For the past few years, I have worked hard to help heal myself with cannabis and my creavity. Using Art as some use meditaon, to heal the mental anxiees from past traumas and a sudden illness has really opened my eyes to the passion within other arsts. That too, I realized, inspired me further. So when a fellow arst in the industry caught my eye as quickly as Beck’s designs had, I knew I had to find out more about the man behind these cartoon creaons.
I began following him on Instagram and quickly learned how much he has influenced the cannabis industry.
Beck started his 420 career illustrang anthropomorphic characters back in 2012 with a set of “420 Friendlies” sckers and was most recently the official arst for The Karma Cup. He has worked with a lot of influencers and businesses such as Tweedledoob, Sofa King Good Bakery, Earth Kisses Sky, Spaced Out, Fukashima Prerolls, The Real Cannababes and so many more to help create art scker magic in the industry.
His work is eye-catching to say the least (I know because I personally found so many of these amazing people thru Beck and his creaons.)
When I first met Rodger in person, it was at the Lift&Co expo in Toronto this summer. Again he caught my eye, as he was wearing a bright pink shirt that read “smoke weed at my funeral”. Ever-so forward, I approached him to tell how much I appreciated his shirt, he told me he made it and then handed me a pack of stickers…. I instantly envisioned him creating a Melo sticker!
Rodger is no stranger to the creave side of life. With a full background in theatrics and actually aending a high school that he had to audion for, it is no surprise that his characters & art work are becoming a staple in the Toronto Cannabis Community. Beck has been using cannabis for about 10 yrs now, and says it all began when he was offered a joint by some co-workers to help sustain his creavity aer hours. “It was amazing. I had felt like a robot at work, but smoking gave me a fresh focus and the inspiraon I was lacking. I found that smoking savas during overme helped to keep that buzzing, fun vibe needed for creang while also helping to sustain my creavity and keeping me focused on one project longer.” Although he uses it for both movaon and inspiraon, Beck sll strays from the heavy indicas. “Give me an indica and I ain’t geng nothing done. I’m going to play GTA and take a nap.”
Rodger was inspired to turn his cartoons into street art sckers when he spoed a Lovebot scker in the subway staon. Knowing he had to have a taste of that hidden world, “Where 1 in 100 people might stop and see your work… but that’s exactly who it’s for. Nobody else saw that scker, they just walked right past. That was a special moment for me.” Eventually, Rodger met Lovebot creator Mahew Del Degan and the two hit it off immediately. Rodger quickly went to work helping Mahew build the conc rete Lovebot army and acng as project manager for The Love Invasion. With Rodger’s help, Lovebot saw the front cover of newspapers, radio and TV interviews, produced collaboraons and gained internaonal recognion (Proving again what a versale son of a bitch Beck really is.)
One of the main reasons Rodger le his work in the TV industry was because he felt like a cog in a machine. “If it wasn’t me, it could have been anyone doing that job. If I died tomorrow, they wouldn’t miss a beat.”
So far, pursuing his passion seems to have paid off. With a collecon of over 400 original and parody characters, Beck has become asked for. A recognized name. As dubbed by @nugsbunnie, “The one and stony Rodgerjames.”
So, as we approach legalizaon and the end of prohibion, what’s next for Beck?
“I’ve got the skills to do ‘legal’ or corporate work, but this is where my passion is. Cartoons are fun. I’m hoping to start working on large murals and learning to ink taoos. I’m excited to bring my work to other mediums.”
Keep your eyes peeled for the next Beck design! You never know where he might popup. Follow all of his latest antics on www.Instagram.com/rodgerjames