Monday, April 5, 2010

Dreaming Is Free

My dreamscape is usually not a pretty place. I try to maintain a positive attitude towards life in my waking moments, so my subconscious often feels the need to compensate. Goodness, my dreams are frequently angst-fests, and not something I look forward to remembering. Ah, but sometimes...sometimes a completely different part of my brain operates during sleepy time.

Creativity is a nebulous sort of thing in a lot of ways. I know I don't really understand how it works even for me. But I do know that when my subconscious decides to exercise its creativity instead of its anxiety, the results are pure gold.

As an example, a couple of weeks ago, I had a pair of amazing dreams. I dozed off one Saturday night for an hour or so, and that is a standard recipe for the worst kind of dreams for me. Instead, my brain crafted a neat little tale where my characters Drone Man and Enemy Alien had a fight in a spooky forest at night. There were ray guns and sting beams galore. Genius! A day or two later, I dreamt that Igadevil and I had organized a Kamen Rider convention/stage show in my tiny little hometown. It was so cool that I was disappointed when I woke up. Usually, I'm relieved to learn "it was all just a dream".

I've even been known to create characters in my dreams. The best example came a long time ago, back in the days when I was voraciously reading the original Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe series. I was fascinated by the appendix section on the inside back covers, which included brief text entries for characters that didn't warrant full entries. Many of those guys were unknown to me at the time, and I still can't say I know most of them that well.

As it happened, one night that appendix got filtered through my subconscious, and what came out was intriguing indeed. At least two Marvel characters I had never seen, Cobalt Man and the Orb, were recast in all-new Chris Elam versions. My dream guys have very little to do with the "real" characters, but that is what makes them fun. In fact, they will be turning up later this year in renamed form as part of Captain Satellite's world. I never waste a character if I think they have even a scrap of potential to be something entertaining.

This past Wednesday night, I was lying in bed, half awake and half dreaming. It was the same state that conjured my ersatz Cobalt Man and Orb years ago. This time, my mind created a character I dubbed "the Psychedelic Man". I love psychedelic music, and the imagery that accompanies it. Heck, I even think the word "psychedelic" is quite groovy. I'm down with everything except the substances, I suppose.

Next morning, I sat down and drew the Psychedelic Man exactly the way he had appeared in my mind. You can see him over at my deviantArt account. That led almost inexorably to even more artwork. It was nicely reassuring that, even when you feel like you're in a bit of a dry spell, your brain can snap out of it without warning.

Do you get any creative inspirations from your dreams?

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