Collages, Mood boards, Dream maps, Inspiration panels…
Aren’t they pretty, interesting and inspiring? When you see one, don’t you want to stop and look at it? Take it in, interpret it? Find more and more things on it that somehow speak to you? Find out more about the artist? I personally find them fascinating!
It’s also great fun to create them. No matter if art-related collages or personal mood boards. The combination of the creative process and the power of visualisation through the pictures and cut outs… It’s just epic and in my opinion there should be a bigger collage trend. A collage-movement!
My own Cutouts-Story
As a kid I loved creating collages. My mum used to call me ‘paper Cathy’ (Kaśka papierkowa). Then somehow I forgot about them. Until ten years ago when out of the blue, instead of painting I took one of my canvas and started to stick magazine cut outs to it. It was great fun doing it but I never showed it to anyone because I thought it was kind of useless and ‘childish’.
Some years later, while living in London I got invited to a creative (Polish) ladies night. The host was very mysterious about this evening and didn’t tell us upfront what’s going to happen during this gathering. She only said it’s going to be fun and something a bit spirituell. I was intrigued. First there was wine and cake, then the host gave each of us a piece of cardboard and placed scissors, glue and a rack of shiny magazines in the middle of the table and announced that we were going to create ‘mapy marzeń’ – dream-boards! YeahI I thought. We can do it as adults? That’s awesome!
Expressing yourself through collages
I still have this wishing board although it’s not the prettiest one. Since then I created two more (they got better and better). One with my bestie during a fool moon night in the beginning of a new year. With some bubbly and lots of laughter. The second one came a bit later. A bit nostalgic. Created alone during the time when my relationship was falling apart and I tried to hold on to the dreams of the future we had once created as a couple. At the same time, including components of my own projects to the board, was somehow liberating. I remember my ex calling it ‘stupid cutouts’. No idea why actually because, despite other things he didn’t get right, he was always supportive of my creativity and a fan of my art. In any case, at that point I realised how much I like those ‘stupid cutouts’! : )
Since that moment I made one of my biggest dreams come true: I started to freelance and live a traveling lifestyle. I met many people, many soul mates around this beautiful world, including dreams-boards creating individuals. I admire talented people and I love being surrounded by them. They inspire me and awaken my own creativity. Especially Bali, where I’m spending a lot of time, seems to be a hub of designers from all over the globe.
It’s so inspiring and also meditative to create something with your own hands! No matter if it’s knitting, pottery, jewelry making, refurbishing antique furniture, makramee or collages. I’m curious to try everything. Aren’t you too?
Mindfulness through Creation – a form of healing
This year didn’t start well for me. There was death in my family, I lost a friend, I lost a regular customer, now there is Corona… I can’t travel, which for me is almost as crucial as breathing.
In times like today where we are forced to stand still and to recollect what’s really important in our lives, I think it’s an opportunity to do a bit of an introspective. Focus on yourself. Give yourself the love and friendship that you need. Think about all the beauty in your life. The interesting people you met who enriched your journey, the amazing places you visited that took your breath away. Be grateful for your health and for your talents. And maybe use them to create something. In a way it’s a form of meditation.
Mood board – Planet YOU
Being true to my master (a painter) who told me years ago to ‘listen to my heart and it will guide my hands’ I just created a new board. This time a different one. A bigger one. One which is not a board of my wishes but simply a MOOD board. There is everything on it which somehow says ‘Bea’. There are things I love or things I experienced. Things I wish to achieve or improve. You will find the places where I lived and things that inspire me or remind me of something I did/ saw/ experienced.
So you will find things like: A business card of my yoga place and of my beloved cafe in Bali. A French theater announcement of a show that made an impact on me. Inspiration pictures for the loft I dream to have one day. A very similar ring to the one I got from my first boyfriend. Books – because I love to read. The art I surround myself with and brands I like to wear. My tattoos, my dog whose name was Picasso, and also the guy I named him after. You will see pictures of sceneries which remind me of some moments of my life. Some things might not be clear to an eye of a stranger but they all make sense if you know me quite well. You could say it’s my private ‘Planet Bea’.
It has no meaning really. But I find it pretty and I had fun doing it!
