When some people hear the word “stoner,” the image of a bro whose hoodie stinks of weed and laughs like Seth Rogen may come to mind. This outdated caricature of cannabis consumers has plagued sophisticated stoners for years. But with the help of cannabis advocates in our era of state-by-state legalization, this stigma is rapidly becoming extinct. Portland artist Katie Guinn is one of the people determined to destroy it for good with her new Stoner Babes Coloring Book.
“For a while, I wanted to get rid of that word,” explains Guinn. “But it already exists. So let's just change how people feel about it.”
The 128-page paperback book, slated for September publication, includes more than 60 black-and-white illustrations of what Guinn describes as “gorgeous humans.” This includes portraits of femmes and non-binary individuals, all smoking weed. Guinn drew all the cannabis-inspired creations. “The whole basis of this project was to show this wide variety of people who partake,” she says. “Some smoke weed more than others, yet they’re all successful doing things in the world.”
All the “babes” who participated in the project are distinctive and “super-gorgeous in their own way,” Guinn says. She wanted to steer clear of the clichés most often envisioned when it comes to stereotypical beauty standards. Guinn not only helps reclaim the word stoner, but pushes for a more inclusive definition for cannabis enthusiasts.
Katie Guinn was born and raised in Portland, and is a mostly self-taught artist with a degree in apparel design. Over the past few years she has re-incorporated cannabis into her wellness routine. “I think wellness means not only your body health, but your head health,” she says. “I’m not well unless I can make art most everyday. I start to get really crazy if I don't get a chance to write or draw or paint."
This book is not only about representation, but is also therapeutic act of self-care.
“I spent a lot of time searching for people because I wanted to make sure I represented a wide variety of humans,” Guinn says. “And I wasn't able to get everyone I wanted, but I think it turned out really great. Pot smoking can be therapy for people, too. But basically it's the ultimate collaboration for me and everyone else who gets the book. And I envision people taking pieces out and hanging them on their wall, displaying it as an art that we made together. That's my hope.”
Order the book via Microcosm Publishing.
Jagger Blaec is a Portland-based freelance writer.