Drawing Dreams: Quick Illustrations to Find Your Passion | Elle Luna | Skillshare

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Drawing Dreams: Quick Illustrations to Find Your Passion

teacher avatar Elle Luna, Artist, Designer & Author

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Materials & Drawing


    • 3.

      Gathering Inspiration


    • 4.

      Collecting Your Dreams


    • 5.

      Drawing a Moment


    • 6.



    • 7.

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About This Class

Join Elle Luna — artist, designer, and author of The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion — for a fun, creative exercise in drawing your nightly dreams.

In this short class, Elle swiftly walks through materials you already have on hand, easy ways to remember your dreams, and tips on finding the perfect moments to illustrate.

Dreams can unlock amazing insight. This is an opportunity to draw the extent of your imagination. Give yourself permission to get creative! You'll walk away with a prompt you can do again and again, beautiful work, and insights you may not have even known were there.


Continue learning with Elle on Skillshare!

Meet Your Teacher

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Elle Luna

Artist, Designer & Author


Elle Luna paints, designs, and writes. She also runs a textile venture, the Bulan Project, a collaboration between designers and master batik artists in Bali, and has previously worked as a designer at IDEO and with startups including Mailbox, Medium, and Uber. She speaks to groups around the world, sharing the story of "The Crossroads of Should and Must," and lives in San Francisco and online at elleluna.com.

