Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects

'I tried to draw what was inside my head, but in the middle of it, things were happening outside my head instead.'

Christopher Hooton
Thursday 27 August 2015 11:44 BST

How LSD affects one’s creativity has long since fascinated humans, be it in literature, music or art.

Inspired by the US government’s ‘Nine Drawings’ experiment in the 1950s, a Reddit user decided to get her friend to draw self-portraits while tripping, in the hope of yielding a sort of visual-map of her headspace during it.

The unnamed friend apparently took 200µg of LSD and drew 11 self-portraits over nine hours, spending “between 15 minutes and 45 minutes on each drawing”. Whatafinethrowaway’s notes (reproduced below) accompany each image.

H + 15m

Before any noticeable effect.

H + 45m

"Are you feeling anything?"


"Those are some bright colors!"

"Yeah. That's probably gonna get worse."

H + 1h45

H + 2h15

That was a good idea, buying coloured pencils.

H + 3h30

"I didn't draw the eyes. Do you want me to draw the eyes? I don't feel like drawing the eyes."

H + 4h45

"Here you go. I'm violet."

Later: "Usually, I draw the eyes at the very end, because I don't want the picture to look at me while I'm drawing it. Here, I didn't want the picture to look at me at all."

H + 6h

"I lost the black pencil. I only had the coloured ones."

H + 6h45

My personal favourite.

H + 8h

After 45 minutes in the dark, listening to some Pink Floyd, she started to draw again.

H + 8h45

She didn't seem quite satisfied with the last one, so she directly started this one.

"During the previous one, I tried to draw what was inside my head, but in the middle of it, things were happening outside my head instead."

H + 9h30

While the effects were disappearing.

"Do you want to draw a last one? Like, a normal one? "

"I'll try."


"It didn't seem hard for her to focus, I was actually quite impressed by that," whatafinethrowaway commented following the experiment. "She just loved what she was doing. I don't know if the change of styles was on purpose or not."

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in