One of my greatest joys is spending hours sifting through magazines, cutting out the words and images that make my heart light up.
This is even better when I am sitting alongside a client or a friend, knowing that they are also finding sparks of interest in the pages.
Collage is my go-to when I'm stuck, not knowing what to create, or when wanting to connect to intuition.
Seeing an image that already exists, that someone illustrated or photographed and went through multiple people’s hands before landing in mine reminds me of the connectedness of all of us. That an image that speaks to me also spoke to someone else, at least enough to put in a magazine.
So much of art therapy is about letting image speak to us. And I like that collaging doesn't put pressure on us to be the one to create the image.
These clippings are from a collage session I did with a client. While my client looks through magazines to make their own collage, I get to play as well, sometimes selecting images that I think they would like, and sometimes cutting things out just for me. We share in the creative process.
I liked this little person saying "Salut", the cat sitting beside the tulips, the orange slices and the image of a pool. I didn’t know if I liked the quote at first, but I still cut it out to reflect on later.
Sometimes things speak to us and we don't know why. This is another one of wonderful things about collaging. We are presented with images that we might not have otherwise thought of or come across. This quote stood out to me precisely because I was unsure about it.
Sometimes I think quotes like this can lead to perfection-seeking and toxic positivity that tell us we need to be grateful for every moment, to never complain and avoid any hard feelings.
Reflecting on it further, I want to interpret “Every day I get through is a good day” as offering a gentle reminder that getting through a day is enough. We do not need to prove that we are good enough. Every day can be a good day when we learn to let go, offer ourselves some gentleness and compassion.
We go through so much in our lives. Offering ourselves some slowness to acknowledge and savour the goodness in a normal day can be such an enriching experience.
Perhaps this is why I like collage so much. It is a process that invites you to slow down. Creating something from magazines that people previously discarded. Sinking into the creative process with normal, forgotten objects. The pleasure of finding the exact right image to convey how you feel or add to your collection.
I can change the quote to "Every day I collage is a good day". Every day I make art, I am reminded I am alive.