What is it about the process of arranging pieces of paper, images and words together that can lead to an “awakening” in ourselves? Is it that the process of creating intuitive collage makes visible what is invisible?
Collage is a very gratifying medium which provides endless opportunities for creative expression. It doesn’t matter if you can paint or draw, with collage you can put “found images” together and create your own original design. Searching and sorting through images, slows down your thinking and can provide meditative benefits as you allow yourself to respond authentically to the images, without thinking “why.” Collage making gives you permission to ignore your analytical thought processes and just “be” with the creative process. It will also encourage us to practice spontaneity, something that is often lacking in our structured lives.
In this intuitive process, you will be drawn to certain images without knowing why. You will simply find yourself wanting or needing to use that image in you collage. You don’t need to understand why this image appeals to you, just be open to the possibility that it might hold some synchronicity for you. Sometimes the inner themes we find ourselves wanting to work on come from our subconscious, where the archetypical symbols reside.
Archetypical symbols hold power and represent deep levels of meaning that have existed throughout history and across many cultures. Examples of archetypes include: the wise old man, the trickster, the child, the self, the shadow, the mother, the father, the maiden, the crone, the magician, the sorceress as well as certain animal and nature archetypes. If you are interested in learning more about archetypes research Carl Jung, James Hillman and Jungian psychology. On a more contemporary note, Caroline Myss, author of Sacred Contracts and Anatomy of a Sprit, suggests that there are several types of modern day archetypes in her book, Archetypes: Who Are You? They include: the Caregiver, the Artist/Creative, the Fashionista, the Intellectual, the Rebel, the Queen/Executive, the Advocate, the Visionary, the Athlete, the Rebel and the Spiritual Seeker.
Although it is very possible that archetypical themes will appear in your collage, it is not necessary that you focus on them. Not knowing where the collage will lead you, is part of the thrill of the discovery process. Just let yourself explore the unknown, letting it lead you where it will, while enjoying the journey.
You may also want to intentionally express a certain inner theme that is important to you, such as “rebirth, or rejuvenation.” With that in mind, don’t be surprised when images of eggs or seeds or other birth-like representations, suddenly seem to jump out at you as you look through magazines. Just let yourself make whatever connections want to be made. It is very liberating when you allow yourself to take chances and play with randomness.
Each person’s creative process is a unique expression. And, the collage process gives you the opportunity to articulate in images what you may not be able to do with words. Even, when you begin with a specific idea, by the time you are finished with your collage, you will undoubtedly find yourself led through many different stages of discovery. Whether your collage is intuitive or intention based, or a mixture of both, which often happens, it will undergo a mysterious alchemy that somehow transforms a collections of unrelated images into an integrated and cohesive artistic vision!