How do artists find their inspiration?
Each has their own repertoire - and as a lucid dreamer, you have a wealthy source of surreal imagery and raw emotional expression by night. Meanwhile, the rest of the world sleeps on.
Lately I've discovered digital painting to express my lucid dreams. I've found the medium much more accessible than traditional painting.
Whether you are an experienced artist or a complete beginner, as a lucid dreamer you have a considerable untapped source of creativity.
The more technically-minded may choose to work with a program like Photoshop on a PC. However I've found the act of drawing with a stylus on a touchscreen tablet much more natural and fluid.
Here's what you'll need to go the same route:
First, the device. If you already have a tablet of sorts that's great - move on to the next bit.
I use an iPad Air which I really like. It's one of the more recent generations iPads so it's very responsive to touch. This makes a big difference to the digital painting process.
A Pressure-Sensitive Stylus
The stylus acts as your paintbrush. You can work solely with your fingertips but most digital painters find a stylus more efficient.
The important thing is you choose a stylus that's pressure-sensitive for the most realistic brush strokes. That means a lighter touch creates a lighter stroke, for example.
A Digital Painting App
The most widely recommended digital painting app among artists is Procreate.
For beginners and professionals, Procreate is very clean and intuitive. I've quickly come to learn what all the painting symbols mean and so the fun begins when you randomly match different settings and apply them to your canvas.
Despite its apparent simplicity, professional artists can still achieve all kinds of amazing works with Procreate, which is why it's popular across the artistic spectrum. View example works and download Procreate at the Apple store.
Digital Painting Tutorials
Once you've got the essential painting gear, you're ready to go. Being new to the world of digital painting, I took a helping hand from fellow lucid dreamer and artist, Louis Dyer. In fact, his artwork is the reason I got interested in digital painting in the first place.
Sign up to his online course Digital Painting on The iPad. The video tutorials talk you through different ways to approach the canvas, as well as cool techniques for painting your lucid dreams, like adding luminescence. Besides his beginner and advanced courses, I recommend you check out Louis' lucid dream artwork too to see what's possible.
Here's my first attempt at painting an actual lucid dream. It emerged from Louis' tutorial on using the Selection Tool to start creating a landscape.
As I built up the layers of hills I suddenly recalled a memorable lucid dreamscape and so I fleshed out the rest of the piece while thinking about my lucid dream.
While lucid, I explored a peaceful night-time environment with lights in the distance and the air warm around me. It soon turned into a star-gazing dream and the more I watched the night sky, the more it came to life with unexpected movement. Eventually a meteor exploded in the sky and scattered into pieces.
I used some artistic licence with the composition; this wasn't quite the same view of my dream... my current technical skills wouldn't allow me to paint that. But it still portrays the ambience and stillness of that incredible lucid dream and I love that I now have this image to remind me of that.
One of the cool features of Procreate is that once you've finished your piece, you can export a video of the creation process.
I'll continue to share my lucid dream artwork in future under Rebecca's Lucid Dreams. You can follow my progress and hopefully learn more about the experience of my lucid dreams.
More importantly, I hope you're inspired to try painting your own dreams. It's an addictive experience and very fulfilling. In the space of two weeks I've learned a lot through practice, so I'm sure this is a learnable skill.
When you start digitally painting your lucid dreams, please share your work in our Dream Art Gallery so we can all share in your lucid dreams. I'd love to build the world's largest online collection of artwork by lucid dreamers.
I was walking down a hallway with my dad when it happened. A dark, pointy figure grabbed me by the ankles and flung me down the hall. I was shocked and in pain. But before I knew what was happening, he marched over to me and did it again. He was furious. He was going to destroy me. And I had nothing. Except for my lucidity.
Members of our lucid dream forum have been asking how to create dream characters in lucid dreams. The most common problem is having characters who look nothing like they should. Or they seem disinterested in your company. Or they fail to show up on command altogether. So, how to combat this? It's a matter of finding creative solutions that bypass logical expectations.
To lucid dream, I recommend being able to remember at least one vivid dream per night. That will boost your self awareness in dreams (making lucidity more likely) and also means you can actually remember your lucid dreams. Which is nice. Here are four detailed tips on how to remember your dreams more frequently. And if you don't think you dream at all - trust me, you almost certainly do. It takes an extraordinarily rare sleep disorder to deprive someone of dream sleep.
It is estimated that these wise and wily Indians have been using mugwort in their healing and ritual practices for 13,000 years, where it is known as the ‘dream sage’. They use the herb to promote good dreams, which they consider an essential aspect of normal human functioning! But that’s not all...
Silene Capensis has been used for millennia by the Xhosa shaman of the river valleys in the eastern cape of South Africa, where it is known as Undela Ziimhlophe or 'white paths'. It's fragrant white flowers open only at night, when they emit a fragrant and almost hypnotising aroma. Also known as African Dream Herb or Ubulawu, Silene Capensis induces spectacularly vivid dreams - yet has never entered the mainstream and remains a fringe taste within western culture.
Experts agree that everyone is capable of having lucid dreams. Dreaming itself is a normal function of the mind. We all dream every night, even if we don't remember. And we all achieve conscious awareness while awake every single day. So what does it mean to combine these states? Why, the amazing ability to have conscious - or lucid - dreams. Sounds simple, doesn't it? So why do I keep hearing from people who say they can't achieve their first lucid dream?