Bio

I’m a pre-production designer in the entertainment industry. I started as a pre-production artist in China for an animated feature film and proceeded to be a concept artist in England for the video game industry.
One of the early influential forces for my life in animation was the animated film Princess Mononoke, it’s rich themes of harmonic co-existence with nature spoke deeply to me. What I didn’t realise until much later, was I mistook that influence into animation rather than it’s themes with nature.
Facing a blind alley in the entertainment industry I headed to the Amazon Jungle to rekindle some artistic inspiration. I found it in the form of the sacred plant medicine Ayahuasca. So started a three year journey with the different sacred medicines of the world over various continents.

I began to experiment with forms of art outside of painting and design work including film, writing and public speaking. What I found throughout this was what had been missing from my art was myself and the values that are important in my life. A life in animation was not wasted, for it is a great tool to bring across those values and themes.
So I now come back to my painting and design work to fully bring across what I learnt with the sacred plant medicines of the world. Stay tuned!

This site is dedicated to my more experimental work, to view my professional work visit the link below.

Visit My Professional Work Site

2012 Shamanic Journey

I wrote a long piece on some of my Shamanic Journeys in 2012

“The impact of how divorced I had become from nature was during trips hiking in the natural landscape of England. Picking the psychedelic mushroom ‘Psilocybin’ and proceeding to ingest them around a campfire deep in the woods. The experience of the mushroom kicked me out of my habitual thinking patterns that had been conditioned into me via culture. It was as if a veil was suddenly lifted and made me see life for how it really is, not for how I thought it was. Suddenly seeing the true beauty of nature all around me. Seeing an underling pattern of energy encompassing myself and all of life around me. Everything part of the same unifying pattern of life.

I touched the leaves, the grass, the pine tree with it’s raindrop dews hanging off it’s needle like leaves, reflecting in each dew drop the light of the campfire. Creating the image of a celestial star field in the tree; an organic piece of art by mother Nature. And myself, a conscious aspect of that same Nature able to admire it. I saw the instance for what it truly was; The universe looking back upon itself through consciousness.”

The first time I had a death experience, I felt all warmth leave my body and my mind grow heavy. It truly felt at that moment that I was on the borders of death and I felt fear, but above all else I actually felt anger. Anger at having to leave life. It was the last emotion in me at the time of this supposed ‘death’. If you were to look at that experience as a kind of test, I would definitely have failed it!

So a dozen or so ceremonies later I was again going through a death experience. I should have known from my early experience that I would walk through it just like last time, but it’s easier said than done when faced with such an experience. In my mind during that ceremony, I felt I was certainly dying.

Again I felt warmth and life leaving me. Whilst I fought against it with anger last time, I just accepted it this time. I had seen before and knew in my heart that death was never truly the end of things. I saw this life for the transient gift it was and gave thanks for allowing me to be a part of it. Focusing on the enjoyment I received in life, I let it go. I felt my consciousness slip away on a calm wave of peace.

I can’t say how long I was in this state. I remember becoming conscious again with warmth filling my body, feeling myself fill with life. Every breath of air had never felt so refreshing! I felt very appreciative of having a body and being able to feel and touch. I was just enjoying the great sense of lightness I felt in my body and happy to be alive.

The reality of our inevitable death is something I think every person working with Ayahuasca will eventually face. It is what will truly allow us to let go. I think from this experience I could understand that while we cannot escape death, we could face it with peace and acceptance in our heart and meet death well.

Alexander Ward