What is ketamine and what are the effects?

Ketamine is a general anaesthetic which is used on both animals and humans, commonly known to be used on horses. Ketamine reduces feeling in the body, it gives a a sense of distortion of reality. It gives the user a floating sensation where the mind and body are felt to be separated, it allows the user to become chilled out and relaxed. Paralysis of the body is a common effect and near death experiences are also common. Ketamine can cause hallucinations, can change how you see and hear things and trips can last between half an hour and several hours. Other side effects are confusion, agitation, panic attacks and impairment in memory. Bladder issues are also common in regular users.

The ‘K-hole’ effect is a state of paralysis found by users 20 minutes after taking a substantial amount of the drug. This state leaves users unable to move, experiencing hallucinations, out of body experiences and gives them a sense of disorientation.

Other effects felt include:

  • a sense of invincibility
  • unable to communicate
  • warped thought processes
  • limited awareness
  • vivid dreams
  • abnormally fast heart rate

Talk To Frank  ketamine.com


Hallucinations take place when a high dose of Ketamine is taken by the user. Hallucinations allow the user to feel disconnected from their body and experiences an out of body experience. Visual representation of drug use, notably the use of LSD and marajuana during the 60s and 70s, created a mark on art, design and music. Hallucinations were an integral part of the design in this era, as a running theme throughout art and design was use of bright colours and bubbly, hand drawn typography type. Optical art was also common during this period. 60s psychedelic design

Hallucinations – a sensory experience of something that does not exist outside the mind, caused by various physical and mental disorders, or by reaction to certain toxic substances, and usually manifested as visual or auditory images.

Psychedelic – Pertaining to or characterised by hallucinations, distortions of perception and awareness, and sometimes psychotic-like behaviour.



Milton Glaser:

Glaser’s Bob Dylan poster is an iconic example of psychedelic design during the 60s. With bright use of colours it shows the hallucinogenic style associated with the psychedelic and ‘hippie’ movement. Glaser created a similar style poster for TV series ‘Mad Men’. The graphic are similar to those during the 60s, when the TV series is set. Glaser shows us how use of hand drawn graphics and bright use of colour can encapsulate an era and a whole social movement. Glaser’s use of colour and design is fitting of the 60s psychedelic movement.

The Beatles & Yellow Submarine:

The Beatles use of psychedelic graphics and hand drawn typography during the mid to late sixties saw a pop art esquire style emerge in popular culture. This theme was later represented through four of their albums during the sixties. The Beatles would later go on to release Yellow Submarine – an animated feature length ‘fantasy’ psychedelic film inspired by The Beatles’ music. The graphics in this film have inspired my own thought in terms of the representation of hallucinogenic drugs and representing an on screen graphic in relation to this. In further research I would want to explore other genres of band / any other graphic communication similar or different to that of The Beatles during this period. This would help me to understand graphics in terms of Freud’s Conscious mind.