Amongst Dalí's most famous friends were Pablo Picasso and Sigmund Freud. In the early stages of his career he was greatly inspired by the theories of Freud on the subconscious and the meaning of dreams. Indeed much of the surrealist movement can be paralleled with the work of Freud at that time. The foundation of the surrealist movement was based upon the explanation and interpretation of dreams and the hidden unconscious desires. To bring up images from his subconscious mind, Dalí began to induce hallucinatory states upon himself by a process he described as 'paranoiac critical'. Once Dalí perfected this method, his painting style matured very quickly and he began to produce the paintings that made him the world's best known surrealist artist. In 1929 Dalí joined the surrealist movement which consisted of a group of writers and artists led by André Breton. Through this group he met famous poet Paul Eluard and his wife Gala; the woman with whom Dali eventually had an affair and later married. Arguably Dalí's greatest inspiration and influence came from Gala. She became not only his life partner but also his muse, the focus of much of his work, and his business manager. It has also been said that Gala provided Dalí with stability, which due to his eccentric personality; he was in much need of.
He soon became one of the leading figures of the Surrealist Movement. His painting, Persistence of Memory, 1931, with its iconic melting watches, is still one of the best known surrealist works to date. During this time Dalí began to explore the medium of sculpture creating his famous Lobster Telephone in 1936, which featured a lobster as a receiver. He eventually collaborated with jewellery and clothing designers, including Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel