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In Meg Lemieur’s wildest dreams

Philly artist Meg Lemieur’s new book of illustrations is inspired by the dreams — and nightmares — that shaped her life.

When Meg Lemieur was just 12 years old, she was plagued with horrific, blood-curdling nightmares.

suggested writing them down to better understand what was happening in
them," she explains, while sitting in a Kensington cafe. "Just allowing
myself to contemplate what was happening on the subconscious level
helped me work on how I was feeling about my real life."

proved habit-forming; Lemieur now has piles of notebooks describing
hundreds of somnolent adventures. Her new self-published book of
illustrations, "And Then I Woke Up," explores six of her most vivid
R.E.M. narratives. In addition to the finished product, Friday's book
release will feature her early in-progress sketches, detailing the
months of trial and error involved with getting her dreams down on

"In college I thought I wanted to illustrate fables, but at
some point I realized that within my dreams I had my own original
stories that are interesting in their own right," says Lemieur. "I chose
these six particular dreams because they helped shape the way I viewed
my life. So they're my own personal fables in a way, because they all
have a pretty instructive moral at their core."

During the past six
years, Lemieur has worked professionally as an illustrator and graphic
designer, creating everything from velvet coloring posters to paper doll
sets. But "And Then I Woke Up" has been a labor of love -- a chance to
blend her professional skills with her philosophical passions.

book comes with a blank section for readers to try their hand at
introspective sketching.

"Recording your dreams can definitely be
fruitful. You can interact with yourself as if you're your own muse --
illustrating things that are a part of you, but not something you
conjured up in your conscious thoughts," she says. "It's an opportunity
to take a completely different perspective on yourself."

If you go

Stop by the “And Then I Woke Up” book release party on Friday, 7-8:30 p.m., at F&N Gallery (2007 Frankford Ave.)

“And Then I Woke Up” is available now at www.paper stampede.com.

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