One way I like to use to boost my creativity is freeform collage. Now you may be asking “What the heck is freeform collage?” Freeform collage is where you take images and use them to generate ideas for your writing, painting, beading and other forms of artwork. The reason I’ve termed it freeform is you don’t actually glue the images to the paper. Unlike traditional collage, the idea is not to come up with one set of images, but to play with the images like a puzzle to give your mind new fuel with which to be creative.
Here’s what you need to do freeform collage, and some ideas for how you can use it to boost your creativity. You’ll need:
- Pictures, either from magazines, the internet, or even copies of family photos.
- A piece of cardboard or heavy paper such as card stock. I prefer 8 ½ x 11, but you can pick any size paper you choose.
Once you’ve got a good collection of images, then the idea is to randomly pick images and lay them on the paper. Continue to choose images and layer them however you want to until your paper is completely covered. Once you feel your collage is complete allow the images to speak to you. What do they remind you of? Maybe the lines of a poem will come to your mind, or maybe the flowers in the corner will give you an idea of an article you can write on gardening. If no ideas come to you, you can remove that set of images and try again. Even if nothing comes to you the second time around, you can also leave the collage for a day or so and see if later on it inspires you once your subconscious has had a chance to observe it for a bit. Another way to nudge our creativity is to write a journal entry about the collage, or if you draw well, you could try reproducing the collage in a drawing. The ideas are endless.
Another benefit of using freeform collage is you can use the same images over and over again, just be sure to replenish your stack with new ones every so often so you aren’t using the same ones over and over again. Otherwise the brain will get used to them and start losing interest in paying attention.
The idea for this article actually came to me while I was playing with images I’d cut out from magazines. I hope you find freeform collage just as useful in boosting your creativity!