Psychedelia is a name given to a group of people (a subculture), originating from the 1960s whereby they were known for taking psychedelic drugs such as LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Ecstasy etc. As well as the use of psychedelic drugs, the subculture also includes a psychedelic style of artwork, the main conventions of psychedelic artwork are bright, vibrant colours, animations & cartoons – an example is shown below.
Psychedelic artwork is sometimes described as a realistic interpretation of the artists ‘trip’ on acid, they have drawn/ sketched what they believe to have seen whilst under the consumption of the psychedelic drugs. Some artists have drawn what they have seen on a ‘bad trip’. A bad trip is a disturbing experience, normally when mixing one of more psychedelic drugs together, this can cause long term side effects to the mental health of the user as they have seen disturbing imagery.
Also, those who are within the psychedelia subculture, they often listen to ‘psychedelic music’, this being distorted electric guitar, with electronic sounds effects such as reverberation.
The term ‘Psychedelic’ is a word taken from the Ancient Greek words ‘psychē’ (soul) and dēloun (to reveal), thus meaning that ‘psychedelic’ means “Soul Revealing”, and many psychedelic drug users do say that psychedelics, such as LSD, Mushrooms etc. show the ‘afterlife’ due to the release of DMT that is released in the brain. DMT is a natural stimulant in our brains that we only release when we are born and die, when people take psychedelic drugs it releases some DMT, therefore some scientists believe that psychedelic drugs are the nearest source to see what it is like once you die, due to the release of DMT in the brain.