on sexuality. For example, she managed social media posts for giants like Kat Von D, Marc Jacobs, and Dior, and she also worked at makeup-monolith Sephora’s headquarters as the in-house illustrator. Her personal work, her paintings, are bold, brazen, and highly provocative—an artist to watch.

Liz

I met her at a group art show at The Champagne Gallery in Portland in November of 2016 where her self-portraits were displayed, and I have been following her ever since. In the gallery’s light, I was awestruck by her persona and charm. Her style reminds me of Lisa-Yuskavage-meets-Roy-Lichtenstein, gone vagina dentata.

It’s fascinating to see a femme who is so successfully maneuvering through both corporate America and queer culture. Boudwin is empowered by her sexuality and her art, and she refuses to bow-down to societal pressures in these trying times, where FOSTA-SESTA controls individual rights, threatening all that is sacred and divine and true. In-person, Boudwin is warm and charismatic, yet daring and colorful. She is the modern woman, the type you’ll wanna roll a blunt with.

Baby

Where are you from?

I'm a former-sheltered Christian girl from the suburbs of Washington, [who spent time] riding horses and dancing ballet. [In] my earlier years, I lived in Seattle a block down from where Kurt Cobain lived the last years of his life.

How did this work find you?

I've always been a creative… After art school and some deep traveling around the South Pacific, I picked up painting again. The Portland art community has let me thrive ever since.

Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I have always been encouraged to be an artist. It's all I've ever wanted to be, besides [being able to create] the dog hotel I dreamed of building as a child. My oldest gig is my family Christmas card. I started out by tracing my toddler hand and spelling my name wrong, to designing the entire thing, year after year.

Ego

What are your favorite things to do while stoned?

I love to dance, talk, go on dates, paint, and stretch. I've had some of my best yoga sessions stoned, some of my best dates after dabs, and the best sex after sharing a blunt.

How is weed part of your daily life as an artist?

I am a daily stoner, therefore I'm always creating when I'm high. Some designs I prepare sober, and then I dive into detail after a joint. I usually start my day with a dab and treat myself to a blunt here and there.

What are the best strains to inspire creativity and artmaking?

Cinex for creativity and focus and Sherbet for euphoria.

Where does your art come from?

This strange weird higher self that lives in my gut and the back of my mind. She's fucked up and scares even me some of the time, but she always keeps me laughing. I pull a lot from my own sexual identity and the experiences I have.

Thirst 3

How do you come up with concepts for your art?

I am an improvised designer and painter. I chose a subject matter and I let it evolve in front of my eyes. Some details and directions I chose shock even myself.

If your art has a message, what is it?

Self-love, sexual freedom, and the celebration of freaks, queers, femmes, and all bodies. I like to focus on femme energy and experiences, because this is my own gaze, but I attempt to explore creating anonymity in ethnicity, race, and gender. This explains my obsession with aliens and androgynous bodies. I want my art to... be more intersectional and fluid.

Heather

You illustrate and paint. What is more personally satisfying to you and why?

Painting gives a whole new value to art for me. My paintings are mounted on the walls [for] my clients, ready to be presented and glorified for all their guests to see. It gives them this sort of pedestal. I came from a social media design job where my art lasted only a day to get thousands of likes and [then it would] disappear into the internet void.

What’s next for you?

Bigger things. I want to paint murals, I want to build installations, and I want to start a brand. Everything is going to get big.

 

Julia Laxer lives for the stories and writes in the afternoons from a messy desk in a rose-lit room in Portland, Oregon. She is obsessed with rose and oud perfumes, Lana Del Rey, and wants to eat all the peaches. She uses performance art and spiritual practice to explore archetype and ritual, and writes poems, essays, erotica, and memoir.

 

 


the business accelerator for women in weed

Breaking the gender equality glass ceiling has been a struggle for decades, and the emerging cannabis industry is no exception. Amy Margolis, a seventeen-year attorney decided to take on that fight, launching the world’s first Women’s Cannabis Business Accelerator—The Initiative—and cannabis friendly co-working hub—The Commune—located in Portland, Oregon. Although the accelerator is located in Portland, they will be accepting entrepreneurs from other cities.

