Why dream, when you can do? Art journals & “collage montage”

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Journals and notebooks are used for so many things. Some chronicle world events on a large scale like the newspaper, while others may be used to bring our attention to a smaller, present moment. Others might be a playground for developing ideas and stories. Maybe the journal you know is more of a place for mind dumps and wandering thoughts or maybe yours is beautifully adorned with poetry and other holy insights. Perhaps a journal to you is just an empty page inviting that doodle in you to come out. Whatever journaling means to you, there is a deep and therapeutic aspect to it. Next month we will have a guest blogger on to speak, or I should say write, about the healing nature of writing, and I can’t wait. But for tonight, I wanted to quick plug my love for art journals and the power of image with words as it relates to health and wellness.

2.13.13_CollageTonight I started what I hope to be a habit, the first page of an art journal, what I like to playfully call “collage montage” (a bit redundant, but it rhymes). This isn’t my first rodeo. My first intentional visual art journal was birthed freshman year of college during an interim course called, “Arts, Culture and Context” that took place on Lake Street in Minneapolis. I never finished my journal because of my perfectionist ways – I told the teacher that I would do it later on my own time (so I could do it the right way instead of rush through it). Well I owe my professor a big apology as it’s been 9 years since the course and the journal is stored on a shelf, collecting dust, still unfinished. I’ve made peace with it, mainly because I still have the opportunity and urge to journal in a way that is not just capturing words but images. (I’m still working on the perfectionist thing, but that’s for another post ;))

Images are so powerful. As they say, “a picture is worth a 1,000 words”. Think about how images affect us – some of us can read books with graphic scenes and descriptions but cannot stomach to see it on the big screen. Images have a way of staying with us. But, what happens if we take some control over the images we see – or we put images to the feelings we have deep inside of us? Sometimes there are no words, but there are images that arise in our consciousness. What would it look like if we took the time to explore those images?

Those are the questions I sit with tonight and I hope to sit with tomorrow. How does image impact you? Do you have an empowering image that you keep nearby? Is there an image inside of you? Do you need to let it out?

I dedicate this post to dear Kris and Nan, my original research partners and forever soul friends. I owe this recent revival of interest in art journaling to the two of you. Thank you so much! Please keep all of the MR readers posted on whatever form your deep research takes next. We so look forward to it! 

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