Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dreams as Inspiration 1.1/5

I keep thinking of more I should have included in the last post. How did I compress this into 8 minutes for the original talk? Many of my ideas about creativity come from a class I took years ago with Jacqueline Thurston at San Jose State. She's very good at helping artists find their own personal imagery.

The Findings of the Expedition to an Unknown Land by Ludmilla Paulsdotter ©2005, 8 x 7 x 3 inches.
How do I use the dreams I have recorded? My main goal is to think about them frequently. I hope this will allow me to "see" my ideas in dream imagery. I love the way things change in dreams: a car becomes a bicycle, a baby becomes an adult, night exists in the middle of the day, a wave becomes a dinosaur, which becomes a large hill. I can fly, glide, float and swim through the sky in my dreams.

I watch for recurring symbols, interesting images, and words or phrases that strike a chord. My current list of dream symbols includes: bears, dinosaurs, books, people as trees or books, houses, the stars, cars, boats, a girl made of leaves, a woman with sticks for hair, maps, stars, the moon, other phenomena in the sky, sea creatures including fish, caves, and water in many forms: streams, lakes, the sea.

Occasionally I dream of a completed book or a painting. Sometimes I'm actually making something, but more often I just see it somewhere. This camera-book was a hypnopompic image. Although wikipedia says the hypnopompic state and it's twin, the hypnogogic state, are decidedly different, I find them both great sources of imagery and odd words. I would love to make this book.

I also keep a list of what I have been in my dreams. I'm not sure if this relates to art, except to reflect parts of my mind. I have been a pirate, a troll, a monster, the deposed ruler of a small country, my son, a spy, several nationalities, from outer space, a time traveler, a little boy, a man, a bear, a thief, a fish, a medieval serf, Robin Williams, and a man living around 1800.

I used to have a book by Patricia Garfield called Creative Dreaming. It was very helpful to get me started, but I haven't really kept up with current ideas in this area. I don't pursue lucid dreams, although I have them occasionally. I prefer to have images arise out of my unconscious, and to allow them to have their own meanings. I like the feeling that my mind is a vast unexplored land that I can just wander in. I don't want to chart a path, I might miss something really good.

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