Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Dream Series, Horror and Fantasy Illustrations and Stories

Nothing but a Dreamer

Welcome to this month's blog, presenting a collection of drawings which I am calling "The Dream Series." This will most likely be an ongoing project, because I am quite the dreamer. I wanted to make my artwork a bit more personal, and what could be more personal than dreams? Nobody else is going to have your dream, right? Although I admittedly have more nightmares than pleasant dreams, I am doing my best to balance sides one for one, for sake of highlighting that my life is not just a nightmare! Some of these were recurring dreams, and others were singular occurrences that made a lasting impression. I decided to couple many of the images with text in the graphic to give a bit of a bigger explanation as to the content of the dream. 

All of the artwork below is available on Society6 and RedBubble on many products, including fun fashion (sans text) and home decor. I am not sharing product images this time, because I would like the emphasis to be on the original view of the artwork, as it is available for wall art. I invite you to see if you can relate to any of the dreams below, or if they stir something within you. It's an interesting exercise in psychology. 

Dream Series Introduction

Dream Series Introduction - Susan Phillips Hicks

Hi! It's me! This is my fourth-ever self portrait. Folks say it is accurate. My third-ever self portrait wasn't quite so successful, although I have been told it catches part of my essence. My husband accused me of making it look like Mick Jagger. So, yes, I figured if I was going to show my dreams, I'd have to show the dreamer. Don't let the grey hair throw you! I'm younger than that! I got my first grey hair when I was 9, if that tells you anything. As for the text, it's always impressive when you wake up from a dream and can point exactly in your life as to what has inspired it, and possibly what your subconscious is trying to tell you. Of course other dreams are complete nonsense, but always interesting. 

Beach Dream

Beach Dream - Susan Phillips Hicks

A cold, desolate, icky dream, where you're hardly there, and stuck on an isolated shore, staring out at ominous, pulsating rocks, that somehow put forth a threatening energy. In my dream, the water has more of a lake feel than the ocean. The dream image is not quite so foggy, and the water is placid, but it feels so cold! I had to bring this out in the drawing somehow. Was I successful? That was the dream. A lingering scene.

When Girls Fly

When Girls Fly - Susan Phillips Hicks

"I lived at the top of a hill. I would run down the street. The wind was formidable, and I felt I could walk with my body leaning into it. If I could do this, I could certainly take flight with an umbrella.... Certainly.... An exhilarating feeling. I was free as a bird."

A vivid dream from my youth, featuring my childhood street and a celebration of bright, windy March days. I lived at the top of a hill, and it was always sooooo tempting to run down it, sometimes with adverse results (see text in pic). I would raise my umbrella, wait for a blast of wind, jump into it like a hang-glider and lift off to fly above my town and onwards, outwards to the bigger world. The dream was happy, but full of adrenaline at managing such a feat. Would I stay airborne? Sometimes I'd float back to Earth, but with a proper pounce, could fly higher again. I'd say at that age multiple viewings of Mary Poppins inspired me! :)

Lampshade Man Fright

Lampshade Man Fright - Susan Phillips Hicks

"He returned night after night to haunt me, until one night when I pulled the lamp chain and turned off his light. He never returned." 

Horrible. Horrible. Horrible. Horrible. This evil apparition would come out of the walk-in closet in my bedroom as a girl and threaten death and destruction, every night. I ran. That was all I could do. Every night I ran to the other end of the house and ended up in my parents' bathroom, where I could successfully lock the door (and wake up). Completely terrifying and haunting. I dreaded going to sleep, it was so bad. But I'm a sly cookie, and eventually I noticed I could get a step or two ahead. The dream changed slowly, and I did my best to gain an advantage with each further dreaming. Finally, one night, who knows how long later, I had the presence of mind to distract Mr. Lampshade Man by pointing to the ceiling. He looked up and I pulled the chain on his lamp-head to turn his light off. His light turned off, and he collapsed to the ground. Streamers and balloons fell from the ceiling. I awoke, never to have the dream again. 



"When I saw U2 before I saw U2 I was Bono. A very strange position to be in. I felt godlike, but was also trepidatious that I might fall of the riser. Later on at the actual concert, from the audience, everything seemed so familiar. I realized I had truly been seeing the stage from his vantage point."

So I used to have dreams about U2, or more specifically, Bono - either just hanging with Bono or being Bono (not something I think I'd really ever want!!!!). I had a dream where "I" was at a show rehearsal and was mainly worried about learning the stage layout, so's not to fall off a riser. In another dream "I" was pressed up against a display in concert and feeling very infatuated by a belly dancer. (??) The dreams were colorful. Bono was an okay guy to hang out with. The plot thickened later when I went to see U2's Elevation tour live. I realized it was the same stage set up as in my dream, and I had apparently been seeing it from Bono's point of view. I had never seen pics of the stage or show before showing up at the concert. Later in the show, Bono did the wall pose with the image of a belly dancer up on the megascreen. Very strange. Very true. ---- PS This drawing is not for sale. Ickiness from Live Nation has hindered me! 

