Imagine waking up and finding a masterpiece on your bedroom wall? A man dubbed the ‘sleepwalking artist,’ who can’t draw when he’s awake, is now making a living selling his artworks.
Lee Hadwin, 40, originally from Wales, whose first UK solo show opens tomorrow (sponsored by Dreams beds, no less), started drawing in his sleep when he was four-years-old. But, the former care worker-turned-full-time-artist, admits to being “horrific at art when I'm conscious".
US tycoon Donald Trump owns a piece of Hadwin's artwork, and three of his early drawings of Marilyn Monroe were bought by The Marilyn Monroe Museum in Hollywood for more than £4,000.
Hadwin, who has been studied by doctors and psychologists both in the UK and overseas, has been described by the Edinburgh Sleep Clinic as "unique”. He reveals: “The thing that’s baffling the sleep clinics is that I cannot produce the same things when I’m awake.”
As a child Hadwin reveals he’d get up in the night and use his crayons to scribble on the walls. But it wasn’t until his mid-teens that the drawings became more detailed. “I drew the Marilyn Monroe pictures and in the morning I just looked at them and thought ‘Oh wow!’,” he said.
His parents took him to the GP to try and find a reason for his nocturnal creativity: “A lot of doctors and psychologists put it down to trauma,” Hadwin said. “But there was no trauma in my life before I was four-years-old. I did lose some friends when I was twelve, but I don’t think it was that.”
The Edinburgh Sleep Clinic observed his behaviour but their advice to his parents was “Just let him carry on.” In the subsequent two decades he has produced more than 600 paintings and drawings of varying style and subject.
His work has now become so popular that he has given up his job caring for people who have suffered serious head trauma to focus on selling his work and working for charities.