Drawing & Painting Inspiration: How to Powerfully Paint your Dreams

By Milan Art Institute on April 2, 2021
Drawing & Painting Inspiration: How to Powerfully Paint your Dreams

Photo caption: Artist Dimitra Milan exemplifies the idea expressed by Vincent Van Gogh, “I dream my painting and I paint my dream,” in many of her paintings. “Night Beauty,” pictured above, was dreamt by the collector, before she ever saw it! 

For the artist, finding the right inspiration for drawing and painting means the difference between making a world-changing art and just making ho-hum art. While inspiration is all around us, there is one source of art inspiration that has been with artists all their lives: their dreams. 

In fact, dreams have played such an important role in art that many a painting, drawing or sculpture has arisen out of these nocturnal activities, and for artists like the Surrealists, this is especially so!

However, that doesn’t mean that only the Surrealists of yesterday use their dreams as inspiration for drawing and painting. Today, many exceptional paintings, including some that are produced by students here at the Milan Art Institute. These exceptional works of art show the possibilities that dream-inspiration can offer. 

If you’re interested in making your dreams into a painting or series of paintings, then read on. 

Inspiration for Drawing and Painting: The Mystery of Dreams

As an artist, you have the sensitivity and keen ability to see beyond the surface. You may already have an awareness of this, or this could be something that is buried deep within your mind, waiting to be acknowledged. 

Maybe, you believe that only some artists, like the Surrealists, can wield deeply symbolic and impactful meanings in their work, and your own art can never be anything more than “pretty.” This is FALSE!

Every artist is given insightful abilities in order to create deeply moving art that inspires the world. 

One of the main ways that artists uncover important inspiration for their work is through their dreams. Everyone dreams at night, and these images store a wealth of mysterious and vital material to pull from. These dream-inspired works make for some powerful artwork

Dreams are prophetic. All artists have the ability to tap into this gift. BUt to do this, you must learn the symbolic language of dreams and use them as inspiration to powerfully paint your dreams. 

Art Inspiration: The Role of The Dreamer

To hone in on this mysterious gift that leads society forward can be exciting, but it can also be confusing and intimidating. When it comes to dreams, interpretation is key. 

Here are some helpful tips and principles to remember when interpreting dreams.

Dream Interpretation Tips for Paintings 

  • You must interpret a dream like a poet. Go with your gut feeling! Images and events in dreams are almost always symbolic. These symbols  are metaphors for important truths and ideas and serve as the vehicle for these ideas to be shared. Think of the function of the subject/object of your dream, and what quality or principle it makes you think of.
  • The meaning of the metaphor depends on the context of your dream, and what the symbol means to you. As a result, sometimes “negative” situations in dreams don’t represent negative meanings. For example, dying in your dream most likely means that a part of yourself that is no longer serving you is dead. Looking at it this way evokes a feeling of new beginnings and expansion. This is the mood that your painting will end up communicating. 
  • You may not always understand the significance of what you paint, but that is because the painting is meant for a specific person. Take this as a good sign, because it means that you’ve successfully captured the feeling of your dream, rather than the literal illustration of it. The viewers of your painting will benefit from the inspiring meaning that will naturally emerge. 
  • Make it a regular practice to write your dreams down as soon as you wake up. This helps you remember them better when you’re looking for inspiration for drawing and painting. A special journal dedicated to dreams placed by your bed will help you get into this habit. Don’t hit the snooze button! You are interrupting your dreams which makes it harder to remember when you finally do wake up. 

Encouragement for Creating Prophetic Paintings 

Dreams can provide insightful revelations that not only benefit you, but the rest of the world as your art continues to deliver deep and important messages. 

Like divine poetry, they will lead others to uplifting conclusions about various situations in life, and it’s such a privilege to be able to translate the mystery and value of your dreams to canvas. 

For more tips on using your dreams as inspiration, think about joining our interactive Milan Art Community

For More Inspiration for Drawing and Painting, Read On!

Quick Tips for Artists: The Vibrant Impact of an Artist’s Brush Strokes

3 Ways to Emulate the Masters Without Copying Them

5 Sketchbook Tours: Drawing Inspiration From Other Artists

Milan Art Institute
Milan Art Institute

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