Last night I was watching part of a documentary about musician Townes Van Zandt, when he began to speak about a song he wrote in his sleep.
This immediately sent my mind off track, thinking back on poems, melodies, images, characters, and stories I’ve created in my dreams (or from my dreams). Sometimes, I wake up with these creations heavy on my mind, but they fade before I can write them down. Othertimes, as with Townes Van Zandt, I’ll write them out somewhere in the middle of the night, and find them in the morning.
Even more perplexing are the times when I dream about writing poetry or painting pictures or snapping photos. It’s a 50-50 toss up as to whether I’ll be able to remember what I’ve written/drawn, or whether I’ll just wake up and kick myself all day, because I can remember dreaming about writing the poem, and creating the picture, but the words and images will forever elude me. And then, of course, there are simply the amazing and interesting things I see in my dreams which find their way into my stories and pictures.
One of my favorite paintings by Salvador Dalí (a favorite artist of mine), is entitled, On Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bumblebee around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening. This is but one artist’s attempt to bring the dreaming world into the artistic world. For many, the dreaming world isn’t merely a casual affair of unconsciousness, but an entirely complete and malleable reality.
How do your dreams influence your work? Do you work out characters, plotlines, color schemes, rhythms, dances, or artistic themes in your dreams? Do your dreams inspire your art? Do you ever fall asleep with the deliberate intention of working out your art in your dreams?