Justin Kerson: A Take On Art

A 4th generation artist, born and raised in The Bay and head-quartered in the heart of San Francisco. Justin has always been around art and consequently views the world around him through an abstract and contemplative lens. He nurtured his artistic nature amongst the old growth redwoods at Humboldt State University, receiving a BFA with concentration in Studio Arts. A few years after college, Justin released his street art documentary “The Detroit Project,” starring “Popoganda” artist Ron English. The documentary debuted at the New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). Subsequently, he has appeared in and/or curated art installations from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast, including Art Basel in Miami, FL and Burning Man in Black Rock City, NV. He’s also a proud member of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital art advisory board.  


Using mixed media, Kerson sees his art as a meditation on human nature and its malleability within the context of contemporary society. Working within multiple mediums has allowed him freedom and fluidity to share this message to people from all walks of life. His art asks us to question current human behavior. To acknowledge the consequences it has on our environment and our collective conscious. 

Art is a condition of human life. Art is capturing the human experience, allowing the observer to emulate the same emotion the author felt. Art is devotion; art is hostile; art is universal; art is everything; art is truth.”

On the business side of art, Kerson is a budding entrepreneur within the rapidly developing and highly volatile cannabis industry. In 2009, he founded Tools of the Trade (TOTT Global), a cannabis themed communal wellness gaming company with art as the heart of it. TOTT Global has had the pleasure of collaborating with some of the most innovative contemporary artists, including Anthony Ausgang, Benny Gold, Jeremy Fish, Mike Giant, and Claw Money. TOTT Global has created a plethora of products, including multiple adaptations of classic games like dice, dominoes and jigsaw puzzles.  

A highlight among TOTT Global products was the launch of an oven bag cookware line: Turkey Bags, infused with the art and feel of Northern California. Turkey Bags, and may other products created and distributed by TOTT, stand not only as a product, but simultaneously as a social commentary on the constant work and hustle nature of the cannabis industry. A portion of Profits from the very successful Turkey Bags is donated to the Willie Mays Boys & Girls Club in Hunters Point, San Francisco. 

Presently, TOTT is expanding to incorporate branding services- rooted with a strong desire to develop environmentally responsible methods and a focus on bringing creative awareness to the cannabis and holistic industries. Looking forward, Kerson aspires to sew a hint of the healing arts to his creative ventures.