Friday, November 17, 2017

Making of a Maker - Daydreams - Third Friday, November 17th

Once again I sat down with a particular post in mind and something else comes calling for attention.

For this monthly "Making of a Maker" post I want to say a few things about one of the most important aspects of my own creative process and one that, when looking at anything I have ever done, from making plays when I was 12 to my music-making/recording years to digital art to miniature houses, has been a major contributor to the realization of each of those pursuits.


To me, this is something other than what most might call inspiration, which tends to be more momentary and immediate, just popping up wherever and whenever without notice.  It's also different from intentional, constructive brainstorming with an idea or preconceived notion you want to realize. It's also not quite the same as actively doodling or experimenting.

This is also not to be confused with time that might be spent on pinterest or instagram though those are both excellent starting points for ideas and I have scores of images that have inspired my own creative world. . . but only in the same way that the words "Once upon a time" are a starting point for many great stories.

There are things that I believe we can only tap into when our hands are at rest and our minds are allowed to just vanish into the world of daydreams.

Daydreaming, for me, is about allowing yourself to sit in silence and just work your way deep into your own imagination. In my life, I've met many people who say they are not capable of imagining things as vividly or as realized as I do but, with those I have worked with, I find that it's almost always a case of the person not being able to quiet the world around them enough to allow their daydreaming self to find footing.

Sometimes it seems to be more about them turning away when the door to imagination opens and they are asked to step inside. Sort of like that odd little back alley curiosity shoppe in that "found" neighborhood where you stare in the window trying to find the courage to walk inside. . . but then the door opens and you hurriedly walk away instead of accepting the divine's invitation to enter. . .

I cannot imagine doing what I do without taking the time to daydream. . . often. In fact, when I am feeling burnt out it is almost always because I have not allowed myself to look ahead and to daydream about new avenues, new ideas and to not put any constraints on that process.

This image, "The Bubble Factory" came to me almost just as you see it during a good round of Daydreaming. 

Writing, my latest pursuit, is no different. My storytelling runs in fits and starts and I am not nearly as productive when I try too hard to manufacture the story as I am when I first allow myself to "live " the story through a good bout of daydreaming. I will sometime give myself five to fifteen minutes before I get up at 5am to lay in the silence and the dark and think about what part of the story I want to work on that morning. I see the scene, the characters, the possible twists and turns and I allow it  run it's course, maybe two or three times if I am unsure where to go with it.

It's like seeing a film playing in my head. The characters move about, interact, speak. . . and I just follow along with them. It doesn't have to be a long process. Just a few minutes can bring quite a welcome surprise.

I don't have a long list to share for the "how to's" of daydreaming. I think it helps to have silence or only natural sounds around you and low light if possible but definitely not light that is not glaring, buzzing or emanating from a device/digital.

From a kid who always had one foot on the ground but his head in the clouds (or in daydreams!) I hope this will work for, or inspire, you as well! I can't say it enough.

Daydreaming is huge part of my daily creative world.

Keep dreaming (day AND night)!


This too was born from a daydream exploring fantasy landscapes. 

PS - You know, I realized while writing this that I always stepped inside those strange/odd shops I used as a metaphor above.

One, in a back alley of a neighborhood in my hometown, was a new age store called "Sign of Aquarius".  I will tell that tale in full in the future but the retired couple who ran it were a treasure to stumble upon that first time I stood staring in their shop's windows and the old creaky door opened to welcome me in.  If I had run away, I shudder to think what my life might have been like. It was the first step into a world I never knew existed but was definitely in need of finding.

I'd like to think I may have found my way eventually but there is something about the depth of impression made at 13 that would never have been the same even just a few years later.

Never run from the unknown and strange! : )

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Beginning in October of 2017 I started to follow the following format for my blog, posting every Friday and under the following headings:

1st Friday of Each Month - New work ( New to the shops and a look at the making of one item each month)

2nd Fridays - Inspirations and Oddities (Links and thoughts about what inspires me) 

3rd Fridays - The Making of a Maker (advice and shared experiences of how I got "here" to where being a "maker-of-things" is my full time job.)

4th Fridays - The World of Bewilder and Pine ( peeks into the world of the Bewildering Pine, the stories and books to follow and all around fantasy world making)


  1. Oh so true!!! I always spent time daydreaming when I was young. Now I still do but it is more hidden than when I was young. Then it was acceptable to sit and dream, now people don't understand when you want time to sit and think. Why is that? People feel we should be DOING something at all times. Maybe that is why I get soooo many creative ideas after a night of insomnia... or "Jace induced" insomnia! I am given a whole night to daydream about anything I want without anyone expecting me to be busy and do something.

    1. Andrea I find that those insomnia nights are sometimes the best for that! :)

      I think the expectation that we should be doing something began with the proliferation of television. I grew up in a house where the TV was on all day from the time my grandmother got up til long after the late news. It's amazing to me that I became so silence oriented but I had that creative drive early on and never could find inspiration or focus in a noisy environment.

