My teenage son is out with friends and I have a few hours in a quiet house. As the practice location for his screamo metal band of five 16 - 19 year old boys, this is a rare and welcome gift. I am going to enjoy this time working on a new piece of art, a transformational collage.
Transformational Collaging is the process of creating personal art using mixed materials in a manner and design to connect your conscious mind with your other minds, the other than conscious and the supra conscious. What I most enjoy about the process is that it is available to anyone and everyone, you do not need any training, there are no rules and it is totally subjective. You simply can't "mess up" (though you might make somewhat of a mess and that's okay).
Creating a work of art is therapeutic in itself.
What makes this process somewhat different is your intention.
It is not to create a piece of work, that is the process. Your intention is to visually express your heart's desire in a way that when you view and meditate to the collage, they, your desires, become real. The more emotionally attached you are to having them be real in your life the more your mind aligns itself with the energies required to make them real.
I cannot give you the experience using words, it would be like describing the color red. Your red and my red are not the same and how you and I experience even the same red is not the same. What I can do is outline the steps to creating a transformational collage piece and invite you to take it from there.
So here they are -
Step One - Preparing Intention. On a blank piece of paper, list categories leaving some writing space near each category. Health, Wealth, Family, Spirituality, Friends, Social Life, Relationships, Money, Home, Apartment, Job, Career, Car, Financial, Education, Want to Do, Want To Go Here, Want To Learn This. You can choose any or all of these categories or use your own.
Once you have the category or categories you are working on using 1 - 3 words (okay four if you have to) write what you want to be, do, have, experience, express and create in this category.
For example, under Financial you may want to be debt free, have residual income, investments, bills consistently paid early or on time with enough funds left over for wants and savings, etc. Under Family you may want to marry, renew vows, deepen your current relationship, end a relationship, meet a soul mate, have a child, adopt, spend more time with family, etc.
You choose the topics and the wants and write notes about your wants until you feel inspired or your hand cramps. This usually happens together for me.
Step Two - Now with this outline choose materials for your collage. When I work with groups we use standard poster board and I allow folks to choose whatever color pleases them. White is a great first choice as you may want to add writing later. Also it will allow you to use colored ink knowing how it will look. On colored boards any colored ink will change color mixing itself with the board coloring. Often we cut the boards into circles, triangles or smaller boards giving you a unique starting point.
Your options for collage materials are limitless. Again, only to start you I offer basic suggestions. Please build on them. Magazine cutouts, National Geographics and Life being great resources. Also travel and new age magazines have beautiful pictures for collage backgrounds. Saved greeting cards, old letters, book pages, postcards, receipts, newspaper clippings, photos, wrapping paper, gift tags, instruction sheets, maps, illustrations from textbooks, children's storybook pictures, playing cards, tarot cards - anything that inspires you is a possible collage item.
What you are looking for are images that create for you a sensation similar to the sensation you have when you think of having your dream.
For this piece I had a single focus, writing - and I used right and left brain photos from an advertisement and a lot of words!
For some folks translating an idea from words to pictures is easy such as wanting a tropical island vacation and cutting out pictures of it.
But for this project, a transformational piece, I invite you to explore further. Create with abandon.
Perhaps a photo of a brightly colored bird gives you that sensation, or a coconut, a pineapple. Maybe a hut or shack on a quiet beach. You can find a picture of sand, another of the hut, still another of the flowers, fruits, birds and life that you might expect to see in your vacation land. This will work better with your mind, taking from here and there, building the scene and the experience as you go, creating one piece and adding to it.
You can straight cut items using an xacto knife or design cut using scrapbooking scissors. Tearing adds interest by creating unique edges to a piece though you may want to cut any piece that tugs at you as tears can sometimes go wrong.
Other items include: glue of your choice ( I use glue stick mostly) a small paint roller or a rolling pin box to keep unused items; sewing needle which you may need to prick a piece if it has air bubbles in it after you have glued it; markers, pencils, pens - whatever kind you want to work with; tweezers to help you with corners and positioning of pieces; patience and joy, this is going to be fun even when the cat jumps up on the table and sends all your papers flying to the floor.
Step Three: Using your list as your guide lay out your pieces. Collage is process of building so I suggest playing with pieces before you glue, changing their positions, using with other pieces, gluing only when you have that feeling of this works (or whatever you say to yourself). As you glue you may be inspired to write some words or notes, print and include poetry, song lyrics, perhaps some items to add texture such as small pieces of jewelry, lock of hair, coins, etc.
This is your time to create.
Fill as much or as little of the board as you want. The single most important energy of this kind of work is that you are enjoying it - IN JOY of the process.
Simple, isn't it? Yes, but it is also a profound gesture that you are sending to your brain and to the universal consciousness. You are engaging your visual brain, your auditory brain with internal and possibly audible dialog (I sing to myself when doing this, and laugh a lot too), kinesthetically by using your hands to create.
Using these three modes of sensory experience you are singularly focused on WHAT YOU WANT.
This is key.
Throughout the day we are all hurried from here to there meeting the demands of life. No matter how positive a person you are, as part of your evaluation process you are paying attention, consciously or otherwise, to what you don't want in life as much, perhaps more, than what you do want.
Go ahead, test yourself. Monitor how you talk to yourself and others for the next 24 hours and notice how many times you say or feel something like, "I just don't want to get ____, I can't be late, this can't happen, as long as I don't get lost, I can't eat that, I don't have enough money for this, and on and on.
Hey, there isn't a thing wrong with evaluating. In fact, in order to be a thriving person you have to evaluate the pros and cons of your choices. What allows you to move out of the process of constant evaluation is your choice to slow down and pay attention, to be consciously engaged in your life. And when you do this, whether reading a book, listening to music, meditating, walking, dancing, or simply being, you are open to great leaps of transformation.
It is at these times that all the evaluating comes into play and allows you to elevate your self to a higher level of being, to evolve, to move more in love and less in fear.
Transformational collage is an active creative way to do this.
I hope this guide moves you to move to creating a work that touches your soul while engaging your mind and bringing more of what you want into your life now.
For collage resources, from the tools to creative ideas, search ebay. Everything you need is here and it's great to support such a thriving community.
In light, may you thrive in your own life.