While Margolis’ background is in law, her passions lie in the cannabis industry. We had a chance to speak with her about her upcoming launch and about her relationship to the cannabis industry.

“This is really a social and criminal justice issue for me,” she said. “I have stood by many, many good people charged with cannabis crimes and watched their lives destroyed. If we can make cannabis a success story, we defeat the drug war.”

While there are plenty of great resources for networking and education, Margolis thinks women need more support when it comes to financing, accessing capital, and finding the strength and confidence to succeed. The concept behind The Initiative is straightforward. She wants to level the playing field for women in the cannabis industry. She says, “At the end of the day, this program is all about getting women funded, period. None of the rest of this matters if women cannot get the money they need to grow their businesses or they are competing against their better-funded male counterparts.”

The Initiative provides an immersive business program, online toolboxes, networking events and access to funding that accelerates the entrepreneurial process for women in the industry. The goal is to ensure the cannabis industry becomes the most progressive and gender-balanced emerging industry possible. Margolis said The Initiative will work closely with regulators to make sure that each participant understands the challenges and are prepared to navigate the intense regulatory challenges they face—especially as they grow from state to state.

The Initiative will be held inside The Commune, a 4000-square-foot cannabis-friendly building. Margolis has accepted eight businesses to come work and learn at the Commune. The space will be home to business classes, boot camps, incubator opportunities, speakers, co-working space, event rentals, and will hold infused-dinner events. There is availability for drop-in and monthly basis use, desks available for rent, group or meeting rooms as well as large event spaces.

Margolis says, “Unlike other spaces, we are unapologetically cannabis friendly. We also offer the collaboration and cooperation that comes along with everyone fighting the same battles.”

So, what type of women should apply for The Initiative program? Margolis is looking to include any and all women entering the cannabis industry. She urges anyone interested to apply. “At the end of the day, we are looking for ambitious, courageous and enthusiastic women. The only real requirement is that their business exists already and that they are in the cannabis space. We are also absolutely willing and encourage touching-the-plant businesses to apply.”

Upon completing the training, each graduate will have the opportunity to receive seed money directly from The Initiative and have the chance to pitch to a syndicate of accredited investors. Enrollment in The Initiative will open online to all women cannabis business leaders on September 1, 2018.

While the program is based in Oregon, there are plans to expand into other legalized states as well, such as California and Colorado. Margolis says, “We are absolutely going to expand quickly. The more women we reach, the more likelihood we have of making a dramatic impact on the industry. We also encourage out-of-state women to apply for the Portland class and can be helpful in arranging their temporary relocation.”

 

Gina Finstad is a freelance photojournalist currently living in San Francisco. She enjoys solo traveling, culinary exploration and street photography accenting human interaction.


patrick buckmaster: sativa diva

There’s people in The Bible. And then, there’s people who smoke biblically… Can strike a pose. Know a thing or two…

Patrick Buckmaster is the latter. A Portland performer, DJ, and party producer with “bad attitudes towards drag,” seethes kindness, charm, and a loaded subversiveness. It is within this aesthetic of genderfucked gorgeousness, “glamorous but deranged” that we embark...

Smoking weed with a drag queen is like eating honey with the bumblebees.

Nothing sweeter.

Let’s chat.

All photos courtesy of the artist.

What songs do you listen to while high & getting ready for the club?  

I listen to lots of disco and 60’s girl groups. That sound really gets me in the mood to groove. It also helps me prepare to talk to and communicate with people. Sounds crazy, but even giants like me are small too. I live a life of solitude and would rather be alone than anywhere on earth. When I’m alone, I restore myself so I can be the (anti)social butterfly that a night in nightlife requires. Dusty Springfield, Cher, The Supremes, Diana Ross, The Crystals, and my ab-fav Deee-Lite all get me in the mode. “Groove is in the Heart” is my favorite song and will be played at my funeral. And the meet and greet with my dead body is $300.

Who are some thinkers whose work that you believe in (modern-day or ancient)?