Visualisation of your goals
No matter if business related or regarding a private life, visualisation boards are tools to keep an eye on what is important to us. We tend to think of projects we would like to do and then we ‘forget’ about them during the course of our busy lives.
For example I’m thinking of writing a book. I have been thinking about it for years now… Maybe if I pin it to a board, being reminded of it whenever my eyes rest on it, maybe then I finally get the muse to actually do it !?!
I was talking to a friend, who is a life coach and she told me that mind-mapping is a common tool when working with clients seeking some clarity in their lives. Bringing ideas into paper helps to verbalise our goals, to organise and prioritize them. It can be done in written form or with some helpful doodles. I personally think that pictures have more power than words and if you ‘support’ your objectives with a nice picture it’s going to stimulate you more. Pictures provoke emotions and feelings. Emotions are a driving force! A call to action! The whole advertising industry is based on visualization. Just think about it: Are you going to be more inspired by the words ‘work more on your blog’ or rather by a picture of yourself sitting in a café in Manhattan with your McBook, sipping coffee, smiling happily?
Inspiration for your projects
Sometimes you see an image of something which speaks to you. Things in our surroundings inspire us. It might be an old chair you see in a magazine or in a shop window. Cut it out, take a picture of it and print it out. Maybe you want to buy a similar chair or maybe you would like to try yourself in crafts and build that chair yourself? Perhaps your granny has a similar one in her attic and you can ask her if you can have it and refurbish it? Or maybe you just like to look at it in a picture, simply because it looks pretty on the board?!
Create your own Pinterest – in real life! It’s fun!
Storytelling through collages
Scenes from my friends lives
My newest creation is a story that a friend told me when I visited him in NYC. The scene is magnified and ‘coloured’ (front picture). When he spoke I had a vision and funnily enough, when going through old magazines some time later I found the components that matched the atmosphere of his story.
I intend to create more of those story-telling colleges and will share them with you. Maybe one day you find yourself in one of my crazy collages ?! ; )
The Pink Collage
My very first collage was created somewhere between 2008 and 2013. In a way it reflects my lifestyle at this time. It was the years of my many business trips. I was doing Business Development for an international Tour Operator, spending a lot of time on trade shows, conferences, events and galas across countries.
It was a time of shopping in NYC, drinking Mojitios in Havana and partying in Miami. I remember eating a lot of sushi and drinking a lot of bubbly during those years. Networking was my mission and I have to say that in a way I was (happily) married to my job. Representing a company meant meeting people and seeing places. Yes, sometimes I was a bit lonely (like the first time I was sent to Toronto for 2 months during winter).. But then I spent my leisure time walking around, discovering places, visiting museums and galleries. I went to theaters and operas, and eventually I took a lover ; ) Yeah we only live once right ? So I did the best out of those crazy years.
Then ‘the glass of bubbly lost its bubbles’ and I decided that this life chapter is over. I quit my job, seeking some essence. I went on a sabbatical to South East Asia and into a silent retreat with Buddhist monks…
Today this collage reminds me of this work-related fun time. It might be silly and pink but for me it speaks of times of glory and of dining with ministers and ambassadors. And no, it wasn’t superficial, they were all nice people : )
In a way my Pink Collage is another storytelling, which I created without even realising it.
Picture collages – creating lovely memories
Another idea for creating boards are picture collages! I personally love doing them. Also, they look good. You can see many pictures in one.
Collages as a result of decluttering
It all started with a project of reducing my possessions. You know I live a nomadic lifestyle. But even before I was fully freelancing and traveling, I often moved. Changing cities and countries. Basically since I was a student. First came internships and then jobs. Then sabbaticals between jobs and finally the full-time traveling. Living like that I started to appreciate the idea of minimalism. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a visualist and I love being surrounded by beautiful things, but do we really need so much?
So every time I was visiting my parents, where I still have a lot of my stuff, I made it a project to reduce my belongings. I started to donate books, give away CD’S and DVD’s. I kept those that I hold dear but I was happy to give some away. In times of Netflix, Kindle and Spotify we don’t really need all that clutter.
What to do with the clutter?
