Creating some type of visual output for your thoughts is often a great way to self-explore. Sometimes I write words on a piece of paper (no, not always on a pretty piece, the napkins at Diners have often been the source of great vision) and I free associate. I am one of those people who need a visual to sift through my often-cluttered mind.
I begin by taking my jumbled thoughts and arrange them by theme (I will explore alternate ways and ideas in a future post). By vision I mean I create a visual picture—call it a vision board, visual journal or a theme-centered collage. It’s an easy project that can be illuminating, creative and relaxing. It’s a win, win, win.
All of us have heard the words “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” and while I don’t fully embrace this expression, there’s a lot to be said for quietly cutting and pasting because sometimes you just can’t find the words, make discoveries about yourself, or figure out where you want to go and how you might want to get there.
In comes exploring with pictures. Call it a collage, a vision board or a visual journal, the name hardly matters. Here are a few simple suggestions for how to get started. Keep in mind that there is no right way to do this. Let yourself be creative and don’t get hung up on getting all pretty about it. Some of the things I’ve created have not been at all aesthetically pleasing.
I find it more productive to create separate boards but you don’t have to do this. You can just randomly tear or cut out pictures of anything that appeals to you. Or you can choose one theme and stay focused on it. Themes vary and you can add them as you go. Whenever I am at a crossroad, I often need a visual way to make sense of it.
Some tips to get you started:
Ask yourself questions. What moves me? Where would I like to be right now? What needs to change in my life? What places are most soothing to me? And then just dig in!
Here’s a list of materials:
- 1. Heavy weight paper, poster paper, foam core board or a thick piece of cork board -(try Home Depot or a craft store to find this)
- 2. Glue and push pins (thumb tacks)
- 3. Scissors,
- 4. Magazines
- 5. Notebook (water color weight if you want to do your cutting and pasting in a book). These can be really good because you can write in them as well
- 6. An on-line picture editor like Ribbet is really useful! Photograph your board – and then use Ribbet to add text and borders like I did in the image in this post. You can even do a journal entry right on top of your board.
*Art journals have special paper that can handle glue without the pages curling up.
Michaels and Walmart will have most of what you need. If you need help just tell a salesperson (only in art stores) that you are going to make a collage and they will lead you to the right surface on which to glue your pictures.
If you use cork or a foam board (oak tag with a foam layer) this will allow you more freedom in moving things around on your boards. I often like to use pushpins instead of glue so that I can move pictures around and replace them as desired.
And then snap a picture with your cellphone and send it to me!!!
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