I think for myself. I don’t read anything by anyone or listen to anyone. Maybe I’m a spoiled brat, or genius, or both or neither. I don’t really pay attention to new films, media, music, or TV because I like my mind untainted and a world of my own. Being in control of myself is the only true control I have in this world. I am aware that can sound arrogant and insane and inspiring but I really do just keep to myself and my own path. I used to spend a lot of my time focused on other people’s lives and thoughts and that really didn’t get me anywhere. So I take all that time and focus and apply it to myself! But nothing has really changed but I’m certainly headed somewhere…

What motivates your creativity?

Money! Scamming! The pursuit to get paid/laid! My creativity is never ending to the point it’s overbearing. I can make anything I want happen. The entire creativity process—from the initial thought to seeing it through—is what I enjoy. Sometimes I get bored of the end result because I am already onto the next idea. I only share my creations as a mean to survive. I keep the best to only myself. Nightlife is my life so it’s usually in the form of entertainment: performances, DJing, hosting, event production. I’m a born entertainer who gets off making others happy: win/win. My entertainment/self-expression is my greatest form of creativity. I’m sharing it, though, because it comes so naturally and I have bills to pay. As Dolly Parton says “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.”

What personal and/or spiritual needs does drag satisfy, for you?

Drag is therapy. Drag is creativity. Drag is family. To be celebrated and loved for who you are is what every single human is searching for. And to find that and share it with others is what life is actually all about.

If we all have a part in the world, what's yours? How do you see your role, and how does your art fit-in?

My role in this world is lead actress/producer/director/the academy. I am here to shake shit up, stir the pot, AND smoke the pot. I am here to entertain, push buttons/boundaries, and be a living example that you can do and be anyone/anything/everything you want. I just wanted to be a supermodel and now I’m a role model.

How do you stay motivated? Focused?

I have no idea. If you find out, let a bitch know.

Favorite strains of weed?

Sativa Diva!

 

Julia Laxer lives for the stories and writes in the afternoons from a messy desk in a rose-lit room in Portland, Oregon. She is obsessed with rose and oud perfumes, Lana Del Rey, and wants to eat all the peaches. She uses performance art and spiritual practice to explore archetype and ritual, and writes poems, essays, erotica, and memoir.

Tommy Chong. Photo by Maria Penaloza.

thoughts from tommy chong

We can’t all be relevant when we’re 80, and we won’t all be known for bringing an artistic and hilarious starting point to four decades of cannabis culture, but that’s what makes Tommy Chong so special. Chong is commemorating 40 years of Up in Smoke—Cheech and Chong's 1978 film in which they unknowingly smuggle a van made entirely of marijuana from Mexico into the United States. Grammy-Award-winning Chong is now able to count a dedicated exhibit in the Grammy Museum in Downtown Los Angeles among his many accolades.

Bud.com asked Chong when he knew that his cannabis openness was making a splash in media back in the 1970s. He shares, “Cheech and I both saw the change in attitudes, and we were for the longest time the outlaw comedians. We weren’t allowed on The Tonight Show for instance, because the people on The Tonight Show were all drug addicts too and they were afraid we would out them.”

It's easy to see why some famous people avoid being vocal about cannabis, but deterring others is hopefully a thing of the past.

Pointing out the good parts about legalization, Chong talks about medical access to cannabis for ailing people, but he jokes about the shift in his career, “The bad part is that it kind of ruined Cheech and I’s career because we made a career off of being the stoners that run from the cops but now we don't have that job anymore.”

One of the things that kept Chong’s love of cannabis in the spotlight was a bout with federal authorities in the early 2000s, before recreational cannabis was a glimmer in Colorado’s eye.

Tommy Chong. Photo by Maria Penaloza.
Tommy Chong. Photo by Maria Penaloza.

Being prosecuted for what amounted to bong sales was at first an obstacle, but Chong sees it differently, “You know who’s gonna arrest you for a pipe, but I was wrong. But it was all ordained. I was meant to do this. It’s all a part of the grand plan. I wasn't an activist before I went to jail, then I went to jail, I came out, and I’m an activist.

Tommy Chong may be most known for his relationship to cannabis, but he is a multi-talented artist, both on and off the screen, and directing films is his favorite way to do creative work. Like many cannabis users of notoriety, a love for the plant can’t hinder true success or talent if society can accept it. Here’s hoping that it takes far fewer than 40 years to make the same amount of progress.

