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Alicia Howard
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Dreams, Creativity and Artistry

I noticed an old thread entry I wrote on the Jet Li forum and thought I'd repeat it here.  Peachey has blogged about her dreams and sought interpretation.  While the content of the dream is fun to analyze, just the act of dreaming is fascinating to me.  There are many adults who view dreams as irrelevant or as a means of processing information but if you think about it, dreaming is so much more. 

I think dreaming is something worthy of attention.  You spend so much of your life sleeping, and part of that is dreaming.  I think dreams are often a way to sort out the events of the day as well as to get at something troubling you or scaring you.  They have to inform your conscious if you'd be able to really analyze them.  

The other thing I find fascinating is, when you dream.... -aren't you making up dialogue? -aren't you setting up the scene like a set designer? -aren't you creating the color palette and the lightinglike a DP? -aren't you and your characters acting? -aren't you actually creating characters, creating new faces, people you don't know?   -aren't you really writing, directing, acting....making your own movie basically, writing your own novel, composing your own music, painting a scene.....???  

Isn't it sad then that people who do all this still say "I'm not creative," or "I can't draw, I have no imagination," or "I can't write, I wouldn't know what to say."  

We all have a creative side to us, and we can't all make it our business but we can at least allow ourselves to explore our creative selves in our waking moments.  

If you look at "dreaming" from that perspective, basically, we're all closet artists.  

We should make sure kids don't let this part of themselves fade away or be repressed.   

That's a pet theory of mine.  And I wasn't even tripping when I came up with it.  I'm sure some psychologist somewhere has explored this.  If they haven't, they should.   

Sometimes I lucid dream to the extent that I know I'm in a dream but I haven't thought about it much.  I'm going to look into that....sometimes I return to my dreams to finish a particularly fun scenario!   (edited from old thread).

So if you dream, don't ever again say, I'm not at all creative, because you are---you've just been told over and over that artists are different, and you're not an artist.  We ALL are artists to a degree, and it doesn't matter if your art is not commercially acceptable, it's the act that counts.  I think it's one of the reasons so many people are unhappy or say, 'is this all there is'?  That creative side is neglected.  And when it comes to the kids, encourage a fertile imagination.  I really think that to the 3-year-olds of this world, everything's kind of a dream, it's all a blend, and very quickly imagination is stifled.  Yes, teach the difference between fact and fiction but creativity allows "thinking outside the box" which allows innovation. 

