Collage Clarity

collage 1

I read once that making collages helps you sort out what you’re thinking and feeling. If you’re confused, make a collage and see what the images tell you. I can honestly say it works.

collage 2

By randomly pulling pictures, words, colors, quotes, fonts and images that appeal to you, it’s easier to figure out what you want and how to get it. These collages, are some of the first I ever created. I was a young mother feeling lost and confused and frankly, invisible. Just somebody’s mom. Somebody’s wife. I worked part-time as a speech therapist yet no one ever asked me about me. I think the collages state the obvious. Most of the faces are missing or covered and the butterflies represent the need for a transformation.

But sometimes a collage’s meaning is mysterious. Because of that I created a workshop for women to gather together to make and analyze their collage creations. Every time I do this workshop, amazing things happen. Usually the woman constructing the collage is clueless as to its meaning – but everyone else in the room thinks the collage sends an obvious message. Lots of light bulb moments happen at a collage workshop.

By gathering a group of women together, they start talking and laughing and become caught up in the conversation such that they subconsciously pull images from the pile of magazines strewn across the workspace. While constructing the collage, the more intuitive part of the brain takes over because the logical part of the brain is conversing with others. After the collages are completed, they are passed around for discussion.

new age collage

As I mentioned, usually the creator of the collage is confused about what it means, whereas others see the message clearly. For example, here are some of my other collages that have stumped me.

oz collage

I’m not sure why there’s a boot over the Tin Man and not the others from OZ. Why is the zen-like statue is above the foursome and not below? What does the discus-thowing man

moon lady collage

in the collage above have to do with the moon gazing woman he’s sharing the page with? These collages would have been fun to bring to a workshop for some feedback.

If you live near Frederick, MD I’m doing a collage and journaling workshop at Life Directions on Thursday, October 12th from 7:00 – 8:30. If you don’t live near me and want to do this yourself, it’s easy.

Invite a few friends over. Have them bring their favorite magazines and catalogs. Spend about 30 – 45 minutes randomly ripping out pictures, words and phrases. Don’t over think it – if you like something about what you see, rip it out. Using glue, construction paper and scissors, construct your collage. When you’re done, show the group and be open to their impressions.

One advantage of attending a workshop is that you’re with people that don’t know you. They’ll judge the collage based on their intuitive insight and not your personal history. The advantage of working with friends during collage work is that they do know all about your life and can better relate the collage to whatever you’re experiencing right now.

Either way is fine. The most important aspect of creating collages is to not feel like you have to control it and instead, allow it to construct itself. Collages can give insight and a nudge in the right direction. You might be surprised at the things you already know about yourself.

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