Note: bud.com carries products from Tommy Chong - see Chong's Choice.

 

Danielle Guercio is New York’s highest wicked witch and tireless advocate for the cessation of cannabis prohibition. You can find her on her website here, on Instagram here, and on Facebook here


Caitlin Rose Sweet: Queering the Pipe

The ideal situation for smoking from a Caitlin Rose Sweet piece must be at the birthday brunch she throws for herself every year. When I ask her about it in our interview, she tells me the event is called Blunts and Babes and that may be all you need to get an idea of its vibe. There are copious babes in femme finery, cannabis cupcakes and cannabis cakes, Sweet’s intrepid Chihuahua duo yapping at people who pass down the hallway outside her apartment, and a general sense of women and queer people caring for themselves, a moment of stoned joy in honor of having survived one more year on earth. “Just super extra,” Caitlin calls it. “Weed provides the temporal shift from the drag of patriarchy.”

Her ceramic pipes fit with this portrayal of the legendary brunch; they make it hard not to celebrate life. She has made frilly vulvar one-hitters and bulbous little breasts whose nipples form a perfect carb or mouthpiece. In Sweet’s catalogue is a cunning “BFF” partner pipe, a U-shaped rack that allows for the somatic sensation of smoking cheek-to-cheek with a beloved. “I used to be a massage therapist and I was helping people feel at ease with and in their bodies,” says Sweet. “I am still doing that, but now I am making objects that people use to help them feel better.”

Sweet’s Ohioan, back-to-the-earth hippie father was a glassblower, and she earned her MFA from a Bauhaus-inspired art school-craft school joint program in Portland, Oregon that taught students to erase traditional conceptual barriers of creativity. She had long been interested in ceramics, but shied away from their pottery wheel and teapot spout-centered degree programs. “I don't make pottery,” Sweet says. “I make complicated, conceptual, thoughtful ceramic sculptures that live in boxes.” Then one day, she made herself a pipe shaped like a finger.

Sweet considers marijuana to be a “huge” part of her life. She is the founder of High Femmes, a thriving Facebook group where femmes of all genders post sensual selfies of themselves toking. Having long lived with IBS, chronic pain, and insomnia, she finds the medicinal aspect of weed to be a point of fact. With the birth of the finger pipe, she had made a comforting, body-positive device that delivered her medicine. Something clicked.

Contrast the pipes’ compact, postal service-friendly heft with the other end of Sweet’s practice; consuming installations that recreate the feminine energies of Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights.” These are tableaus of ceramic, crooked fingers thrust through the hoops of jewelry and anemone orifices cast into a sea of soft, braided textile. From pipes to fabric cradles, her work is full of assuring, feminist creations. But Sweet’s smoking devices, incense, and copal holders have become her mainstays, occupying every nook and cranny of her living space as they await shipment to a far-flung customer base. Years after the creation of that first finger, the artist considers her pipes the accessible end of her practice’s continuum. They are her “conceptual crafts.”

For a long time, the people who purchased Sweet’s works were friends, friends of friends, her extended queer family. But now her network, along with the larger marijuana industry despite rumors of looming federal intervention, is growing by leaps and bounds. Orders come from the unknown, wider world as state-by-state legalization expands the pool of people willing to invest in their weed vessels. Sweet says she is excited to be a part of an industry that includes many woman-, people-of-color-, and queer-centric projects—the designers of the Stonedware Company, LA’s Zen and Kush event series, Seattle’s Women Weed Wifi, Oakland’s Hood Incubator, and ikebana editorialists Broccoli Magazine, to name a few of those that she shouts out.

Of course, greater visibility on the internet comes with its challenges, opportunities to have one’s message heard in an erroneous, fractured way. “My person is about amplifying the voices of women and queers and disrupting the patriarchy and heteronormativity,” clarifies Sweet. In her interviews, she makes a point of emphasizing that the yonic nature of her best-sellers are not meant to imply a trans-exclusionary feminism.

Surely, it is too much to wish for a comprehensive feminist ideology from your smoking device. Sweet would be the first to tell you that her works are simply accessories to a life of joyful resistance.