about 10 years ago 0 likes  18 comments  0 shares

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Photo 16256
This is a new perspective to me and quite interesting. Dreams happen unconsciously so we're aren't really controlling our creativity, for the most part. It's like a colorful (mine are), fancy fair going on inside my head that I couldn't consciously come up with. I'd think some "artists" would find this loose use of the term "artistry" offensive. haha.
about 10 years ago | flag as spam
Photo 28042
Ha ha. Too bad. That's the whole point -- it IS creative and it IS YOU doing it, whether in your subconscious or conscious. Don't you also daydream to the point of blocking out all reality (I hate when it happens when I'm driving!). We can do all this but put us in front of a piece of paper in school and kids freeze and then begin to think they have no imagination....but they can go on dreaming. I just think our society, maybe all societies, kill creativity and undervalue artists. Maybe the ones who become artists are those who fight hard enough to retain the right to be creative. Why does our "conscious" put the brakes on creativity? How many of us have heard "stop daydreaming!", "stop all that scribbling and start doing XYZ", .....? Another thing that cracks me up...sometimes when I'm in a dream someone says something which absolutely shocks me and when I wake up I realize, I made that up, that line came from me. It's watching a film. there's even suspense, like I don't know what's going to happen....yet I'm the one surprising myself! No, I didn't drop acid this morning.....hahahaha.
about 10 years ago | flag as spam
Photo 29075
Interesting blog. Worth the wait.
about 10 years ago | flag as spam
Photo 36337
Yeah it's a very interesting perspective on dreaming. I like the way you think.. Our dreams are like another place, one we live in and create ourselves. Some of the greatest ideas and events have come from dreams.
about 10 years ago | flag as spam
Photo 23627
Sorry Flagday (and everyone) that I've been MIA. Been super busy beyond belief, I put on the producer's hat and started working on the budget of my film for the past couple weeks, it's a different kind of creativity - how to shoot and schedule to save the most money! Anyway... haven't got time to blog or check out AnD site much... Your blog is v. interesting. I'm right there with you though, I always believe that everyone is an artist and has a creative side, be it in a dream state or even in a daily life... I guess first we have to define "creativity". We're so trained by society to think that creativity means something like art, music, film etc... but really, "creativity" basically is to create, to bring/make something new into existence. It's the essence of making something... in that sense, we all create, we all make something on a daily basis, no? My dad can make a good dish out of anything from the fridge, I found him incredibly creative, though he doesn't draw/paint/play music/make film... I think you're absolutely right, those who got labeled as "artists" are those "who fight hard enough to retain the right to be creative." Like Polanski said, "filmmaking is 99% hard work and 1% talent." And that is really hard work... it's a roller coaster ride, everyday I wonder how I can get my film made, you work your ass off, writing, making, selling etc... then you get depressed, then you get excited about an idea... a friend once told me that she doesn't ever want to be me... she just wants an easy smooth ride in life... I don't blame her... so maybe telling yourself you aren't creative is a much easier way to live than struggling to be creative... I also think that most people like to say that they aren't creative... maybe it's because they're afraid of exposing themselves too much... being an artist (though I still don't really understand the term "artist" cos I think everyone is and I'm not particularly one... if that makes sense) but anyway, I think for those who are labeled "artists", we're really vulnerable cos we explore/expose/experiment our emotions and put it out there in the public... a painting can tell you a lot about the creator, same as writing and film... you're ripping yourself inside out for other to examine, to criticize, to discuss... not everyone has the stomach or courage to do that.... it's very frightening... I still remember standing in the back room watching the audience watching my films... then again, there is the polemic opposite... those "artists" who are so egotistic and LOVE to put themselves in the spotlight too. But I think most people just don't want to be that exposed... no? And of course, those who continue to retain the right to be creative (in the tradition realm like art/film/music) are also blessed. By that I mean that we have the luxury to be creative because we're in a position that allows us to (our family's support/financial support/whatever.) If I had a dozen of kids that I have to feed, or bullets flying over my head every other second, I might not have the privilege to allow myself to struggle for years to make a noncommercial film etc... But I still strongly believe that everyone is creative. That's one of the beauties of humanity I think. We have a free will, we could think... thinking is creating... anyway, sorry for the long comment, I'm not even sure if I'm making any sense... too much time spending on the excel spreadsheets these days... hope you're well. k.
about 10 years ago | flag as spam
Jrs 8c 1405439596528
Okay...I typed a comment yesterday and then they turned off the system! Wah! So anyways.....usually if I have something that I need to do the next day and I have a mental block, I go to bed thinking about that thing (whether it's a letter to write or a designing, remodeling or landscaping project or whatever) and by morning I usually have an idea or two even if I don't remember my dreams. It's almost like giving the project to somebody else (the subconscious) and taking a rest while THEY do the work! haha! Very nice blog, Flagday!
about 10 years ago | flag as spam
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Z U
So if one rights about seted up dreams then it becomes a story.
about 10 years ago | flag as spam
Photo 23902
I totally agree. I am often amazed by the dialogue that comes out in my dreams because it seems that I would not have been able to have made it up. Also, often something so insightful is being said that it is your subconscious trying to tell you "what you need to know," or so I have read. Recently I had a dream where I was at a hospital, and I made a big deal with a nurse about whether or not I had gone through the proper procedures to get the service I needed. The nurse laughed and said, "You would do better if you could lie a little bit," and I was completely shocked that she said that in the dream and I've been thinking about it since. But I digress! I completely agree that everyone is creative. For whatever reason some people exercise it to its fullest from when they're young, and others need to start to jog it and develop it when they need to.
about 10 years ago | flag as spam
Photo 31454
o man i behind you all the way dream on dreamer yeah wushu is brutal on the body i'm feeling it too :)
about 10 years ago | flag as spam
Photo 39499
Think Globally, Act Locally. i think it's very good and useful for a man living in modern society
about 10 years ago | flag as spam
Photo 16256
You know what? My dreams are exactly like shorts, mini-movies. I have different angles. I have cuts and action resuming at a different time (what's that called?) There's dialog, there's a setting or two. It's like I'm watching a little show and am both the character and outside the character.
about 10 years ago | flag as spam
Photo 30551
writing like this is why I love you.
about 10 years ago | flag as spam
Photo 28042
Thanks Kai. Love you too. Do you keep track of your dreams? Do you ever have one of your "characters" make such an eloquent speech you're blown away? Sometimes I'll think during the dream "God, I should write than down, that was such a good line...." I should really do a "dream log" for that purpose alone. How about you? P.S. I don't eat before bedtime so it's not like it's the burrito talking.
about 10 years ago | flag as spam
Photo 24393
Dreaming is awesome, Lucid Dreaming is even more badass. I've been lucid a few time, but I tend to wake up right away because Im overcome by the sheer awesomeness of it before I can actually enjoy it. I don't tend to remember my dreams, but a dream log sounds pretty cool. I think you can learn a lot about yourself and the world (of dreams) if you write down and 'remember' your dreams.
almost 10 years ago | flag as spam
Photo 29080
Damn, Flag. I re-read this blog today & it's one of the best blog entries EVER. I love the way you lay it all out. I recall the discussion on the MB & the pretty name of the one time poster who told about their lucid dream--'Crimson Butterfly'. A couple of weeks ago I had a series of dreams where a couple of people in my life were telling me things, but I can't remember what exactly they were telling me. It took about 3 dream fragments before I realized it was a theme & when I became conscious of it those dreams stopped. Strange.
almost 10 years ago | flag as spam
Photo 50023
I take it that the life we live is a dream, for what is a life? It is the life which you seek. And how you create it, is all through dreaming.......so technically I am dreamer! Love your blog! ;))
over 9 years ago | flag as spam
Photo 53803
If I remember my dreams i type them into a file....I used to woke up to a dream and at once turned on the Pc and wrote down what I have dreamed....they are actually very interesting things:)...and I always daydreaming....and more or less my dreams come true 'cos I start to act that way to make them into reality...
over 9 years ago | flag as spam
Photo 290347
I've read your blog. heheehe. We are currently building an EEG, EMG, physiological feedback device that can measure what is going on while you're awake and while you're dreaming. I am working with software engineers to graph the Mozart effect and then have the alpha, beta, theta, delta waves graphed and overlayed across various scenarios. Did you know depending on what scents you breathe in or what sounds you heard earlier in the day, some are like kryptonite to your dreams. And then chemicals like monosodium glutamate, roach-kill (pesticides) -your delta waves shoot up! Kind of wacky! Then what we did was record over longer periods to search for real pattern changes by reducing artifacts. Imagine writing your experience and then recording these patterns. And if certain dream events led to certain alpha, beta, theta, delta patterns. Since ancient times, humans have sought to understand their dreams. Understanding the brain is the final frontier of medicine.
over 7 years ago | flag as spam

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