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1. Introduction: Hello. I am Elle Luna. Welcome to my Skillshare class. You are joining me in my studio in the white room from my dreams, which I have talked about and painted and written about in a book that came out last year called 'The Crossroads Of Should And Must'. The book tells you a little bit about who I am. I'm an artist, a designer and an author. The book tells the story about how I landed specifically right here in this room, which you can check out. This class is a part of the Choose Must Group of Classes that I'm teaching here on Skillshare. Today we're going to specifically be looking at the role that dreams play in our lives. So this project is about getting in touch with your own dreams, the ones that you have when your eyes are closed and you're asleep, not the waking kind although those are also very powerful. We're actually going to be looking at your own dreams that you have every night all of the time and specifically looking at dreams in order to paint them. The final outcome for this project that I would love for you to upload into the class visuals is painting your dreams. Maybe you just do it for a couple of nights, maybe you do it for many nights, but the goal is to create a painting or a drawing of something that you dreamed about. These dreams are signs, signals, clues that get us closer to discovering, finding, and following our must. So thank you for joining and let's begin. 2. Materials & Drawing: For this class you're going to need a couple of materials. You're going to need your phone or a voice recorder, with your phone you will really only be using the voice recording function, so, maybe if you have an audio tape recorder or an MP3 recorder you can do that too. You are also going to need some paper or anything else that you might want to document your dreams on, I think starting simple and just getting a sketchbook where you're going to begin drawing your dreams is very helpful, and then you'll need some tools for mark making, maybe it's a sharpie maybe you get some colored pencils. My one tip around tools would be to keep it simple. Keep your tools maybe to a couple of things. If you're anything like me, I'm always nervous that I'm going to leave the house and have this wonderful big insight and not have that brush. So, I pack everything into my bag, this isn't exactly a helpful way to go about your project however. I would design everything to fit in your daily commuting bag so that anywhere you are, if you've got an extra 15 minutes maybe while you're waiting at the doctor's office or you have some time on the bus or your flight gets delayed, bingo you have everything that you need to do your project right then and there. Specifically, I particularly love a project that can travel. This spring I found myself doing this project, painting my dreams every single day for 100 days straight. I committed to it publicly on Instagram and I just completed my 100th day a couple of days ago. What I found was that I was actually going to be on the road quite a bit, I was going to be on airplanes. So, my entire project had to be able to operate on the fold down table and an airplane seat. So, look at your schedule that's ahead and design your tools as simply as you can to be on the go or whatever that you need for your own schedule. So, once you have all of those materials laid out, get the band together, get all the parts together, lay them out and we'll begin in the next exercise. 3. Gathering Inspiration: I want to talk a little bit about the power of dreams. So, scientifically, we have between 1,461 dreams and 2,300 dreams on average a year. That's a lot of dreams, but 60 percent of us say that we don't even dream at all. I don't know if you dream or if you remember your dreams. We forget 95 to 99 percent of the dreams that we have. Isn't that incredible? So, I knew that I was in an uphill battle, and I wanted to get more in touch with my dreams, but I felt like there was greater intelligence there. I had been hearing about all these different people who had been inspired by their dreams, for example, Paul McCartney. You know the song 'Yesterday'? That tune, the melody from 'Yesterday' came to him in a dream. Mary Shelley, the author of 'Frankenstein', that entire book came to her in a dream. Dreams can tell us so much, and I began to wonder, in my own life, what was I missing by not connecting with my dreams? One day, I found myself sharing with a friend that I was actually having a recurring dream over and over again, where I would walk into a beautiful white room with concrete floors and tall warehouse windows, and I would sit on this floor for this dream, and I will be filled with the most unbelievable sense of peace, and I had this dream over and over again. One day, a friend asked the question that really changed everything. She said, "Have you ever thought about looking for this dream in real life, like during the day time?" So, in the book, I talk about this particular moment and my question was that I wanted to find my dreams, but I wanted to know where do I go. So, when you decide to look for your dreams in real life, where do you go? I went to Craigslist. I went to Craigslist and I ended up finding this studio, this place that I had dreamed about. It was quite literally the white room that I had been dreaming about and sitting inside of and that's how I'm here today and we're talking on Skillshare in a dream that is now manifested in reality. Isn't that wild? So, what I would invite you to think about is that every night when you go to sleep, you are having very powerful invitations from your own unconscious about things that are important to you or things that maybe are worth revisiting, maybe things that don't even make sense and are kind of mysterious because dreams can be kind of confusing or chaotic even sometimes. Well, I wanted to get to know them and if you do too, I think this class is perfect because I'm going to walk through some simple techniques using your phone, the paper, the pen and the five minutes after you wake up in the morning to getting more in touch with these mysterious otherworldly messages. So, once you get all your tools together and you're ready to go, go to the next exercise. 