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08 October 2008

Creativity and dreams? I wanna chat about dreams and creativity! (Following up on this, and, more distantly, this one.) I have no visual imagination at all, but my dreams are full of all sorts of intricate and beautiful visuals. I even compose music in my dreams, which I totally can't do awake. This freaks me out. Does this happen to you? Have you ever successfully exported a creative work from a dream to the real world?
I even compose music in my dreams, which I totally can't do awake.

Totally. I often wake up from a noisy, music-filled dream and go "Whoa, it's so quiet in here."

Have you ever successfully exported a creative work from a dream to the real world?

I've written down brilliant ideas at 2 a.m. that make absolutely no sense in the morning.
posted by mudpuppie 08 October | 22:29
How's this? I once wrote part of a lecture on lucid dreaming in a dream.

Most of my story ideas come from dreams. I'm seldom that creative while awake. Maybe because I don't drink/smoke/inject/drop/etc.

ld4all is a good starting point. If you want to focus or derive anything from dream creativity, lucidity is almost certainly a requirement. At the very least, you'll need some of the dream recall techniques mentioned in the "how to" section.
posted by Eideteker 08 October | 22:34
I'm especially interested in the brilliant ideas from dreams that are still brilliant when you're awake. Sometimes I wake up after a dream of an original opera and I wonder - was it really any good, or did I just DREAM that it was good? I've managed to remember enough scraps that I'm convinced that at least sometimes, it really is good.

That's great, writing a lecture on lucid dreaming while dreaming! (I once spent most of my time under nitrous oxide planning the essay I was going to write about the experience!) I've never been more than barely lucid in a dream, and I wonder if being lucid would interfere with the creative bits that apparently like to hide while I'm awake. Still, I'd love to try it.

When I'm almost asleep and the room is perfectly quiet, I can sometimes (rarely) get myself to imagine music or voices as if I were actually hearing them, and with complete control-- an ability that I imagine that many musicians and composers have all the time.
posted by moonmilk 08 October | 22:58
If you're having dreams that touch you in this way, don't be so sure you don't have a creative visual/musical imagination that you don't give yourself credit for -- maybe the very richness of these dreams is trying to tell you something.
posted by treepour 08 October | 23:25
treepour hits the nail on the head.
posted by MonkeyButter 08 October | 23:34
Thanks, treepour & MonkeyButter. That may be-- I just find it fascinating and freaky that these facilities are more available when I'm asleep! And I'm not just talking about creativity, but about the fundamental faculty of visualization. There are no pictures in my head - except in dreams - and it's the same for sound. (See the above-linked thread for some neat discussion about visualization.)
posted by moonmilk 08 October | 23:45
I rarely have dreams and when I do they almost never carry over into waking life. I wish it was otherwise.
posted by arse_hat 09 October | 00:02
i could post a very long and detailed comment on the questions raised here, but i've used up my long comments for at least the time being. And i have much to do before i sleep. (Which is hopefully soon.)
And my back hurts in this weird position i'm in.
i promise i'll come back and try to post something, which is why i write now, to help me find it.
posted by ethylene 09 October | 01:26
Have you ever successfully exported a creative work from a dream to the real world?

Yes, I've written scripts based on what I've recalled from dreams - but those dreams were called upon to solve X problem. I do this, I read my brief/problem three times out loud them take a catnap. During that nap I might come up with a solution, and I might not. Either way I look at the problem way different when I wake up which is what I need to do. No dream-script has made it to production but a few made it to presentation, and one dream-campaign was in my portfolio for a while. (I can't recall why I took it out actually. It was for Wasa Crisp bread. Probably removed it because it was full of puns.)

In my night dreams I can do all sorts of crazy stuff - I often speak French (which I can't speak nor understand), I can fly and I can sing perfectly as well as 'hear' music I wish I knew how to write down. Colors in my dreams can also be insane and so vivid that the whole day seems bland after that.

posted by dabitch 09 October | 03:37
Aside from writing down my dreams for several years, no. I do often dream of flipping through drawings and paintings I've "done". In the dreams, and in real life after awaking, I'm often impressed with these. But I don't have the skills to recreate them.
posted by DarkForest 09 October | 08:29
That's interesting, dabitch, that you actually set yourself dream goals. And that sometimes it works!

DarkForest, that's happened to me sometimes too. A dream printer or camera would come in really handy.

After posting this last night, I went to bed and dreamed about dreaming. No, really!
posted by moonmilk 09 October | 11:45
I cycled 18 miles this evening. || Captain Hammer was made for porn