Envision the life you want

By now the Artist’s Way programme has asked me to do many things but it’s years since I collaged with magazines. Glue sticks and scissors out!

Week seven is all about rediscovering connection. Though it’s not the only task this week, Julia Cameron says everyone’s favourite is making a collage of images ripped from magazines. It may be that she is more of a visual artist, she is a filmaker, I believe. But I found this task a challenge.

One thing, I do not have magazines lying around anymore. In choosing to read more I have had to be judicious with my time. I can get a lot of the celebrity gossip rubbish from Instagram. And Pinterest gives me the ability to flick around topics from fashion to folklore.

I subscribe to Mslexia and Writer’s Forum which are great for keeping me abreast of the publishing industry but a little too wordy for this visual challenge. In the end I bought some new, some from charity shops and ripped out the images.

My results are heavy on calmness, books and going to the spa

My finished results were not too surprising, lots of images of books and calming outdoor scenes. There wasn’t much room for my family. I was focussing on a lot of nature, quiet time and candles. I think I have identified a few times in my creative journey the need for space to work and an ambition to attend a retreat.

I would say the exercise is fun to try although I am tempted to use a vision board app in future. It felt wasteful to cut up these magazines though ones I didn’t keep, I passed them on to my family with a few gaps. I would also say my results were a little predictable, one could even say basic! That is because the market forces are huge behind the wellness industry. I do want to spend time at a spa and drink lots of flat whites but magazines also spend a lot of time advertising these things to me. Telling me to take “me time” has a lot of money behind it.

I may be a little sceptical about the value of this activity but one interesting moment of synchronicity, as Julia Cameron calls it, was the latest issue of Project Calm is all about sisters. My novel circles around the relationship between two sisters. There seems to be a small selection of magazines now with projects to develop creativity. Much more me than the glossies these days and I can’t wait to take this on holiday.

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