Dreams are an incredibly rich source of inspiration for many artists, conjuring up seemingly random and often bizarre images from deep inside our subconscious. These stories and images tell stories about the artist in a raw and unfiltered way, giving us a peek into their hopes and aspirations, as well as their darkest fears and insecurities.
The challenge of transferring the fleeting, often intangible quality of dreams onto paper must be quite appealing to the adventurous artist. We often wake up with only vague recollections of our dreams, teasingly intriguing snippets of what was a grand production inside of our creative minds. Do you often remember your dreams? How would you interpret them on paper? Scroll down to see these visual representations of different artists' dreams, in a list compiled by Bored Panda and get inspired to dream!
#1 I Saw This Creature In My Dream
She told me that death is not one person, it's many conductors
Everyone dreams, on average around two hours per night, even people who claim not to. Instead of a single dream, people usually have several short dreams every night, with each one usually lasting only between five to 20 minutes.
#2 I Had A Dream About Tropical, Waterproof Sheep. I Decided To Paint It
They're special sheep that can be submerged in salty ocean water and only have the very outer layer of their wool get wet or something, I just remember that they were "waterproof" from my dream
The reason that most people claim not to dream is that more that 90% of all dreams are forgotten almost instantly after waking. But why? Dreaming occurs during Rapid-Eye Movement (REM) Sleep, if there is a transition from REM to another sleep stage before waking, the dream will usually disappear before you even knew it was there.
Even if you wake during REM sleep, the chemical processes that cause dreams quickly dissipate and the feeling that you were so caught up in quickly fades. Certain triggers throughout the day can cause a recollection of the dream however, for example if you have an experience that reactivates the same area of the brain that created the dream overnight.
#3 For Six Years Now This Dream Has Been Recurring Every Couple Months. So Far I Have Drawn 32 Illustrations From It
I have had a recurring dream for 6 years now of a hidden tribe in a jungle. They share the valley they inhabit with a creature that can take their souls and allow them to be reborn in whatever next body they want and they retain all their previous memories. This tribe has lived for thousands of years, protecting this creature from outsiders. Some of them will be reborn as animals too (and retain all human memories) to preserve the valley in other ways
#4 I Dreamt That Robert De Niro Was Posing For A Model Drawing Class
He had a monobrow and a female body and was dressed as a Playboy bunny while holding the upcoming Tool album
A researcher called Calvin S. Hall spent decades studying dreams, collecting over 50,000 dream accounts from college students.
He found that dreams evoke many emotions, but most of them tended to be more on the negative side. The most common emotion experienced in dreams was anxiety. It is not known why we tend to have more negative emotions in dreams than positive ones.
#6 I Painted A Dream. What Do You Think This Means?
I had this dream where I was riding around on a shark and "mining" the babies from the rocks. It was in World of Warcraft graphics, and I was mining like in the game. The babies were just growing out of the rocks. They ranged from normal sized babies to some very huge ones floating on stones everywhere. I went down into the water as well and mined some of the babies down there too. It was a very confusing experience
#7 I Keep Dreaming I'm Buried And Becoming A Red Tree
That's the interesting thing about my dreams lately - I'm in full astronaut gear, even in situations where it would be bizarre to find someone wearing it
There are some common dreams that we all have, regardless of who we are or where we are from. While obviously, most of our dreams result from our own experiences, some themes unite us all, like being chased, being attacked, or falling (those negative emotions again). Other universal dreams include being stuck and unable to move, arriving late, flying, and being naked in public.
#8 This Little Guy Came To Me In A Dream So I Drew Him
In my dream, these three little kittens come outta nowhere to my living room and start just doing kitten stuff. Kittens are always in my dreams, but they usually look normal. This time one looked like this. I call him Darth Kittyus. The second one was kinda crystalline, and I don't remember the third one, but it was weird too. Then this big army of people started trying to bust down my door. I think that was about it
#9 This Is My Dream, Illustrated
#10 Illustrated My Dream
Although I definitely hear things during dreams, the thing I always remember about them the most is the feeling. The intense emotions and feelings kind of overpower anything audible, like hearing isn't even necessary. But with this drawing specifically, I don't recall any noises. It was a powerful and looming silence, an intense dread permeated the atmosphere
It’s uncertain whether animals dream, but “it seems very likely,” Hugo Spiers, an experimental psychologist at University College London, told National Geographic. We've all seen and heard a dog seemingly having a great time while sleeping, wagging its tail and trying to run with its legs in the air. Just like us, animals have sleep stages that include cycles of REM and non-REM sleep, so it's definitely likely that your pup is indeed dreaming of frisbees in the park and endless butts to sniff.
