Friday, November 16, 2012

Art Journal Fridays -- A Therapeutic Collage

I do believe that making a collage can be therapeutic, and your art journal is the perfect place to create little collages. Here's the story behind this one. A few weeks ago, I was cleaning out a box of cards and papers, and I ran across something that took me off guard. 

I had a long writing career at an ad agency, and toward the end, a lot of us, who were over 45 especially, got dumped. I don't talk about this often, and I know it happens all the time, but it is what it is: kinda crummy. Pretty much the next day, I got myself up, dusted myself off, and started all over again, never looking back.

So what did I find that brought all those memories back? Well the truth is, I have wonderful memories of working there--it was a fantastic 15 years of my life. I just didn't like how they ended it, and what I found in that box was a stack of company cards. Our agency, in those last few years of decline, was notoriously reinventing itself and trying to position a cutting-edge image, and they had created a little deck of cards with all of their positioning statements. The employees each received these cards, and we were to commit to memory all the things our agency stood for and would do for our clients.

I didn't know why I still had these stupid  cards! So, I sat at my craft table, and I cut them up. Now that's the cutting edge thing I should have done six years ago, but I was doing it now, and it really felt good! Instead of throwing all these card scraps away, or starting a bonfire, I made a collage in my art journal. The truth is, I dearly loved my company and all my friends there, and I wanted a memorial page, now that I had enjoyed shredding these things! I told one of my former co-workers about it, and she loved this idea!

I came back to this page a few times, and just kept layering on other things, like clothes tags, paint chips, stamps and gelatos, until I was finished with it. I like it. Unless you knew what the original cards said, you would probably not be able to decipher what is what.

But every time I look at it, I know what it all means. And I feel like laughing.

That's what art journaling is all about.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, and paint up your past.


  1. This rather struck a chord with me - not so much the way this chapter of your life finished but more the fact that one part of your life ends and another starts.
    I worked as a Vision Mixer for 13 years in a television company in the UK. I was rather good at it and got hired out to do many music Outside Broadcasts, as I can read a score. I did the Open Air Concert at the start of the Barcelona Olympics, the Red Cross Centenary concert in Geneva. I tell you this, not to be big headed, but to share that I had a life before kids :)
    I went freelance when the boys were little but couldn't maintain it when we moved to Wiltshire. That's when I decided to work in education. I don't regret that at all, it meant I was always here for my boys, but sometimes I look at a music programme on TV and think 'I could do that......'
    Love your journal pages - it's good to remember but keep it in perspective as part of your life's journey :)
    LLJ xxxx

  2. That is a pretty crummy way to have a career ended. Sometimes experience is much more valuable than reinvention. Your collage is very colorful and from what I see has lots of positive affirmations. Wishing you a wonderful day. Tammy

  3. Great Therapy! I am learning to express myself through art.... using it as therapy too!

  4. I think everything happens for a reason, and the fact that it makes you laugh when you look at it is a good enough reason! You have a great attitude! waving hi from the hills of North Carolina :)

  5. That definitely is a crummy thing to do. I hope things are better now....and you kept the cards for a reason. Art therapy!!