Jordan Watson, better known in curatorial and creative communities as Watts, has built his image empire by scouring the web for art that resonates with him. Through his Instagram handle, @love.watts, Watson has brought attention to artists around the globe who may have otherwise gone unnoticed. A long-term cannabis advocate and consumer, Watts started posting cannabis-related images via @rollthis.passthat after he came to the realization that the cannabis community was in need of images that inspired the recreational consumer, as well as the medical consumer. His work as a curator has been featured in Entrepreneur, W Magazine and Splinter.
How did you get your start?
I got started with art and my main account, @love.watts, which [consists of] pretty images and [showcases] lesser-known emerging artists and well-known artists from around the globe. I post their work, and they get a little bit of exposure they wouldn’t normally get in the real world. From that account, I [realized] the need to diversify, so I branched out and started a cannabis account, @rollthis.passthat, and it started the same way. An artistic approach to the cannabis world. I started to post cool weed stuff.
Have you ever had an account shut down?
I curate art. Other people create the art, and I pick what I think is cool. I post, and it goes wherever it goes. My whole thing is to give a little bit of a vision of what I’m into, and whatever happens past that is up to you. I keep it kind of basic…I don’t really post humans that much. I think it’s just art work, and it’s kind of light, and so I don’t even think on that account [@love.watts] that I’ve ever had a report [of being flagged by moderators].
I think I’m reaching young art kids, and I started @rollthis.passthat because all of the images I saw around cannabis were corny and real heady—and I smoke weed, and those images weren’t me—so I figured, let me just start compiling these images that [resonate with me], and through that maybe some of these same kids can see my vision [of cannabis]. A couple of years ago everything was so medical, medical, medical, and I have been smoking weed forever and I’ve never had a medical reason to smoke . . . I’ve always had a recreational type of mindset, and my imagery has always been kind of recreational, light-hearted and good vibes.
What does a day in your life look like?
I wake up, walk my dog, hit the Internet. I wake up at 3AM sometimes and get on the Internet and find images and post them, save them, do emails. I take meetings, smoke a bunch of weed and live my life. It’s pretty mellow, but super busy, too. I am freestyle. Every day is something new.
Do you feel a conflict between your private and public personas?
I recently started to put myself out there a little bit, and I don’t know if I like it [laughs]. I guess it’s necessary.
What role does improvisation play in curating content/art both on IG and beyond?
Improvisation is massive for me. Through improvisation I’m able to curate art I’m feeling at that moment, and that matches my mood, inspirations and creative whims. The more people feel free to improvise, the less rigid and limiting our expectations of them will be.
“My whole thing is to give a little bit of a vision of what I’m into, and whatever happens past that is up to you.”
In an interview with Complex, you mention that your love of textures and art came from, in some part, psychedelic experiences. How has cannabis played a role in this passion?
I’ve always had an appreciation for the beauty in art in its various forms, but I would say cannabis has elevated my appreciation for that beauty. In many ways, I think it has opened up my perspective beyond the obvious or immediately apparent, and that’s where the passion lives.
You work with a small team, correct? Can you give our readers a bit of insight into what your team dynamic and working relationships are like?
I work most closely with my manager, who is always looking out for our brand and our business, which allows me to focus on expanding my knowledge of the art world and the creative dynamics of anything that we’re working on. Striking this balance and making decisions as a team is what keeps us growing and moving forward toward exciting new projects.
You’ve predicted the demise of the traditional art gallery. What are the benefits of this evolution? Will anything be lost in the transition?
This evolution leads to art becoming more accessible and appreciated by a larger portion of the world’s population and, as a result, artists being able to make a better living following their passion. I don’t think the desire to experience art in person will go away, but the model through which that happens will alter drastically in the coming years. I plan to lead that charge.