Sick Again - Scary Clown

Sick Again - Scary Clown - Susan Phillips Hicks

"Sick again. The escalator is speeding unavoidably upwards. The demented clown looms, cackling, at the top. Why does this always happen after Abbott and Costello?"

Another recurring nightmare from my youth. It happened every time I got sick, and kids are sick a lot. It was also in combination with watching old shows by Abbott and Costello while I was home from school. I'd be getting shoved on a rickety old escalator, going way too fast, with walls on either side, opening up at the landing to THAT!!!!! - this clown that would be tiny, but for a big, crazy, laughing head with awful, jagged teeth! And he was always laughing diabolically. The head was round, just like a tennis ball, and clown-face white, but for the shocks of orange hair and clown-mouth make-up. And onward I sped! Sometimes the area would be in flames, sometimes otherwise, but the clown was a constant. It is evident to me now that Bozo was the inspiration for this dream. It was so scary that recently when I loaded a Facebook picture of a girl playing with a Bozo punching bag, I shrieked! - all these years later. 

Dreaming the Muse

Dreaming the Muse - Susan Phillips Hicks

"Sometimes I dream without seeing. I dream of music I have never heard before. It is a song as beautiful as a vivid butterfly. One that only exists for me. The instruments are ethereal and not of this world. Is it my muse? Such beauty, but like a butterfly, it flies away and leaves me to reality."

Another sort of self-portrait. How to put a non-visual dream into an image? I recalled the music I heard, and it was as light and flowing as a butterfly - a butterfly with fairy dust, glowing, shifting colors - a beautiful song. Maybe it is a message from my muse. I think it does represent how important music has been to me throughout my life, and how hearing a song can take you to a different place that is not of the material world.

The Electric Cellmate

The Electric Cellmate - Susan Phillips Hicks

"Locked in a cell. I had a roommate. But when I woke up there was a death machine. Bolts of electricity encompassed the cell. I had to see what was marked on the calendar."

I only had this nightmare about 3 times, but I will never forget it. I was locked in a cell (don't know why), when my roommate's face opened up, revealing she had really been a machine all along, and this contraption came out, not unlike the rising of the projector in an old planetarium. Then the balls started spinning and emitting deadly bolts of electricity, which crawled the air and the walls, leaving me to huddle and make myself as small as possible to avoid harm. Every time I spied the page of a day-to-day calendar, and a shell on the floor across the cell. For some reason I knew I was supposed to get to there to read the calendar, but I couldn't. The room was filled with electricity.

My Dream World

My Dream World - Susan Phillips Hicks

"There is a city I dream of which is busy and flourishing. Artists took over the basement of an abandoned building. Eventually the collective was official and the town grew. Sometimes I rush to the Metro for a train that is never direct."

My. Dream. World. This one is a misch-masch of what I call "dream settings." I put them all into one scene. The start-off point is an art-studio area that is really just the basement of an abandoned building. The artists were unfettered by rules, regulations, and marketing, and did what they pleased. I joined them, working on everything from installations, to sculpture, to paintings. The movement grew and started a gallery for the public, while keeping some of the work space. Down the hill (but up worked better here) was a Metro stop, which I used daily. The trains were always unannounced and there was never a direct route anywhere. One exit in the station always opens to Kaufhof department store in Munich. One train had a habit of ending up in Austria - another in Paris. Others didn't magically cross the ocean and were much more straight forward, albeit to less exotic destinations. The jewelry store is also "real" from the dream - fun jewelry - artsy jewelry. Why not call it Bling? The other elements are just added to round out what I would find pleasant in a city block.  

Canals Make Me Feel Eerie

Canals Make Me Feel Eerie - Susan Phillips Hicks

"Consciousness hits. I am submerged in the water of a stagnant canal. There is something in the water beneath me. I cannot surface, yet I can breathe."

I took a bit of artistic license with this one, and it is a subtle image. The viewpoint has changed to that of an observer. In the dream point-of-view, I am the girl under water. In the dream, I cannot see the monster (look in the water!), but I know something is there. Something bad. I can't change my position, and the water is dark and murky, yet I don't drown. A sort of threatening limbo. And no, I am not a big fan of canals.

And the last dream for this blog (there are more to come) is above. It is a series I will keep adding to and will cover further in this blog. What was your recurring dream? (Answer in comments!)