Maja Dlugolecki, Abstract Painter
Making art and enjoying cannabis have gone hand-in-hand long before macramé planters and Bob Ross. And though one typically associates creation with consumption, at Serra, we like to blur those lines a little, turning cannabis into its own piece of art.
In this special edition of In Our Feelings, we visited painter Maja Dlugolecki, the artist who painted the colorful imagery defining each flavor in this release. Maja — who uses abstract splashes of color to express moods in her internationally-renowned work — painted five unique pieces inspired by the ingredients, cannabis doses, and effects of each bar. The result is a multifaceted edible creation celebrating how cannabis makes us feel, complete with the artist’s signature on the inside panel of every package. At Maja’s Southeast Portland studio, we settled in amidst the lush plants, paint supplies, and works in progress to get to know the woman behind the paintbrush a little better.
As an artist, what was it like to create something that would package chocolate?
MD: I remember a branding project back in design school, where the assignment was to design a chocolate bar brand. I was way more excited about the pattern that I painted directly onto the packaging than the logo design itself. It’s quite exciting that there is a crossover of art and design — two languages I’ve studied — coming together in this chocolate bar. It feels like a full-circle moment.
You seem to always be painting in the open desert or on the edge of a cliff– do you keep certain routines or rituals while you’re on the perpetual go?
MD: Creating a calm space to work, wherever I am, is crucial to a productive painting session.
Weed is something that helps me slow down and focus on how I’m feeling in that moment. it’s a natural way to create calm wherever I am.
What kind of cannabis dose inspires your creative wheels to start moving?
MD: The 1:1 has been my sweet spot, where I feel super chill and present. That’s my favorite part of smoking, the way it brings me down to earth. The CBD-dominant stuff keeps me stress-free on a busy day — and I love how smooth the high is.
2020 is less than six months away. What are you hoping to accomplish or focus on between now and then?
MD: Continued growth personally, and professionally. I’m spending some extended time in LA for a couple of projects and also exploring the world of textiles (think duvets, linens, pillows, etc.) as an extension of my original work.
Sometimes “relief” means a break from negativity during trying times. What’s something you saw or read recently that made your day?
MD: I saw Lizzo at Edgefield last week — her upbeat self-love anthems and advocacy of inclusion are something I find incredibly uplifting and inspiring any day of the week.
It’s 2pm on a Friday, and you’ve just finished all your work for the day. What’s your next move?
MD: I’d slather on the SPF, grab the necessary treats for a boat day and hit the road in time to beat that weekend traffic.