Collage is the combining of images (example: paper scraps, magazine images, etc.) into one image.
Intuitive collage is the act of creating a collage by letting your heart, spirit and intuition lead. In intuitive collage you are not aiming for a technically proficient product that is beautiful and perfect and finished. You are creating a picture that has meaning to you. Practicing intuitive collage can be a very calming and meditative experience and can be a way of healing and also banishing the inner critic. It is also a good “gateway” art practice because it is easy to learn and easy to create a beautiful picture without a lot of “talent” or “skill”. Thus it can empower people to honor their inner “artist”.
A few avenues for exploring intuitive collage:
– Shelley Klammer offers a number of online workshops in spontaneous collage and other expressive art forms at her site Expressive Art Workshops.
– Vision Board/also known as Treasure Map, is a form of intuitive collage in which you create an image in order to manifest a particular wish or intention. It is often associated with “the Secret”/Law of Attraction.
– SoulCollage® is a specific practice of intuitive collage, created by Seena Frost, in which small collaged cards are created, each representing one of your “voices” or aspects of your personality. A “deck” of cards can be created that can be accessed later for guidance or wisdom. More information on SoulCollage® can be found at www.soulcollage.com. (I am a SoulCollage® facilitator and information on my workshops can be found at my facilitator page.
– A simplified variation of SoulCollage® for children is called MeCards4Kids(TM). This practice was created by Nancy Weiss.
– Cat Caracelo offers a practice called JourneyCircles(TM) in which circular collaged images are created.
– The practice of “altered books”, altered playing cards and altered just about anything can often involve collage.
– Artist trading cards are very small pieces of art that are traded. These may be painted or drawn but sometimes they are collaged.
The above are only a few of the forms that intuitive collage can take. So you may want to check these out, or instead create your own individual way of doing this.
Here are some simple instructions for exploring intuitive collage.
1. Let go, for the duration of your practice, of the inner critic. Thank her or him and tell her/him to take a coffee break.
2. Gather: sources of images and words: these can be: magazines, scraps of paper from other art projects, old cards and letters, or even “junk mail” or old bills: anything that has an interesting image or word/s that strike you. Libraries, garage sales, flea markets/swap meets/FreeCycle, often can be sources of very inexpensive or even free magazines. People often subscribe to National Geographic, then decide to sell or give them away. Geographics are a source of beautiful nature images and the people pictured are not the thin, blonde, white, young happy faces seen in other magazines. Calendars that are often thrown away or recycled at the end of the year can instead be a source of images for you.
3. Gather glue stick and a background on which to place your images. It can be as small as an index card, or as large as a large piece of poster board. Recycled cardboard can be used. Quaker Oats boxes can be redecorated and collaged. Use your imagination!
4. Without plan or intention, look through the images you have gathered. Set aside those that you feel strongly about either positively or negatively. An image that you strongly do NOT want to work with may have something to say to you.
5. Or you might want to let synchronicity and surprise work: and select images with your eyes closed, and work with randomly selected images.
6. When the collection of images feels “done/complete”, move them around on your background without gluing them down.
7. Take your time. When they feel that they are in the “right” pattern, glue them down.
8. You may want to add words, paint, glitter, beads, buttons, ribbons or other decorations. Or you may not. It is up to you.
9. You do NOT have to fill the entire surface. And it is even okay to place only a very few images or even just one.
10. If if does not feel done, but you are stuck on what else to do, step away from it. It is okay to leave it unfinished and come back another time. Maybe the magazine containing the image you need will arrive in your mailbox next week. And it is better to leave it unfinished, than to “force” something in that does not belong simply to “finish it”.
11. It is also okay to go back and change it around.
12. You may want to meditate on the meaning of your image, but intuitive collage is often about that which is beyond words. It is not necessary to dialog with the image or “figure it out”. In fact those collages that you cannot “figure out” and “do not understand” may open doorways. The important thing is how it makes you feel.
13. What do you do with your collage afterward? You can put it on your mantelpiece/alter/bookshelf. You can meditate or reflect on it. Give it as a gift. Write poetry inspired by it. Frame it.
14. The above can be adapted for children. You may want to tear the images instead of cutting or help them cut. You can make it fun by making a pretty picture and then making up a story or singing a song about it. Kids might want to make a collage as a present for Mom or Dad. Or even take an old greeting card, and collage over it to make a new holiday card.
15. Have fun collaging!