And so, there were the pictures! You know those printed on paper, pre digital camera times. Years 1990 to 2002 were about 100 albums, taking a lot of space. My teenage times and young adulthood basically (yes I’m over 40 ;)). I reduced them into two photo-boxes! There were many pictures where I was not even on it. Those I gave to people who were on it or…..I created collages for them! For Micheala and Christian my two home-town best friends who are still in my life since highschool, I made a huge picture-collage for their 40th birthdays. I loved doing them, knowing the pictures are not wasted. I hope my friends were happy too (not sure about their respective partners though because none of them is hanging on the wall in their houses LOL).
Maybe you have objects that don’t serve you anymore? Why not try to create something out of it? Maybe a sculpture or an installation? Perhaps an old teapot can serve as a new home for your basil or an old mirror frame as an empowering vision board? There are many DIY ideas on Pinterest. Try it out! It’s fun! Allow yourself to be a kid again!
Instead of an album
Inspired by the picture collages for my friends I did another one for my ex (he was not my ex back then) – a photo collage of our travels through New Zealand. It was his home country and we lived far away in Europe, so I thought he would appreciate it. I have no idea what happened to it after we split-up but I had fun during the creative process anyways. And it all that matters, right?!
As digital version
Another idea is a digital version of a picture collage. I did those for my friends Magda and Gil, for their respective 40th birthdays. It’s a slideshow of our travels with background music. For those of you who are not into cut-outs. It’s also a creation and a nice idea for a personal gift.
Law of attraction – ‘call’ your deepest dreams into reality
Remember the book ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne? I think we all know the theory of the Law of Attraction. It is basically a resonance theory. The response of the universe to our energy, to the frequency of our vibrations. If we think positive, our frequency is high and we attract positive things. If our mind is negative, we have a low vibration and attract bed things. Basically the Universe (you can call it God or Higher Self) is giving us what we focus on!
This book also speaks about the power of visualisation. To write down what we want, or to cut out a picture of it and pin it somewhere we can see it daily. That way our energy stays focused on it and we attract it into our lives. I think it’s fun and even if you are not a spiritual person, there is no harm trying. Who knows, it might help?
Actually The Secret might be the most known book about this subject but the theory is not new. Neville was writing about the phenomenon of attraction already in 1961 in his book ‘The Law and the Promise’, which actually was gifted to me some weeks ago by a stranger on a plane! Maybe as a reminder to believe that anything is possible if we really believe in it?!
So my dears, have faith! Create, visualise and focus on what you see in front of you!
How to do a dream board
There is a ‘technique’ of how to make a wish/dream board. Maybe it’s just the Polish style? I actually don’t know, but here is how I learned it: You divide the cardboard in 9 fields.
1) In the middle (yellow field on the chart above) there is YOU – how you see yourself or what you would like to improve (i.e. strong, confident, sexy, funny, happy, etc.)
2) In the right top corner (pink) there is the space reserved for love, relationships, sex…
3) To the right of YOU (white) is the field of creativity, passions, hobbies, new ideas but also children (as creation)…
4) Continuing clockwise, in the bottom right corner (grey): Friendships, new contacts, colleagues, clients…and also travels…
5) Below YOU (navy blue): Career, profession, mission, life path…
6) Bottom left corner (sky blue): Knowledge, know-how, meditation, intuition, wisdom…
7) Left from YOU (green): Health, mentors, family, guidance…
8) Top left corner (purple): Abundance, prosperity, fortune, success…
9) Above YOU (red): Social life, reputation, acceptance, position…
Dream mapping project: Show me your boards !
In the AirBnB where I stayed a few weeks ago (my last pre-Corona trip), there was a dream board hanging in the kitchen. The host was very open with her dreams and desires. I found it very courageous and it inspired me to show you my own creations.
I mean at the end we all want the same: A fulfilled and happy life! To find our soul-mate partner, to be in good health and shape, to be loved, to travel the world, to be successful at the job that suits us and that we are passionate about. To have loyal friends, a loving family, enough money to have a comfortable lifestyle, peace of mind, work-life balance, being surrounded by nature, by culture, by beauty… You name it. We are all different and have different likings and priorities but I think the core desires are the same. Therefore, please don’t be shy and dare to share with the world your own empowering vision boards! Have courage on the way to your dreams!
Paint your dream land ladies! Visualise your goals and attract your desires into reality! See you on Instagram ; )
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