Piecing Together a Picture of Your Life

Sometimes the act of painting or drawing can be fun, but other times it can be a daunting task. Even I feel like I’m not “good enough” sometimes to draw what I am seeing in my mind, so I’ll get overwhelmed and frustrated. I know I can’t be the only one to doubt my art abilities and wish I could just borrow someone else’s abilities for a day.

Borrowing someone else’s work is the beauty of collage. Creating a collage can be fun and simple. A collage is a collection of words and images that creates a larger picture. This picture can express emotions, goals, personal perceptions, ideals, or tell a story about an event.

I found a blog post on Art Therapy Spot about creating collages that I particularly loved because it emphasizes the importance of free association when creating collages. Using free association really makes the experience fun and helpful.

One of my favorite ways to use collage in an art therapy sense is called a “vision board”. Vision boards are a collage (often on a poster board) that acts as a visual representation of what you envision for your future; including goals, dreams, things you want to work towards, and parts of life that you want to put more emphasis on in the future. Vision boards can represent any time frame. Some people create vision boards for the upcoming year, others create vision boards that represent the future as a whole.

I recently convinced my roommate to join me in creating vision boards and we had a really fun time of it! We had huge stacks of magazines scattered around the apartment, so we finally put them to good use.

Going through the magazines took forever! If you are planning on making collages a regular part of your art therapy routine, I would suggest keeping a collection of pre-cut images and phrases that can be used in a wide variety of ways. This would cut down on the exhausting amount of time spent cutting prior to creating a collage.

I have trouble planning too far into the future, so I chose to create a vision board for the next year. As I was beginning to glue down my images and phrases, there were two questions circling my mind: What do you want to achieve in the next year? Which of these goals is the most important to you?


My Vision Board for 2014-2015!

The process of creating a vision board was a fun experience, particularly because I was able to do it with my best friend. It was great to think about what I want to make happen in the next year. Creating a vision board allowed me to give myself permission to dream without considering every aspect of my achieving those dreams.

My roommate and I both hung the final products in our rooms as a nice reminder of what we want to accomplish in our lives. As an added bonus, it filled in some very empty space on our walls.