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The Sober Psychedelic World of Archan Nair | High Art

He uses meditation and yoga instead of LSD or shrooms, but the effect is the same.

Laurel Tuohy

Alchemy Resonance. Digital. Images courtesy courtesy of the artist

Archan Nair gets about ten messages a day from fans asking him what kinds of drugs he takes. Sometimes people even ask if they can buy acid or shrooms off him. He usually replies, “Sorry dude, I’m not into psychedelics.”

Despite his cult following amongst fans of surreal art, New Delhi-based Nair has never taken the LSD, mushrooms or even the traditional Indian bhang lassi that people imagine him using to create his complex digital art. He’s never even taken a drink or smoked a cigarette.

Instead, he relies on a mixture of meditation, yoga and pranayama to inform his work, which has appeared everywhere from campaigns for Sony, Chevrolet and Nike to Kanye West’s old blog.

Despite his high-profile campaigns and collaborations with celebrities including Chris Brown and Lindsay Lohan, he still flies surprisingly under the radar.

Flutterby (featuring Lindsay Lohan). Mixed Media, photography and digital

That might be because he’s a bit of a homebody, preferring to stay in his house and research mind-expanding concepts like quantum physics, lucid dreaming and the Fibonacci sequence.

He usually gets a positive response when he tells fans that he doesn’t use drugs to reach a psychedelic state. Far from turning them off, many of them want to know more about his techniques and how they can try them as well.

“Sometimes it excites people even more than hearing drug stories. Even people that are hardcore into psychedelics are interested in knowing how they can reach those frequencies in a natural way,” Nair told The Creators Project.

Devouring the Stars. Digital

“Creating art is a natural extension of meditation for me and a way that I can tap into a psychedelic state naturally. It just takes patience. Psychedelic drugs tune your brain into that frequency instantly. We can tap into that naturally, but it takes longer.

“For me, it’s a choice, I don’t want to take a shortcut. It’s about making the journey to that state a part of my daily life. For me that’s more exciting,” he said.

Nair at work in his studio, New Delhi

Nair doesn’t think less of people that do take psychedelic substances. “I think that can be amazing for people. It causes them to ask questions about reality and guides them. It reveals the larger picture. There is much more to the world than physical reality and there are dimensions that we can access through psychedelics. I think people should experience that state. We are so attached to the physical that it does help some people to take a substance to let go of that.”

Moasis. Digital

The artist has spent years studying reality, perception and purpose. “Graham Hancock was the first person to really blow my mind. He writes about ancient civilizations and altered states of consciousness.

“It’s funny, when you find answers to some of the questions you’ve asked, you just find more questions. Your realize that the universe is designed in such a beautiful way, you come across the fractals and sacred geometry and mathematics. It never ends. It’s beyond a high to contemplate these things.

“When I practice yoga, in a half an hour I can get disconnected from the world and zoned out. It’s at that point that I can connect with the source. I start to feel what’s real and what’s illusion. I follow yoga with pranayama because I am already vibrating at such a high frequency. Pranayama lets my brain form a satellite connection to a higher vibration until my whole head is thrumming,” he said.

With effects like that, who needs acid?

Iris Drops. Digital

Click here to visit Nair’s website.

Related:

Substance-Free Psychedelics

Mescaline-Inspired Paintings Are A Trip

Open a Portal into Consciousness with Psychedelic Sculptures