Chronic Bronchitis

Posted by Malcolm Vendryes on

Chronic Bronchitis is a look into a longtime cannabis smokers lungs, inspired by anti-smoking campaigns in the 1990’s that often warned of the adverse effects of tobacco and depicted the excised damaged lungs of longtime cigarette smokers.
Chronic Bronchitis is a mixed media collage depicting cannabis smoke moving through the Human lungs. Cannabis buds are used to form the left and right lobes; meshed with rolled joints connected tip to end that branch out as bronchi and bronchioles. Rolling papers wrap around the left and right bronchus stems to form the trachea.

Creative Process

One of the main techniques I like to implement into in my designs is to create an image that tells two different stories , one to each hemisphere of the brain- to create an internal dialogue within  the viewer, I like to call this technique "second-sight". This technique works by taking advantage of the 2 hemispheres of the brain which are like specialized processors for different types of information. The left brain is generally associated with critical thought , logic, numbers, small details , separation , language and linear thought , while the right brain is generally associated with non-critical thinking, pattern recognition, intuition, holistic thought (seeing the 'big picture' )  , vision , non verbal, and 3D forms.

In Chronic Bronchitis , the idea was to have the left brain see cannabis buds and joints, in a straight forward logical - what you see is what you get- kind of way; while the right brain , more influenced by subconscious pattern recognition and visual 3D forms would recognize the gestalt (old german word for shape or form)  of the Lungs . Art usually has an optimal viewing distance to really appreciate what is being communicated , I use this "second-sight" technique to create a sort of optimal mind state that is required to appreciate the artwork; if the viewer is too left brained  - focused on the small parts and misses the bigger picture - they wont appreciate the "lungy" aspect of the image, where as if they are too right brained - appreciating the shape and form but missing the composition of the parts-  they will miss out on the "weedy" aspect of the image.

Early Sketches / Concepts

Chronic Bronchitis started as a loose concept of the inside of a weed smokers lungs. In my early concepts you can see the play on words bongchitis (at that point in time I had the idea of having bong water floating in the bottom of the lung with down-stem bronchi) which I scrapped for lack of bong associated visuals as the idea evolved. I also fancied somehow having cannabis branches and leaves as the bronchi but that was going to be a challenge, getting your hands on some bud is one thing, getting your hands on a whole tree is another-- had to scrap that idea... maybe in the future. The illustrative style felt too playful and cartoonish for the effect I had envisioned for this artwork, I wanted the lungs to appear undoubtedly "real" (not a drawing) visually so I decided to physically model the lungs using cannabis and rolling papers- and photographing the arrangements.

Physical Modelling

Using stock images, or trying to photoshop images from the internet was not going to cut it for what I had in mind for this design. In order to get high quality , well lit, high resolution images I was going to have to create them myself. After studying anatomical images of lungs I decided to physically model - using cannabis and rolling papers - the basic most recognizable shapes and forms that make lungs lungs. The lobes, the trachea and the bronchi . After a long period of herb grinding , filter rolling, and spliff spinning (maybe a little smoking as well ) , the bronchi were beginning to form. Then came rolling slightly smaller joints and attaching them with a strip of the sticky side of a RAW paper. Getting buds to stack up and hold shape is harder than you might think, modelling the lobes was like building a house of cards, one wrong move and it all comes crashing down . The images were captured with a Fuji XT-20 (24 Megapixels ) lighting provided by 3 studio lights , I've included a few progress shots below.


Post Processing

Post processing was done in Procreate 4 on the iPad Pro. I load the RAW images from the camera to my iPad and import them into procreate, work flow is key. In Procreate I can perform photoshop like manipulation, with the benefit of layers and blending options. For this artwork the additions and modifications are more subtle. I added some colour to the buds on the lobes to better align them with the fleshy reddish/pink of human lungs, and swirling smoke to make the lungs breathe - brining a dynamic feel to what was otherwise a static experience.


Design Process

Photographed using a FujiFilm XT-20
Post process: Procreate 4 for the iPad Pro.
Designed by Malcolm Nyiam Vendryes
For Peace Pipe Apparel .Inc

The Peace Pipe Chronic Bronchitis T-Shirt

The Peace Pipe Chronic Bronchitis T-Shirt from our Top Shelf Collection features a full colour Direct To Garment print of  our “Chronic Bronchitis” design on the front chest.  100% Preshrunk Ring spun cotton. Tag-less branding on the inside collar for added comfort . Designed and Printed in Toronto, Canada.

The Peace Pipe Chronic Bronchitis T-shirt is available online now at as a part of our Top Shelf Collection.
Pass it around. 
By: Malcolm 'Nyiam' Vendryes for Peace Pipe Apparel 
Follow me on IG @nyiam_


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