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February's Featured Author: Vivid Dreaming...

February 23, 2011
Today marks the last visit by February's Featured Author, Rowena Cory Daniells, and for that I am sad. She's been a total delight to have over, and her guest posts are fun and interesting. Here, she talks about vivid dreams and creativity. Read on & enjoy!

Turns out Vivid Dreamers are more Creative.

One of the most visited posts on my KRK blog is Do Creative Peoplehave more Vivid Dreams? And from the research I’ve done the answer would have to be yes.

I’ve always had vivid dreams, in full colour complete with back-story. If I’ve been reading graphic novels the dreams will be stylized and, on occasion, they’ve been set to music with people speaking in rhyme. I’ve used the feeling that resonates with me after dreams as the basis for stories and even a book series.

This painting by Maxfield Parrish is called Daybreak. It’s his most famous piece. My grandparents had a print hanging on the wall in their living room. I distinctly remember looking up and seeing it for the first time. I must have been five or six because it was very high on the wall and I couldn’t get close enough to it. I love the dreamlike quality of this painting.

Here is a list of dreams some of which prompted people to create a book or song, others led to scientific break throughs. My son, who is studying computer programming dreams about logic sequences. I dream up solutions to plot problems.

In his article ‘The Dream Canvas’ Tori DeAngelis quotes Stickgold. ‘There may be a good metaphorical reason that artists are so attached to their dreams. In the broadest sense, dreams mimic a critical stage of creativity: brainstorming the range of possibilities, or what psychoanalysts call free association.’ Apparently, when dreaming the ‘ … brain areas responsible for executive control, logical decision-making and focused attention shut down … while sensory and emotional areas come alive. In addition, short-term memory functions are deactivated, so that the emotional content of images remains, but the waking context does not.’

Recent research has shown that there are people who are prone to lucid dreaming. ‘Watson … says that he was surprised by the finding. "I actually thought dream recall was going to be related to stress and anxiety, because the literature indicates that the things that disturb sleep tend to promote dream recall," … Instead, his data support the idea that there's a type of person more likely to tune into their dreams than others.’ And that was the creative person.

Do you experience Lucid Dreaming? This is a form of dreaming where you know you are dreaming, and you can exercise control over the dream. This may sound impossible, but it is believed computer game players have control over their dreams.

In their study of creativity and dreaming, Pagel and Kwiatkowski found that ‘dreaming is likely to have a functional role in the creative process’. And now scientific studies have found that if you nap after studying and dream about what you were studying you are likely to retain more. So the tip is to study, then sleep on it before an exam. Maybe you find it hard to sleep before and exam. If you’re like my cat you can sleep anywhere, any time.

For me, dreams are very real. I’ve had conversations with people, only to realize by their blank expression that the discussion I remember occurred in a dream. No wonder they looked confused. (Now I’m starting to sound really weird. LOL).

Do you have vivid dreams? Do you draw from them to inspire your writing, music or art? Do dreams help you sort through problems in your waking life? Do you dream more vividly after starting a new job and learning new skills?

To bring fabulous February to a close, Rowena is giving away a set of her King Rolen’s King trilogy and a set of her Last T’En trilogy to two winners (one winner for each set). This one's open INTERNATIONALLY!

To enter, comment below and answer the following question: Are there any artists who have inspired you and why?

Remember to include your email address, and do this before 6pm CST March 2nd!

My answer: I'm assuming "artist" as in "art", so I'm answering accordingly. I don't know that there are any specifically, but then again I'm about as creative as a rock... I do like Kandinsky's work, just for the colors. But when it comes to art, I'm an ignorant noob. :P


Unknown said...

There are no artists that I can think of who inspired me. Please enter me in contest.

lindseye said...

I like Norman Rockwell who paid attention to details in everyday life and highlighted the good while acknowledging that there was room for improvement. Good philosophy and love his work.

linze_e at

Fallingladies said...

Totally... My favorite painting is by Monet, Bar at the Folie Bergere, where the woman is bartending but with a blank expression of being lonely in a crowd or of just not being present, wanting to be anywhere else. I know that feeling.

Fallingladies said...

oops, e-mail is

holdenj said...

I thought the comments about dreams were very interesting...I tend to dream pretty vividly, especially if every day life is hectic. I like a few different periods of art, but as far as inspiration, I'd have to go with Magritte. He has a bit of an impressionistic style in the beginning but then some Dali like works that aren't quite as crazy as Dali. But use everyday objects and such. Just always interesting.

Anonymous said...


You must be a music type person.

Anonymous said...


Love Norman Rockwell!

Anonymous said...


Monet, yay. The French Impressionists!

Anonymous said...


Magrite and Dali. So many wonderful artworks.

Aik said...

Yes, of course. There's Enakei, Tsai Chih-Chung and many others.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Jessica said...

I really like Monet because he used so much color to make his art vivid. It is beautiful!

jsididia at gmail dot com

Jaedia said...

Actually, I was going to say no.. Though, then again, I would include musicians, writers, and poets as artists, myself, and that's a difficult question to answer in that case! There are an awful lot of people who have influenced my writing. But I'll have to say Van Gogh. I'm not a very arty person really, but there is something that has always fascinated me about the man and his paintings. A beauty.

jaedia @ live

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