Psychedelic art is a specific form of art that is as intriguing as it is beautiful. But what exactly is psychedelic art and why do people love looking at it so much? Well, in today’s article, we are going to explore the history behind psychedelic art and why psychedelic images have become so popular. In addition to our exploration, we have included 10 of our favorite psychedelic images for you to have fun with. Let’s get started!

Psychedelic Imagesbars pattern

What Is Psychedelic Art?

Psychedelic art or psychedelic images are pieces of work that entice your senses and psyche. Psychedelic images are meant to encourage a level of creativity, wonder, and even hallucination. Many psychedelic images are inspired by the hallucinations that psychoactive drugs including LCD may give you. In part, Psychedelic images are meant to make you see things that are not there.

Psychedelic Imagessquiggle flair

Mind Manifesting 

The term psychedelic essentially means mind manifesting, or something that your mind is creating. This notion was coined by British psychologist Humphry Osmond. Since the introduction of this concept, artists have aimed to recreate the wonders of the mind by means of a collaboration of colors, swirls, and patterns that are meant to entice the audience. 

Psychedelic Images

The Psychedelic Art Movement

The psychedelic art movement started with the idea that psyche and altering drugs created images and experiences that otherwise could not be experienced. To bring the psychedelic experience to those who do not use the drugs that bring on hallucinations, psychedelic art was created as a means to capture the mindset in a state of hallucination. Also, many of the artists who created some of the earlier works of psychedelic art turned to these psyche enhancing drugs to capture and expand on their artistic creativity.

Psychedelic Images
The Oscar Janiger Experiment  

The connection between psychedelic art and psyche enhancing drugs was made early on by clinical psychiatrist, Oscar Janiger. Janiger conducted an experiment where he gathered a group of 50 artists together to study the impact of psychedelic creativity and drug use. In the study that was conducted, 50 participants were asked to paint a picture in an unaltered state of consciousness. Next, the same artists were asked to create the same painting again but this time each artist was under the influence of LSD. After both paintings were created the artist and Janiger studied the differences between the two paintings that were created. The results were outstanding. Under the influence of LSD, the artists were able to tap into their creative bank with little to no effort. In the process, the artist reported that they felt an increased sense of creativity when they were under the influence of LSD.

Psychedelic Images

The Psychedelic Art Culture 

The merger between psychedelic art and American culture was one that took some time to establish. Through the help of Beatnik Poets William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg,  psychedelic art began to find its footing in American culture. The two poets were intrigued by the creative process and the results of psychedelic art. In the 1960s, there were other psychedelic movements that helped propel psychedelic images in the mainstream culture. Then, psychedelic images began to pop up in the form of posters by Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, and West Wilson. Their psychedelic rock posters had clear influences of psychedelic image features including pop art. The main theme behind these images was the high appeal of saturated colors, bold colors, unusual yet intriguing color schemes, and patterns that included elaborate intricacy in shapes, symmetry, and overall proportions.

Psychedelic Imagesstellar tree

What Are the Features of Psychedelic Art? 

When it comes to identifying psychedelic images, it is rather easy to do. There are several facets to an image that make it a psychedelic image. The first determining factor of a psychedelic image is the color palette that is used. Color palettes including and bright colors are often the norm with psychedelic images. You will also find that with psychedelic images saturation is a huge facet and feature. Saturated images draw in viewers and allow you to be a little more flexible and creative with your mind.

Psychedelic Images


Shapes can also be another component of psychedelic images. Psychedelic images will often have basic geometrical shapes that are repeated over and over again. You will also find that there are other types of psychedelic images that are comprised of shapes that seem nonsensical. These types of shapes can be anything from ovals to circles to repeating bubble patterns. Overall, the shapes used in psychedelic images are ones that encourage you to think outside the box.

Psychedelic Images


Symmetry is another strong feature of psychedelic images. While not all psychedelic images incorporate symmetry in them, a wide variety of images do. You can expect to find repeating patterns such as highly saturated lines or repeated shapes and colors. This repetition of pattern is iconic in psychedelic images because it reinforces the notion of a hallucination repeating itself over and over again.

Psychedelic Images

Psychedelic Images in Today’s Society

In today’s day and age, psychedelic images are continued to be used as they were originally intended. Looking at a psychedelic image warrants the encouragement and flow of creativity and inspiration. When looking at a psychedelic image, the first thought that should come to mind is “what on Earth am I looking at?” or “man this is trippy”. If a psychedelic image is able to garnish this reaction out of you, then it is one that it is doing its job well.

Psychedelic Images

Psychedelic images in advertisement

Psychedelic images have gone beyond the mainstream norm as a  way of art. Instead, businesses and advertisers have been able to capitalize on the magic that psychedelic images provide. You’ll find that many brands and many companies will often turn to psychedelic images to encourage consumer interaction. In the early 2000s, the brand Apple was known for its use of psychedelic images when it came to its iTunes and iPod sales. Commercials and posters bursting with pops of saturated colors quickly garnished the attention of viewers and encourage them to dig a little deeper into the product. Today, many businesses still used psychedelic images as a means to connect audiences to the product. 

Final Thoughts on Psychedelic Images

We hope that our quick look into psychedelic images has opened your eyes a bit into the intriguing world of psychedelic art. With that we hope you enjoy our selection of the top 10 psychedelic images to get your creative juices flowing. The next time you find yourself in a state of stagnation, boredom, or just curiosity, take some time to look at be psychedelic images. You will find that they will likely engage you and intice your mind. Which psychedelic images did you like on our list, are there others that you love even more? Share with us your thoughts and comments below!