 

Caitlin Donohue is a Bay Area-raised culture writer with the luck to live in Mexico City. She writes about weed, reggaeton and other cross-border methods of dismantling power structures.


Moms Who Inhale

Dory Patel is a mother of three, a party planner, and a pot user.

“I would never have told anyone, even a year ago, but now I feel like I’m helping other people when I talk about the fact that, yeah, I smoke pot and it doesn’t make me a bad person,” said Patel, who lives in Las Vegas. Her children are ages 13, 10, and 4.

She found pot when her mother began to use it to relieve pain after hip replacement surgery. After a long day of carrying large food platters and setting up tables, the hit of pot helped Patel relax. She traded in nightly glasses of wine for a few hits of marijuana.

“My muscles don’t ache as much,” Patel, 48, said. “I feel healthier. I even started exercising with my kids because I have more energy.”

When she opened up about pot use, Patel braced herself for judgment from friends and family.

“As soon as I said something on Twitter, oh man, I had friends with kids calling me out, saying I wasn’t a responsible mother,” Patel said. “I understand. They are ignorant. But they can’t become educated unless we talk about it, without any shame.”

Then Patel found Herbal Mothers, a Facebook support group for pot-smoking moms in Las Vegas.

“As a mom, much less a mom who smokes, you can feel really isolated,” Patel said. “You get stressed over if you are being a good parent, no matter if you grab a glass of wine or if you smoke [pot]. If you find support, online or in real life, you don’t feel alone. You feel empowered to talk about it and feel okay, more than okay.”

In 2017, Rara Rivera helped found the now-700-member group to create an accepting community for mothers who use marijuana. There are several equivalent groups in cities around the US.

Two years ago, a trip to the corner store would put Rivera into an anxious spiral. Strapping her young son, Maddox, into his car seat brought on debilitating anxiety. After being diagnosed with severe postpartum depression, and a brief dance with Zoloft, Rivera researched natural remedies to bring her back to her former strong self.

“I smoke marijuana to be able to gather my actual thoughts together and live my life with comfort,” Rivera, 25, said. “As a parent, sometimes you just need to relax and be able to put all your focus on your children, even when some things are too stressful and you feel like there's no time to stop what needs to get done.”

For her, Herbal Mothers has been a positive place to find like-minded moms and form social groups via play dates.

“Marijuana is not for everyone, but for the ones who get great benefit from it should be free to use it without any type of judgment,” said Rivera.

The stigma of pot use, however, continues to be a barrier when they discuss it with friends who don’t partake.

“I don't smoke in direct contact with my child, if that's what people assume when they hear marijuana and parents,” said Rivera, who often gets asked about how she explains her pot use to her son, Maddox, age 3. “As he grows older I will definitely not hide the fact that his mom smokes this herb, and will educate him to the fullest on what this all is and the rollercoaster ride it was to get marijuana to where it is now.”

Now that recreational marijuana and weed delivery is legal in 8 states, moms who inhale for chronic pain or for recreation feel more comfortable about discussing the joys of cannabis consumption. This includes the suburbs, where Rivera sees a growing demographic of new pot users.

“Each day I hear about someone changing their life by giving marijuana a chance for something as simple as getting rid of chronic migraines,” said Rivera. “The stigma will slowly change.”

The move to empower rather than shame moms who smoke pot has grown significantly since legalization, said Shanna Williams, a long-time member of Herbal Mothers. She recently left her job as a medical professional to grow her own herb and enter the marijuana industry.

“Since I joined this wonderful group, we have had numerous get-togethers,” said Williams, mother of five. “The wave of legalization of marijuana across the country, for not just medical use but recreational use, has changed views and outlooks for the positive.”

The online pro-pot mom group shares remedies and recipes, arranges play dates and lean on each other when a sense of shame creeps into their lives from those who judge them.

“It helps to have a network of like-minded [women] to have at my fingertips,” said Williams. “We empower each other. And we know the best strains for any occasion.

 

Kimberley McGee is a nationally published journalist based in Las Vegas. When she's not chasing down stories, she enjoys finding adventure in the mountains and lakes of the desert Southwest with her 8-year-old twins and husband, Scott. @KimmerMcG on Twitter.