LSD has long been associated with enhancing creativity and promoting divergent thinking. Many artists, musicians, writers, and thinkers have reported that LSD experiences have influenced their creative processes and inspired new perspectives.
LSD and the Imagination
LSD can stimulate the imagination and produce vivid mental images, which can fuel creative expression. The altered perception sparked by LSD can provide artists with fresh perspectives that inspire new expressions of art, music, poetry, and other forms of creativity. LSD can also disrupt regular thought patterns and cognitive rigidity, which can lead to unconventional thinking, innovation and courageous social activism. Combined with the enhanced emotional connection that LSD can engender, it can enable artists to render closer communication with their audience, while accessing their own wellspring. LSD can help illuminate the complexities of human experience, offering profound opportunities for self-reflection.
LSD Visual Art
Some of the most prominent examples of LSD-inspired artists—also known as visionary artists—include Alex Grey, Allyson Grey, Robert Venosa, Martina Hoffmann, Annie Sprinkle, Mati Klarwein, and Android Jones. The work of these artists features otherworldly, surreal images, vibrant colors, provocative themes of fantasy or spirituality, intricate details, and images of far out psychedelic realms and consciousness.
Popular music across genres and generations has been created by musicians who are inspired by LSD. Examples include the Beatles, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, A$AP Rocky, the Doors, Jefferson Airplane, and Pink Floyd. Not only were these artists under the influence of LSD while creating, drawing inspiration for, or performing their music, but those who use LSD sometimes connect closely with this music given the source of its inspiration.
The invention of the personal computer, and the very idea of a networked society using these tools to create community, grew out of the proto-hippie culture of the Bay Area in the 1960s. LSD use was not uncommon among these pioneering engineers. Indeed, a number of creative engineers in the Silicon Valley tech industry have been inspired by LSD, whether through large-dose experiences, or microdosing for the enhancement of creativity and productivity. One notable example who credits the influence of LSD is Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Computer, Inc. Even Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates acknowledges that he took LSD.
Research on LSD and Creativity
The fact that LSD enhances creativity is not only based on anecdotal evidence, but also a number of scientific findings1 that speak to the compound’s ability to improve problem-solving, cognitive flexibility, and critical thinking.