#11 I Painted My Dream
I had a dream and then decided to paint it. It's lots of pigs screaming and wanting to escape a tower in which they're kept
#12 I Have Been Drawing A Recurring Dream Of 8 Years. I Feel My Images Would Fit In Here. This Is One Of Them
These dreams started to reoccur a week after the death of my brother. This drawing is based on the part of an idea where a tribal elder was telling his tribe about a prophecy he had of a green, pale-skinned man coming across the seas full of self-importance and malice. He would devour all of the life of the forest peoples and then vomit it back up mixing his culture of evil into their culture, changing it forever
#13 Inspired By A Dream. Three-Trunked Elephant Saving My Life As I Sink To The Bottom Of The Sea
#14 I Drew A Picture Of My Nightmare
Before anyone says anything, I haven’t watched the Babadook recently. I know it looks like him. This was a particularly terrifying nightmare that I woke up from in a cold sweat. In my dream, I was laying in my bed trying to sleep, and when I opened my eyes The Dagman (somehow I just knew that was his name) was standing in my doorway staring right into my soul. Needless to say, I freaked out and somehow managed to escape my room but no matter where I went he would always be creeping on me in the doorways
#15 I Moved To Seattle Several Months Ago. Since My First Night Here This Lady Kept Appearing In The Background Of My Dreams
She just stands out of the way watching and breathing heavily. She's appeared dozens of times. I drew her because she was so compelling
#16 I Have Always Had A Bit Of A Wild Nightlife. This Rooster Woke Me Out Of My Dream
He was standing strutting his stuff wearing cowboy boots outside of my bedroom window. So I just had to paint him. I was a bit annoyed that he was wearing my favorite cowboy boots. I love my dreams
#17 Painting Of A Very Vivid Dream I Had In 2014
It actually started quite sadly. I dreamt that my boyfriend died - I was standing at a beach, crying my eyes out, and suddenly the sky kind of opened and revealed this scenery. It was the most breathtaking picture I've ever seen, and the only fitting words to describe it with are either Eden, paradise or heaven. It was crazy how real it felt. By looking at this, I knew he was safe and in peace. I woke up and started crying immediately after opening my eyes and had to make a quick sketch. It was the most powerful and vivid dream I've had so far
#18 For My Concentration I’ve Chosen To Illustrate My Dreams. Here’s What I’ve Got So Far
I’m a high school student in AP Studio Art. I’m also an extremely active, and often lucid dreamer. For my concentration (theme) I’ve chosen to illustrate my dreams. My first one definitely wasn’t my best. It’s me hiding while some kind of entity is coming through the door. The second dream is recurring for me. I often dream of huge waves and flooding water and being caught in it. Not in a scary way, in a relaxing way. And the third one - I had that dream after falling asleep watching Cosmos, actually. It was so mesmerizing watching all the colorful explosions in the sky
#20 A Drawing Of A Dream I Had Recently
I feel lost but not in a bad way. Just enjoying the adventure
#21 Cletus From My Dream
I saw this guy in a dream. Apparently, he was a regular in this comic/coffee shop I was hanging out at, and everybody knew him. He didn't say anything, just left a trail of slime. He seemed alright though
#22 I Saw This Right Before Waking Up After A Nap On My Couch The Other Day
It was a familiar face, but I knew it was only a disguise hiding whatever it really was. It felt evil. Like it wanted something from me and was trying to trick me. I wasn't scared of it, but aware of its deceptive nature
#23 Man With Feet As Hands Came Back To My Dream Again
I am absolutely terrified of him, both times I woke up in cold sweat. He isn’t actually threatening though, he is just inconsolable (and slightly abrupt when he speaks). It also felt threatening that he kept giving me his footfoot instead of his handfoot when I was trying to comfort him (he sits behind me while crying), but he doesn’t actually do anything that motivates that. I was also sure he was going to hunt me and hurt me in the first dream, and I ran from him, but he did say that he wasn’t going after me, and I never saw him running
#24 A Drawing Of An Odd Dream I Had Recently
In this dream, I felt like I was witnessing some strange ritual that I wasn't supposed to be seeing. I wasn't afraid, but just kind of repulsed by what I was looking at, and then I woke myself up soon after it all began because I was like "I gotta get out of here." It seemed that I came across the whole situation accidentally
#25 Say Hi To This Unsettling Little Fella Who Popped Up In My Dreams Last Night
I don't remember the whole dream I had, but it played out like that pretty common horror movie scene where the family calls in a medium to check out the weird activity in the house, and the medium is walking around like "hmm, yes, I sense a dark energy here, particularly in this room." The dream was basically that, but the "camera" was looking down a hallway, 1st person perspective, and something pushed past the people standing in the hall, and the "camera" cut to face the people, and this creepy figure, about the size of a 10-year-old child, was standing in the shadows
#26 We All Have Monsters Within. This Is An Illustration Of A Dream I Had
#27 This Creep Is Based On A Dream I Had About A Masked Figure Offering Me A Tiny House
#28 Have You Ever Looked At Your Hands In A Dream?
I find my depiction to be the case when I'm lucid in dreams. I'm not sure if I can recall ever noticing my hands otherwise, in normal dream states
#29 Drawing Of A Dream I Had
This is an image I drew based on a dream I had a few weeks ago where I was getting a live bat tattooed onto my arm. I don't know what the dream means, but I haven't been able to forget this particular moment where the bat was screaming as it was buried under my skin.
#30 Back With Something Quite Strange
Some days ago I dreamt of an awful gloomy eye surrounded by veins, kinds of intestines and fragments of flesh, staring at me and talking to me with a loud voice, but I don't remember what he said, the only thing I can remember is this: "DYINGS CALL ME ARNN." It was quite disgusting, and when I woke up, I still had the memory of this dream in my head, and I decided to draw it