About 1 in 5 respondents volunteered that they associated creative outlets like drawing, painting, poetry, etc with dreams. For about half of them, dreams help with some creative activity that exists more or less independent of the interest in dreams (see quotes under Creativity supported by dreams). With the other half, dreams are directly responsible for becoming creative, usually to express the dream (see quotes under Creative dreamwork).

I wonder whether dreamers are more attracted to creative arts than the general population. Is a number of 1 in 5 a high number? I think so.

Quotes are given for both natural dreamers and self-starters.

Natural dreamers

Creativity supported by dreams
I started writing poetry in my teens and found dreams to be a great source of ideas/images.
Patricia Grace
I began writing poetry at I believe age 8. Many times my poems have come from dreams.
Being an artist i have a great imagination and am able to put it on paper or canvas.
I've always told my family my Dream Stories. I came from a long line of Story Tellers. My Dreamzzz were regarded as fine Story fodder.....
Sharri Lorraine
I was in the habit of bringing information and "stories" revealed to me in my dreams into my waking life.
As a writer, dream-recording became a logical extension of the first-thing-in-the-morning-writing-exercise.
Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little
Creative dreamwork
I often translate my dreams into poetry, short fiction or works of art as well.
Lauri Jean Crowe
Many of my photo/art works at in my RPM gallery, are dream-based.
I've heard songs which I've remembered but mostly forgotten.
Charles Nazareth
Omdat leren door studie me ligt, begon ik steeds meer boeken te lezen en dit wakkerde weer het verlangen aan om meer met mijn dromen te doen dan ze opschrijven. Dus paste ik van alles toe dat ik in de boeken had gelezen (aanvankelijk vooral de 'mentale' technieken, door de droomcursussen die ik later ging doen ook creatieve methoden als schilderen, uitspelen, gedicht maken van een droom) en ging uiteindelijk een droomleerjaar doen (cursus in de buurt).
Berthe Bogers
I did try to describe the dreams as detailed as possible and make drawings with them in my notebook.


Creativity supported by dreams
When my children were old enough for me to start writing regularly, I began a journal. Sometimes, cruising for things to write about, I'd recount a dream. I also began writing poetry, and was amazed and surprised to find that I would wake up in the middle of the night with just the right phrasing or image that I needed. I started to keep paper by the bed so I could record these gems.
As I realized in college, though, dreaming is a different way of using your mind, and that's what interests me. I first realized this when I solved a math problem I was working on in a dream. It was really exciting, and kept me on a high all day.
J.R. Harvey
At about age 28 my study of ancient poetry led to keeping a dream journal.
In terms of my creative writing I have not found dreams to be much use at generating ideas on a large scale (what seems incredibly profound in the night is usually rather pointless in the morning), but when it comes to the simple generation of a descriptive piece for example they really come into their own - the opportunity to walk around in the body of a character I have created (male or female) and to experience things as they would experience them is profoundly useful in writing rich and vital and above all accurate narrative.
Simon M.
I did problem solving in College with math assignments.
Creative dreamwork
I have written my dreams down in a journal, I have drawn pictures of images and symbols from my dreams, I have also written songs and poems from different dream experiences.
Valley Reed
I read a science magazine article in the 1980's on lucid dreaming and the techniques for inducement that intrigued me. I was totally skeptical, yet the promised result enticed me to try the techniques. I stuck with the bizarre ritual for approximately a month, and then had three lucid dreams within a matter a weeks--the last of which is the subject of my best-selling suspense novel, "Wake Up Dead."
Christopher Bonn Jonnes
[..] there are days I wake incredibly enthused, that I will draw or dance completely doubt-free. I'm a writer, and poems have come from impressions in dreams.
To a limited extent, used artwork, movement, poetry, Tarot & dream cards to explore dream images / messages.


The creative potential of dreams is appreciated by a minority of the longtime dreamers. With 1 in 5 dreamers combining dreams with other creative activities, it is likely that dreamers are more creative than the general population.

Email Harry Bosma for any comments or questions.

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