Since I was about 4 or 5 years old, I've had the occasional vivid dream that I can later recall quite strongly. Either because it was a recurring dream (I have a few that I can still remember from back then, although unfortunately most of those were nightmares) or I enjoyed the dream-story so much that I wrote it down in one of the notebooks that I have hanging around me. Just reading my notes about the dream brings it all back once again.
There are a few times when I'm lucid dreaming, and in some of those I like to completely change the dream or at the very least, manipulate the "story". Some of my all-time favorites involve shape-shifting. I think it's memories from lessons in my old anatomy classes that also make shifting so attractive -- instead of changing in a flash from my own self to whatever creature I want to be (werewolf, swan, Tyrannosaurus Rex, mermaid, etc.), I like to make the changes properly and methodically, so that I can feel the bones and muscle grow or modify, the weight difference from my original self to the new creature, and the addition or modification of my limbs...and how the new body all works together once the shift is complete.
Elements from those shape-shifting dreams are currently driving some ideas I have for my participation in a fun little comic anthology. I'm working on it along with some concept artists (professional and student-level) that I've gotten to know in the last year. Not something we plan to sell, but rather use as self-promotion; and some have mentioned that they plan to include their contribution as part of their sketchbooks for this year's Comic-cons. In any case, I posted some of the very rough sketches I've been doing over the weekend for that.
Interesting, too -- it appears that there is a japanese feature animation called Paprika that is about a "dream detective who can enter into people’s dreams and synchronize with their unconscious to help uncover the source of their anxiety or neurosis". It looks pretty cool. I really wish that there were good animation studios here that also did movies for adults and not just kiddie films. Anyways, the movie was released last year in Asia and should be in theaters here in the U.S. in May or June 2007, most likely in rather limited release.
In other news....
Just back from a brief visit with the Disney folks for another licensing meeting for my day job. Had a nice dinner conversation with David P., a long-time Disney artist who has worked on a variety of feature animation projects and who most recently lead the creative development of the Disney Signature furniture collection (really cool and unfortunately every piece is way out of my budget), on working with interns (we both have some that will be starting in the next few months) and on some key creative best practices or maybe a "creative nugget" that we could take from the many years of professional work that we've done (we each have about 20 years of artistic work, his with the various Disney departments, me with various freelance, corporate and private companies in some creative capacity of one kind or other) that could be passed on to our future interns. After some discussion, we agreed that the simple idea to not immediately refuse a new project simply because you don't have prior experience is one of the best bits of wisdom we could pass on. Don't let inexperience scare you away!
Now, I just need to listen to my own advice....
Speaking of freelance and future job projects, I'm doing some freelance illustration work once again for some more children's textbooks with a publisher I've worked with before, so my postings will be rather limited if at all for the next few weeks.
And, back to those dreams of mine....
One of my more recent interesting dreams pulled in scenes and characters from two different books I read some time ago, "Blood and Chocolate" and "Moon Called". Well, the second was a year ago and the other one about 6 years ago I think. Both of them were werewolf stories - which made my dream most excellent IMO. Nothing like turning into a werewolf and having a bit of fun. Grrrrrr... :) However, since I hadn't reread those books in a while, I believe that the dream may have been influenced by a project I'd been thinking about...a painting I've been wanting to schedule time to develop....and that's probably what really got me dreaming about werewolves. I've posted one of the initial rough concepts sketches for that illustration below.
Rubs hands together with glee -- Let the creative work begin!