Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Dream is Art the Mind Paints with Memories

This is part 4 of a 4 part series starting with Do Androids Dream of System Updates?

Going through the process of managing my sleep and dreams this past month has been profound. While writing everything down has been a fantastic study on myself, I feel like I have a better understanding of how to operate the controls of this thing I have to pilot around the planet for the next 50+ years.
"A memory of something that doesn't exist and never took place"
As Artists, looking outward is a great way to learn about the world and build our visual library. But the process of looking inward has helped me realize something deeper. The key to this whole art thing is in fact memory. 

Not just accessible memory, vacation memories, memories of your first kiss, your dog, your grocery list, no. It's more like memory loaded with all sorts of nooks and crannies of everything that would be impossible to describe. Like a junk drawer of puzzle pieces waiting to be used. Inspiration is when you finally realize that you have a few pieces that might fit together. We can take everything we experience and turn that into a future. A memory of something that doesn't exist and never took place (a.k.a. an Idea).
"If memory is the key to good art, then sleep is the key to good memory"
Because we tend to only remember the things that are important to us, It helps to focus on our relationship with what we want to remember and our sleep pattern. If memory is the key to good art, then sleep is the key to good memory.

What sleep actually does for us is organize our memories base on context. Things that are important or that we focus on become strong memories where are all the rest fades into the background. We need this to help us study. Otherwise we would go mad with all the superfluous detail getting in our way.

We pick a topic and study it to add to the junk drawer for later use, we sleep (low wave) to vacuum out all the loose pennies and cob webs, and we dream (REM) to strengthen what we are studying

So, as someone who's always looking to improve, it seems illogical for me to not try and get a handle on my sleep habits. I wouldn't want a hard day's work to be zapped by a bad night of sleep. So in the most simple terms:

If I want to get better at my craft, and sleep is the key to that, then I simply have to get better at sleep and dreams. Any other action would be irresponsible for me and my work.
The Conclusion (TL;DR): 
  • The sleep experiment taught me a lot about myself and improved the depth of my creativity.  
  • Art and creativity is a type of synesthesia in the brain.
  • If art is my craft and my brain is my strongest tool, then sleep is how I properly maintain it.
  • Dreams improve memory (up to 10 fold). 
  • Dreaming is fun and good for you, so it's a win win. 

I hope this inspired you to try and work out a healthy sleep pattern and connect with your dreams on a deeper level. And I hope you realize that you have the power to control your creativity and use it to your benefit. Because why not be excellent? What else is there to do?

Thanks for reading, and sweet dreams everybody.

For the full Dream report you can view the journal here

I've been busy working on a project that will be announced soon. I can't say much now, but I can say it's the space RPG I've always wanted but never got made. And I'm just the lucky dude who ended up working on it. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for these articles, I love how open you write. Straight from your mind.

    Almost 2 years ago now I've had my first random lucid dream and woke up in the middle of the night all excited and never felt more energized. Told everybody about my experience until someone referred to it as lucid dreaming, did some research and started the action. Dream journal, reality checks and everything. Soon enough it happened again, ooh that refreshing feeling.
    One side effect I noticed was that day felt as a dream with less possibilities (dangerous disconnection of reality) where the day become the boring sleep part and the dream becomes your life. I felt I needed to balance that out before things went out of control.

    I still keep a mental dream journal always replaying what I just dreamed about in the morning and saying it out loud from time to time, but I think the side effects came from the reality check, always doubting reality...

    This is getting long, sorry :/

    Anyways what I wanted to say is, keep it under control and stay aware!

    I'm an even bigger fan of awareness as this also boosts your energy. Idk if you've had those moments when its all clear in your head and you feel connected with everything and suddenly see the big picture (this is called 'Salve corpus amantis' btw).
    Look up 'the overview effect' and you'll get it :)

    Again thank you for these awesome posts,

    Keep going,

    Elie Verbrugge