How Psychedelic Art Makes Psy-Trance So Much Better

Psychedelic art image courtesy of llustronauta via Freepik

Psychedelic art is everywhere in psy-trance, and for good reason.

DJs, festivals, and trance fans all use aspects of these trippy visuals to elevate their experiences. But how did this start?

World’s shortest psychedelic art history lesson

Left: Job By Alphonse Mucha 1896, Right: Big Brother and the Holding Company Poster by Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley (1966) Graphic courtesy of czechcenter.org
Left: Job By Alphonse Mucha 1896, Right: Big Brother and the Holding Company Poster by Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley (1966) Graphic courtesy of czechcenter.org

If you’re thinking of psychedelic art, you’re thinking of the 60’s. Hippie vibes, sticking it to the man and breaking all norms.

Psychedelic art dates back all the way to the 1800’s, in the art nouveau movement where designs were full of abstract and organic elements to elevate the aesthetics. The 60’s hippie movement was inspired by this and mixed with mind-altering drugs such as LSD, created the modernized definition of psychedelic art.

We can thank The Fool, a design collective, for this. They popularized this form of expression through their album covers for The Beatles. Colors, shapes, lights, and nature were all blended to create a new era of aesthetics.

Psy-trance beginnings

Psychedelic art via Pexels
Psychedelic art via Pexels

Let’s start with trance. Trance music started in the 90’s and is a genre categorized by its repetitive and long build ups that feature an “alien” like ambience.

When Goa in India caught onto the trance scene, they created their own Goa-inspired and earthy take on trance, and you’ll never guess what they called it: Goa trance. This evolved into psytrance as we know it – fast paced (usually over 140 BPM), nature inspired, and trippy delightfulness.

If you’re completely new to this genre and are looking for recommendations to get started, have a quick run through Memento Mori’s discography, I’d recommended ‘Malhari’ to fully understand the vibe.

Combining psychedelic art with music 

Putting the art and music together is easy – they both have the same feel. They go hand in hand to create an optimal visual and auditory any psychedelia enthusiastic hippie will love.

EP covers, festival posters, Spotify visuals, and more take inspiration from psychedelic art to curate an experience, not just an event or sound. Just take a look at Boom Festival’s website, the 3D visuals that greet you will pull you into an immediate understanding of what it means to be part of their festival.

Memento Mori also uses these visuals as EP covers, Spotify visuals, and even as the backdrop to his sets.

If you’re not feeling psy-trance but just want some added visuals to your *cough* trips *cough*, psychedelic art is everywhere on YouTube with artists curating hours long graphics.  

So now you want to get more involved in this niche

Psy art coursesy of Anni Roekae via Pexels

Start with Alex Grey, an American artist who brings the unseen to everyday people with his art. The idea that nature is perfect and symmetrical can be found into his paintings, with repetitive patterns featuring inside human shaped orbs. This guy is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, being an author as well, writing his in-depth explanations of his artworks originating from his history with LSD.

You may also know Grey’s art from Tool’s albums’ and singles’ cover art, a well-known one being the cover of Lateralus. The metal/punk tunes that come out of this album only prove that any genre can mesh perfectly with psychedelic art.

Looking for psytrance with your new-found obsession? Living in or near Hungary? You’re in luck! Ozora Festival takes place mid-summer and uses insane visuals as part of their festival decorations – with lights, tents, and stages all hypnotically dazzling the festivalgoers. Don’t live near Hungary? It’s well worth the visit anyway.

Our top psychedelic art accounts to follow

It’s time to update your Instagram feed and turn it into your ultimate trippy doom scrolling experience- here’s a few of our suggestions:

Samuel Farrand (@samuelfarrand)

Samuel Farrad calls himself the “Digital alchemist of the cosmic and surreal”, and it’s easy to see why. His darker take on psychedelic visuals are angelically gloomy, reminiscent of a brightly lit night sky. He also has his own line of clothing and has a psy-art oracle deck out soon (which we’re really looking forward to).

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Samuel Farrand | #visionaryart #psychedelicart #digitalart (@samuelfarrand)

Caitlyn Grabenstein (@cult.class)

Caitlyn focuses more on surreal collage than typical psychedelic art, but her art is no less trippy for it. Seemingly inspired by 1920’s surreal art, her blends of the natural and unnatural are something we need on our feeds.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by caitlyn grabenstein (@cult.class)

Alex Grey (@alexgreycosm)

You got it, world famous artist Alex Grey is on Insta! You can keep up to date with his upcoming projects, NFTs, and exhibits. Plus, if anyone catches a glimpse of your screen when the pops up- they’ll know you have taste.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Alex Grey (@alexgreycosm)

Savannah Saturn (@trippydraws)

Blowing up on TikTok for her insanely trippy room decorations, Savannah has made a name for herself as a psychedelic artist- going on to publish her own adult colouring book entitled “Trippy Art for Trippy Minds”, release her own paint pen range as well as stickers, hoodies, and other merch.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Savannah Saturn (@trippydraws)

Amanda Sage (@amandasageart)

Keeping a heavy focus on mother nature and celebrating earth, Amanda’s psychedelic art takes you into stunning realms that see past what our naked eyes can.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Amanda Sage (@amandasageart)

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Written by Alice Milne

Alice or Daisy as they like to be known, is a Journalist studying at Malta University. They are a film nerd when at home, and raver at heart.

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