Rachel Bennett Dreame wedding Rachel Bennett Dreame wedding Rachel Bennett drew this "marriage dream" for a woman named Claudia. (Photo: Rachel Bennett /Dreame)

Dreame turns your dreams into fascinating art

The website pairs artists with those who want to see their visions come to life.

Have you ever tried to tell someone about that dream you had last night and just couldn't describe it the way you remembered it?  

You know, that dream where your boss and your mother are doing the tango in your childhood bedroom, that just opens up onto a cliff in Acapulco? Want people to see it the way you did?

The artists at Dreame can help.

The website, at the intriguing address Dreame.me, offers up its goal to connect people who want to see their dreams and visions come to life with artists and illustrators who can work with them to make that a reality.

Dreame finds artists who are interested in the inner workings of people's subconscious; their current roster of artists are from all over the world, using styles as different as the countries they're from. One artist, for instance, does abstract, graphic novel-style illustrations. Another does multi-layered, geographic-based drawings.

Artist Rachel Bennett, who is based in Washington, DC, signed on to do it because, as she told From the Grapevine, "I have always been interested in the idea of the subconscious mind. I like that it gives me a way of seeing into the mind of a stranger. I think learning about how people dream can teach us a lot about the nature of humankind." Her senior thesis project was, in her words, "an abridged guide to dream interpretation," so this project was right up her alley.

The idea behind Dreame is from Sharonna Karni-Cohen, a Tel Aviv-based artist and entrepreneur, who had been logging her dreams but wanted to find a way for others to be able to do so online.

"I understood that art is one medium online that hasn't truly been given a platform for personalization and exploration," she told From The Grapevine. Her vision is "that these thoughts, experiences and dreams we will be logging on the app can become tangible and hangable through custom made works of art. As more dreams came in, I realized how meaningful this truly was and how much better our news feeds on Facebook were becoming instead of just selfies and foodie [pictures]."

The process is straightforward: anyone who wants to have their dream illustrated finds the artist among Dreame's roster that seems to jibe the best with their vision, fills out a form to describe the dream, then pays the artist's fee of between $10 and $50 for a digital image – getting the image as a print or t-shirt is an additional, but reasonable, cost. If the artists have questions, they get in touch with the dreamers and work with them to make sure things are right. The turnaround time for a digital copy is usually under two weeks; prints and t-shirts take longer.

Dreame Rachel Bennett desert peaceA dream of desert peacefulness drawn for Sybil by Rachel Bennett. (Photo: Rachel Bennett/Dreame)

"We are all creators. We all have an imagination," Karni-Cohen said. "I believe art is a beautiful form of expression and while we can't all paint or create a masterpiece, I believe we all have the imagination to do it. So I think this opportunity to send a dream to an artist on the other side of the world and have a personal exchange over something you conceptualized in your mind is a worthwhile experience, but also beautiful result. That is why on the final piece of art- we ask the dreamer if they want their name signed next to the artist so it is a true co-authorship."

One of the benefits of working on this project, she said, is that she remembers her dreams better than she used to. "Before working on Dreame, I remembered one a month. Now I remember four to five a week. If we can make your dreams tangible, everyone will want their dream, their imagination hanging on their wall and then they can remember them more."

What the artists find challenging is to truly match the wild vision the dreamer conveys to them, which, as anyone who's tried to describe a dream to someone, is always tough to do. "Sometimes more detail is required, but sometimes I like to challenge myself to create something unique based on only a little information," said Bennett.

The results are certainly dream-like, but for the most part, they are also surreal and very accurate. "I try to make sure all my illustrations are in keeping with the dreamer's vision," said Bennett. "It is personal to them so it's important to me that they are satisfied with the end result."

Thomer's dreamA drawing of Thomer's dream. (Photo: Michal Perlman-Sluk/Dreame)

Karni-Cohen thinks "accurate" is a misnomer, mainly because dreams are "fuzzy" to begin with. But, for the most part, people have been satisfied with the results they've gotten, with only two formally lodging complaints out of the over 800 drawings that have been completed to date. "I did wonder if people would be dissapointed since sometimes you have some sort of vision or recollection, but so far the element of surprise and result, even if totally different from what was initially imagined, has been so beautiful." One feature she has implemented in recent months, though, is for the artist to ask the dreamer whether he or she wants a realistic or abstract rendering, just to make sure artist and dreamer are on the same page.

Bennett spends, in her estimation, five to 10 hours on each illustration, and worked with Karni-Cohen and the site's co-founder and curator, Emily Smouha, to set a price level that's will encourage a dreamer to share his or her vision. The site takes a 10-20% cut, according to Karni-Cohen.

Sleep maskA dream sketched on a sleep mask. (Photo: Munkyeong Kim/Dreame)

Karni-Cohen has other projects under the Dreame umbrella, including an Instagram series where people catch their friends and significant others dreaming. And, she is also developing an app that does helps users log and share their dreams; it is scheduled for a November release.

Dream interpretation is a very personal business, and artists like Bennett like connecting with a dreamer's past, especially if they're remembering someone important in their lives. "My favorite was for a girl whose friend had passed away suddenly," she said. "She saw her friend in a dream and was able to speak to her. It was a great feeling to be able to turn her dream into an illustration so she would have something to remember her friend."

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