      I also think technology and after school activities in the the last generation have sort of become the go to "babysitters" leaving no time for today's kids to really be alone with their thoughts and themselves, which is in my own experience, vital to figuring out who we are and develop our own identities. Early in my adult life I was confounded by the number of friends etc who claimed to understand my need for solitude but inevitably were somehow hurt by my deciding to choose to spend my time alone or creating as opposed to going out for the night or finding distractions. And I feel so lucky now to have been that way all along. This 60 yr stretch of distractions created a myriad of issues: Last year when I was home I thought it would be nice to share some podcasts with my mom since she has never been in a home that had the internet/computer. She always seems interested din my explanations about the ones that we listen to. She couldn't do it. With no visual she just couldn't sit and listen to a podcast. So her brain is wired the she has to have something to watch as well. And no matter how hard I tried to explain about my love of silence, she thought my early morning writing while sitting in the pre-dawn darkness with nothing but a ticking clock as the background was madness. lol

  2. Wise words Nicolas. Daydreaming is part of my everyday, even at school I was always given notes on my report cards saying something like 'not up to her full potential, always daydreaming'. Well I think it should be encouraged in all people right. Us daydreamers aren't doing so bad ;) Love your posts and organized monthly slots, I take much inspiration from it, as I am on Instagram more than the blog now. If you are on it please find me. @bibliographica

    1. Louise, thank you for your wonderful response. It's funny because my mom received notes on my report cards just like that as well!! And no, we aren't doing so bad at all. ;)

      I was telling someone recently about how, for me, daydreaming requires the time equivalent to having two good friends in my life. I just choose to put that time into my own world and my daydreams instead of day to day, on the phone or face to face contact with others. I keep to such a small circle and that's why. I need the time and energy I have left for my own world and I protect it fiercely! lol

      Oh, I am actually in the process of getting myself started on Instagram. So yes, I will definitely find you there! :)

  3. I find it fascinating how you make a living making things! Wow. And it's clear that you have had a creative arc through your entire life - involved in so many different expressions.

    I love your words here: "..our minds are allowed to just vanish into the world of daydreams....and just work your way deep into your own imagination. "
    - How well put. I love what that conjures up.

    You know, I think an intellectual curiosity is so needed to shape one's creativity and also dayreaming as you say, although, admittedly I seem to do far less of that now these days than used to but weirdly, I feel I am way more creative now than ever. I think a lot of it is because I have time to sleep now, not working as long hours as most of my career although I still do a lot of extra hours as I'm pretty dedicated.

    Why I met my (ex) wife in my early 20's, she was very new age and we delved into that for some time but it never satisfied andseemed for us too self focused. My father and step mom are both majorly new age although, funnily enough they both deny that label even though. both are also creative types yet have a science background too.

    I love the diversity people offer and am usually one to go into strange, unknown shops or places but when my kids were little, I would warn them not to due to potentially dangerous or unsavoury situs. It's a balancing act for sure.

    I love how you see the characters you write about and jsut record. That is what my (ex) step mom has done too with her massive trilogy written on some ancient Aztec Queen.

    If you join IG, do say hi on mine. :)

    1. I will definitely say hi on IG.

      It was interesting reading about your connection with new age. I went down the new age road for many years but I started very young as I was seeking answers to one particular, unexplainable event when I was 7. A formative one and one I wish to write about at some point in the coming months. It was the foundation of so much of my belief and resolve in my teenage and young adult life. I found my answers but new age, in general, I found to be very much as you described.

      I DID have some amazing experiences, not the least of which was my visit to Stonehenge in the late 80's. It left a rather strong impression on me at the time. Easy to see why folks make it out to be such a focal point of energy. :)

      I love science and think it only enhances the existing mysteries of the world no matter how much it reveals.

      Having never been a parent, I have not had to walk that fine line as most must. I seem to always be the one encouraging the adventurous nature of kids but then I remember that times have indeed changed, just in our lifetime Michael! I can't believe how few kids will ever play in the car the way we did with no seat belts or car seats! That's for the better, of course, but how strange it is still!

      Can I ask if part of your being so much more creative now in your life is in any way because you've given yourself "permission" to be so now or that being with Alexandra has done so? In other words, did you once see taking any time to pursue art or creativity just for the sake of creativity as a "luxury" and perhaps now it's become more of a necessity/desire?

      I always pursued my art but I struggled with that permission in my 20's when I was working full time as a chef and felt like I had to make at least some money from my art/sound engineering/performance etc to justify it being worth doing.
      Glad I got past that! :)

      And yes, more sleep definitely helps! lol

    2. Good question, Nicolas. the reason I got into my art more, aside from design work as a designer, was as a way to deal with so much loss and hurt with my divorce and all that entailed. Alex came along and encouraged me to start focusing on what I could build/control and produce, NOT waht I could not that was out of my hands. It as a way to cope, seeing that I could make people happy even so and a way to channel all those emotions.

      That alex now does art too helps us both be creative I think too. :)

  4. What a beautiful post Nicolas! I love to daydream! Sometimes, I think I do it too much? But, then I think, you can never have enough daydreaming! There is so much that comes to you, when you sit quietly! I love your story about the store! I can't wait to hear more! "Never run from the unknown and strange!" Perfect! Big Crow Hugs!

    1. Stacy, I never would doubt that you are a daydreamer! And you are so right. . . there is NEVER too much of it! :) I look forward to telling that story, It is such a small thing that had such a ripple effect. Loving your tales of you feeding your animals and birds and I think of you when I feed my crows in the mornings!

      Thank you for dropping by and BIG CROW HUGS!