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Meet The Man Who Sleep-Draws But Has No Artistic Bone In His Waking Life
By Mikelle Leow, 22 Jul 2019
Image via Shutterstock
Lee Hadwin, a self-proclaimed “Sleep Artist” from Australia, actually lives his dreams.
A mini-documentary by BBC Reel delves into the life of the London-based sleepwalker, who claims to have no real artistic talent when awake.
It all began when Hadwin was just four. When asleep, he would walk downstairs and begin scribbling under the staircase, or draw on his bedroom walls and floor.
Since then, the 44-year-old artist has conjured up celebrity portraits, abstract artworks and nude creations, including three Marilyn Monroe sketches he drew at age 15. Many of them have fetched thousands of dollars, even though he has no recollection of ever creating them.
Hadwin says he fared quite mediocrely in art during high school, and “just can’t draw when I’m awake,” so he doesn’t consider himself to be an actual artist.
Sleep experts spanning Scotland to Japan have also studied his behavior, but could not come up with concrete explanations as to why he is unable to replicate the same artistic flair in his waking life. It also took his husband, Clinton, about eight months to be convinced of his nocturnal ability.
Since he started sleep-drawing as a young child, Hadwin isn’t surprised by his own talent and is ever-prepared for when the inspiration hits his sleeping self at night. He now keeps art materials under his bed for when opportune moments arrive, which range anywhere between a few weeks to two or three times per night.
Hadwin started attaining online attention in the early 2000s after being featured by media outlets. “My life changed overnight,” he detailed. “It went from a local library doing five pictures in frames to this global recognition in the art world.”
Now, he earns up to US$125,000 for each artwork, and donates part of his earnings to charities such as Amnesty International.
[via New York Post, video via BBC Reel, images via various sources]
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