4. Collecting Your Dreams: So, if you want to get more in touch with your nightly mysterious visions. Here are the tips and tricks that I use. Within the first five minutes you have a capacity to capture your dreams. So, enter the iPhone or enter a voice recording device. Every morning when I wake up before my head is even off the pillow, I grab my phone and I don't check Instagram, I don't check my email, I don't do anything. I go right to my voice recorder and I hit record and I put the phone on the pillow next to the bed and I begin to talk. I begin to recount my dreams and sometimes I even doze off while I'm recording. But, I come back and I keep talking, and specifically when you do this, maybe tonight when you go to sleep in the morning set the intention that you want to remember your dreams. In the morning when you wake up, maybe they aren't even there, maybe you begin to panic that you can't find them. Grab your phone, hit the recorder, and relax. It might even help you to say out loud, "Show me my dreams." Sit there. Maybe it'll take a couple of minutes, maybe you will fall back asleep. That's okay. Cool. Go with it. If something begins to come up just begin talking out loud. Specifically what's really helpful about your dreams is to not just recount what you're seeing or what you experienced, but also how you felt about those things. Maybe a giant sword was presented to you. How do you feel about that sword? What did it remind you of? What did it make you think of? Was that sword something that you were so excited to see? Was it something that made you close up? Was it something that caused fear? Symbols can mean so many different things to so many people and you get to decide what your dreams mean for you. In this exercise, I invite you to first record your dreams on your phone. Capture them, don't worry about if they make sense, don't worry if you fell asleep, and then turn your phone off, and then begin your day. 5. Drawing a Moment: After you've begun your day, I invite you to return to your voice recording. Open up, maybe it's an Evernote document, maybe it's a new note on your computer, maybe it's in your journal, and transcribe your dream that you babbled about when you're still half asleep on your pillow. Transcribe your dream in words on the page. Now, this is different than just waking up, popping out of bed and beginning to write because when we write, there is something that happens where we begin to try to make sense of the dream. Our brain is so powerful and wants to create connections. Though as we're writing, we're already beginning to synthesize and provide layers, but if you can stay in that hazy dream-like state where you begin to sort of say weird things, you will actually be able to eventually write them anyway. So, you might as well capture that state and what I recommend, I type mine up, I type all of mine up on my computer and you recount it in text form and then I invite you to take one piece of that dream that you are then going to create visually. What I recommend at the beginning is just to keep your tools simple,. It might just be one color and one piece of paper. For me, I enjoyed using an origami pack of paper that had all different colors of paper and white paint. So, this is an example of one of the dreams that I painted from very early on. This is just white paint on a blank piece of paper and this was a moment in a dream when I stood in front of the moon and I got to ask the moon, "Why hadn't the moon given up on me?" The moon replied in my dream and said, "because you keep trying." There were many other things that happened in that dream. There were paragraphs and paragraphs, but that was the one nugget that I wanted to capture and I turned it into this little card. This was on day 18 of 100 days and I put it in this format and I kept it square so I can share it on Instagram. If you keep your things, if you photograph your work, you'll be able to share it in the comments below and then the project, images. As you go, you can continue to explore your dreams night after night. What I encourage you to do with this class is to make this a practice. I encourage you to do it for at least 21 days. 21 days is how many days it takes to form a habit and if you can do it for 21 days, as you begin painting your dreams, drawing your dreams, upload them into the project gallery. 6. Closing: So, some questions you might have is when you're actually creating your artifacts is what can artifacts look like? Well, I would just say do whatever you feel called to do. Maybe it's figurative, maybe you actually put yourself into the shot, maybe it's something that's a little bit more abstract. For example, I had one dream that I was really having a tough time. I was having a tough time representing it, but I realized that if I got more abstract with the images and with what was happening, I could actually tell this in new ways. You might use only physical objects like this was created with a paintbrush on a plane flight on a piece of black paper, or like this image in my other hand, you might be in to use the computer. I would scan these n as I got more comfortable with painting my dreams. This is day 18 and this is day 60. You can see the day 60, I'm now making bigger moves that I just I didn't have when I was on day 18. So, I'd encourage you to stick with it. Some other things that might come up, you might begin to look at how you title your pieces as grabbing snapshots of your texts from your dream. This is very literal of a moment where I was speaking to a group of elders, who are in a bunch of rocks. Maybe you see a face of somebody in your dreams that you want to capture. It doesn't matter if it doesn't look exactly like that person. What matters, is that it's an attempt, that it's a discursive poetic attempt to capture the feeling of that moment. You're going to find that you create a lot of these, I think it's very incredible to look back at our dreams and figure out what they're trying to tell us. I have to tell you that, there were dreams that I've had over the last 100 days that have actually predicted things that happened in my waking every day life. Dreams can be the most incredible source of information and inspiration. Sometimes they might be abstract and not make any sense, this is a very abstract piece with a little tiny person hanging out in a cave of color over here on the right. But, I would encourage you to keep going and you will learn things from your dreams and other people will glean their own understanding from your dreams, especially if you share them, I really encourage you to share them. They become like little poetic bits of insight and knowledge that will help guide you along your path to must. So, keep dreaming, keep capturing your dreams in the morning, give it a go for at least 21 days, upload your images. I can't wait to see what your dreams are about, and you can include anything that you want from your dreams. If there are parts that you don't want to share, don't share them. Dreams can be that powerful. If there are aspects from your dream that you feel might inspire others, share those parts. There is a wonderful belief that we actually share dreams at the deepest level, that the dreams that you might be having in New York or in California might also be similar dreams that are popping up in Japan or in India. It is called the collective unconscious. It's an idea by Carl Jung, that we are all deeply in some way connected. So, I encourage you to share your dreams because you never know who is out there also sharing in your same dream. So, good luck and I'll find you in the photos below. Thanks for playing. 7. More Creativity Classes on Skillshare: