Upon first glance, artist Emily Eizen is certainly creative, working in the mediums of painting, sculpture, photography, modeling, and performance. Visually intriguing, Emily is a free spirit. Her ‘60s psychedelic-inspired works showcase the beauty, freedom, and diversity she considers essential to establishing equity in the cannabis space and beyond. Emily’s portfolio and commissions highlight her ability to adapt to different styles and aesthetics across spectrums of gender and sexuality, defying convention. A painter by passion, Emily has harnessed her creativity in PAX’s recent More Flowerful Campaign. It all sounds really intriguing to me, and I hope to see her work up close someday soon.
Please tell me about yourself, what do you do for work? Where are you from? Live now? What did you want to be when you grew up?
I am a full-time freelance artist, photographer, model, and creative director. I am originally from the South Bay in Southern California. I grew up at the beach all the time and could be found roller-skating or hanging out at Noble Park in Hermosa Beach with other misfits and artists. Now, I live in West Hollywood. I love living in such a vibrant queer community. When I was in high school, my goal was to get into political science and be an activist. I even went to school for a year in DC but found that there wasn’t a community within that political science major focused on arts and self-expression. That’s when I discovered cannabis and moved back home to LA to start a different journey.
What are you working on right now? Do you have a six and twelve-month goal? What makes your craft different from your peers?
Right now, I am doing creative work for a few major cannabis brands, but also bonbuz, a nonalcoholic functional spirit. It has been fun to venture outside of my cannabis comfort zone. My six-month goal is to have my debut art show which was put off two years ago because of the pandemic. My twelve-month goal is to continue to grow in my craft and use my platform for social justice initiatives around cannabis policy reform. What makes me stand out is my ability to switch roles the way I do. One day I am hiding behind the camera and shooting. The next, I’m in full glam, ready for my close-up, and on top of all of that, I also focus on my own artistic practice as a painter.
What obstacles stand in your way currently, how do you anticipate removing them? Do you have a mentor or teacher who is valuable in your path?
Currently, obstacles in my way are fighting with the social media algorithms so that people actually see the work that I work so hard on. Also, there are some people in the cannabis world that don’t see the value of paying creatives and expect us to work for a product. I hope, as an industry, we can start paying creatives what we are worth. I realize all of these obstacles are nothing compared to what many people face in the cannabis industry and in this country. I want to use my privilege in a productive way to help remove even bigger obstacles, such as the impact of the War on Drugs. Some of my mentors as a creative in the cannabis space have been Roze Volca, Nesha Torres, and many other creative women that have been in the cannabis community since before legalization.
Indoor or outdoor-grown cannabis? Favorite strain right now? When you enjoy cannabis, do you have a favorite food that you prepare? What about your favorite restaurant?
I don’t discriminate against any type of cannabis; I will smoke indoor and outdoor flowers. I enjoy the sustainability of outdoor greenhouse farming practices but obviously enjoy the taste and potency of indoor as well. I am a snacks fiend; the munchies always slap me so hard, and I am a sucker for junky snacks—chips, Hostess snacks, candy, you name it. My favorite restaurant was Souplantation (RIP), another casualty of COVID.
What is your passion?
My passion is definitely the intersection of art and social activism. Using creativity to help people is the ultimate goal of my career, and nothing brings me more satisfaction.
Feature Photo Credit: Jessica Miller for PAX’s More Flowerful Campaign