Things have been a little weird in life lately so I’ve been looking for a distraction to keep feelings in check and hopefully keep me from mouthing off or doing something stupid.
“Sometimes we are so confused and sad that all we can do is glue one thing to another. Use white glue and paper from the trash, glue paper onto paper, glue scraps and bits of fabric, have a tragic movie playing in the background, have a comforting drink nearby, let the thing you are doing be nothing, you are making nothing at all, you are just keeping your hands in motion, putting one thing down and then the next thing down and sometimes crying in between.” – Lynda Barry
I stumbled on the above quote on Austin Kleon’s website and decided to collage in an effort to release some of that tension creatively.
I journal daily and although that is a great way to get thoughts down and out of my head, it doesn’t quite provide me with the satisfaction of tearing up paper and glueing things back in a sarcastic manner that I find amusing. What offered the most relief was searching for images and ripping them out of magazines or old books to later glue in my notebook. It’s oddly satisfying to tear something up, that’s the destruction release I needed, but I also know I’m going to use those materials again to build something new. I’m destroying things with the intent to build again. That feels productive.
Below are my first attempts at a collage notebook. All of these ideas came quickly and I didn’t spend much time putting them together. I just glued it down and later found the satisfaction in what I saw. If I had labored over the creation process then this would feel too much like a chore and not a creative release.
I’m too intimidated with the blank page to draw or paint in a therapeutic way. I find the stack of collage images that I’ve collected inspiring and they help me create much faster than staring at a blank page hoping to think of an idea out of the blue.
I intend to keep up the process of creating a collage daily and see where it leads me. I would suggest you do the same if you’re feeling stuck creatively or generally frustrated with a certain area of your life. The beauty of the collage process is it is very easy to start, all you need are scraps of paper and glue. I opted for a notebook to keep them all together but even if you collage on a regular piece of paper and discard it later, the process of the collage creation will still be a benefit to you.
Thanks again to Austin Kleon for providing the inspiration to start.