What is a lucid dream?
A lucid dream is a dream in which the dreamer is aware they are dreaming. This knowledge allows them to consciously control aspects of the dream.
Is lucid dreaming "real"?
Yes, lucid dreaming is well within the realm of mainstream science and has been for a while. American psychophysiologist Dr. Stephen Laberge verified it's existence in the 80s by way of a clever experiment in which he got lucid dreamers into the sleep lab and had them send a series of pre-arranged eye signals from within their dream. This was possible due to the fact that the only parts of your body which are not paralysed when you are dreaming are your eyes and your respiratory system.
Are your drawings pictures of stuff you have seen in your dreams?
No, they are re-creations of drawings I have drawn in my dreams. For example If there is an elephant in one of my drawings it doesn’t mean I dreamt of an elephant and then drew it. It means I dreamt of drawing an elephant and then drew that. Besides the drawing part most of my lucid dreams are incredibly uneventful and just involve walking from my bed to my desk.
Are you creating these drawings literally in your sleep, whilst sleepwalking or in some kind of trance?
No, If you think what I'm doing has anything to do with sleepwalking then you've got totally the wrong end of the stick. The drawings you see pictured on this website were done whilst awake BUT they are copies of drawings that were created in a lucid dream. So there are two versions of each drawing - One created by dream me with a dream pen and a dream piece of paper then another version which is a copy of that drawing. Unfortunately the dream ones aren't for sale as they don't exist in this dimension ;)
Is what you do a lucid dream or an out-of-body experience?
It’s complicated but the quick answer is it’s both. Contrary to popular belief an out-of-body experience refers to the experience of consciousness leaving the body without making any claims as to whether it actually is or not. The type of lucid dreaming I do is called wake induced lucid dreaming and this particular way of inducing a lucid dream often takes the form of an out-of-body experience which leaves the dreamer in a realistic dream version of the environment they went to sleep in.
If you can go anywhere and do anything in a lucid dream why do you just stay in your flat?
I generally stay in my flat because my primary focus is on getting a drawing and once that is done I see no need to stay in the dream. I have basically taken all the exciting and fun things that could happen in a lucid dream and channeled them into my drawings.
Of course this all changes when I am doing a personalised commission in which case I will fly out my window in order to meet the desired person or travel to the desired location. You can learn more about that here.
Some of the images look really complicated. How do you remember that much detail from your dream?
With the more complicated images there is a lot of guesswork involved. Generally speaking the simpler the image the more accurate it will be to the thing I created in the dream. When I’m drawing in the dream I intentionally try to keep it simple so I know I can replicate it but sometimes the dream just throws out something incredibly complex and I just have to give my best approximation.
How does it feel to draw in a lucid dream?
When you are in a lucid dream you are interacting with an environment that is guided and influenced by your thoughts. To put it simply if you expect something to happen then it probably will but not necessarily in the precise way you wanted. A lucid dream is a mixture of conscious intent and often surprising and random events occurring in reaction to that intent.
It is this dynamic which plays itself out on the page when I am drawing inside my lucid dream. Most of the time I just draw a single line before the dream takes over and fills the page with bizarre imagery. The dream reacts to my desire to create a drawing but the actual content is largely out of my control.
I see you also do stand-up comedy. Have you ever tried writing a joke in a lucid dream?
No I haven’t. I have a feeling if I tried this whatever language that came out would not be understandable as a joke. Ambiguity in a drawing can be interesting but an ambiguous joke is just a joke that doesn’t work. I mean it might be “weird” funny but it wouldn't be “funny” funny. Also I am painfully aware that attempting to mix ‘comedian’ with ‘lucid dream artist’ is a branding nightmare so I do my best to keep them separate.
How did you learn to lucid dream and can I do it too?
I am lucky enough to have naturally occurring lucid dreams/o.b.e.s fairly regularly and have done so since I was a child. As with anything there seems to be a spectrum of natural ability but literally anyone can learn to do it.
It is too vast a subject to do it justice here but very briefly there are two main ways of inducing a lucid dream - Dream Induced (DILD) and Wake Induced (WILD). Dream induced lucid dreams involve training yourself to recognize you are dreaming from within a regular dream and wake induced is where you retain awareness as you fall asleep.
If you want to learn more there are two books which I recommend - “Exploring the world of Lucid Dreaming” by Dr. Stephen Laberge and “Are you Dreaming?” by Daniel Love.