Hi Lisa -
It is a consistent feature of our minds that we tend to dream about whatever project or situations we are involved with in our everyday lives. Working professionals dream about work projects and office relations. Chefs dream about food and running restaurants. Children tend to dream about school, their friends, parents and whatever they are exposed to in the media. Accordingly, artists regularly dream of projects they are involved with, and also often gain inspiration from these dreams, which they then try to re-capture and interpret in the waking world.
For example, one of my favorite "dreamy" painters is Mati Klarwein. Mr. Klarwein has done several collections of “inscapes” which, when you view them, are unmistakeably reminiscent of our dream time — of our dream worlds and dreamscapes. On a similar note it is well known that Keith Richard of the Rolling Stones composed the hit song “Satisfaction” in his sleep. The story, as Mr. Richard tells it, is that he awoke from a dream in which he was playing and hearing a great new song. He sat up, strummed a few measures into a tape-recorder that he kept at bedside, then promptly fell back asleep. In the morning when he listened to the tape he didn’t think much of the song, but he decided to work with it anyway. The rest, as they say, is history.
Perhaps the most famous story of creativity in dreams is the story of Friedrich A. Kekule. Kekule, a nineteenth century German chemist, had been struggling to learn the structure of the benzene molecule. One night as he lay dozing in front of a fire, he dreamed he saw snake-like benzene molecules swimming in the air. Then one of the snakes grabed its own tail and began spinning in a circle. When Kekule awoke, he knew that the structure of the benzene molecule was a ring.
Whether you try to recreate exactly in the waking world the art you see or hear in your dreams - or whether you prefer to allow it to brew beneath the surface and inspire you from a broader sense-ability, depends on your artistic style. I, for one, would like to see more art that is recovered directly from the dreamscape. In your case, this means keeping a pen and paper or a tape recorder next to your bedside. Then, when you wake up and the dream is still fresh in your mind, you have to turn on your light and grab it! Who knows what will become of it… Perhaps there are some other dream artists out there who would like to share their work. We’d like to see it, wouldn’t we?