SoulCollage® is a Creative Process
Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way. — Edward de Bono
I love this quote, don’t you? Read it again and you’ll discover it is the key to the SoulCollage® process. It’s all about seeing things in a different way, a way that no one else has seen before or will see again.
This means that every SoulCollage® card you make is a creative discovery, in and of itself. Because other people certainly glanced through the same magazines you did. They flipped right over that one image that caught your eye last week. They didn’t give it a second thought. But you looked at it and saw something.
You were still for a moment and you listened. You let the image speak to you. You heard something that no one else heard; you felt something that no one else felt. You allowed yourself to think of the picture in a different way. And so you ripped it out of the magazine and allowed it to become part of one of your SoulCollage® cards.
What Is The Creative Process?
A good metaphor for this process is the cycle of the seasons. Read on and you’ll see what I mean!
Spring is a time for gathering seeds, planting them, and watching them begin to sprout. In the creative process, this is the part of the cycle where we generate ideas, gather them to us gently, and watch as they begin to germinate. This is the time for Aha Moments, also known as Lightbulbs Going Off In The Brain.
In the springtime of a SoulCollage® card, the creative process begins with flipping through hundreds of magazines, and pulling out the images that appeal to you. As you do this, and your image pile begins to grow, you will often find ideas sprouting here and there. “Oh look, I have all these pictures of doors and windows. I wonder what that means.” Or, “Wow, if I put this conch shell and this spiral on top of that galaxy shot, it looks amazing.”
Summer is the season of action steps, the daily tending of the plants, feeding them, watering them and balancing their intake of light and shade so they stay healthy and in full growth mode. It is often repetitious and can sometimes be downright tedious, but it is a necessary part of the creative cycle of life and growth.
In the summer of a SoulCollage® card, the creative process continues as you do the actual physical work of making the card. This includes trimming your images, laying them out under the frame, moving them around, this way and that until you are satisfied with what you see, marking the edges if necessary for a good fit, gluing them down, rubbing off the excess glue, smoothing down the edges. This part of the cycle also includes buying and cutting the mat board pieces and placing the appropriate backing on each card.
Autumn is the season of the harvest, where the fruits of your labors are taken up, harvested, and given forth to the world.
In the autumn of a SoulCollage® card, you move through the creative process by completing it and putting it out in the world in some way. You do something with the card. For example, you put it on your nightstand so you see it when you first wake up and before you close your eyes for sleep. Or you share it with a friend, write about it in your journal, talk about it with your SoulCollage® group, or post it on our KaleidoSoul Yahoo group. Maybe you even email it to the editor of Soul Songs: Your SoulCollage® Newsletter for inclusion in KaleidoSoul’s free monthly newsletter. In other words, you reap the fruits of what you have made.
Winter is the season of darkness and quiet. The seeds lie dormant under ground that is now frozen. This is the season of no new growth. All is waiting. But this is a necessary part of the process of growth and harvest. When there’s three feet of snow on the ground (I live in New England, can you tell?), you have to have faith in the cycle of the seasons. You have to activate your belief that Spring will come again, that the creative process will continue in spite of the darkness, in spite of the seemingly barren landscape.
In the winter of the SoulCollage® process, you might have no ideas for cards, no energy or desire to create new SoulCollages. This may come as quite a surprise if you’re new to it and have just spent every waking moment for weeks making cards for your deck. It may seem like you will never make another card, and that may distress you a great deal. It’s important to remember when this is happening that it’s all part of the creative process.
One more word about “winter.” It’s important to know when NOT to create, just as it’s important to heed the call of spring and begin the creative process all over again. It’s important to know when to be still, when to put the card making on hold. The power of the creation of your SoulCollage® deck comes from listening to the voices inside of you, the voices in your dreams, and the voices of those around you whose energy stimulates and enlivens you. The creative process of SoulCollage® is not just about ripping and tearing, cutting and gluing, arranging and rearranging pieces. It’s also about listening, about going within where it’s quiet and dark and not much seems to be going on.
How can you easily cultivate creativity in your life?
Two ways. By consciously cultivating openness and flexibility.
When you are truly open, you are able to let go of the assumptions and expectations that you might have about a certain SoulCollage® card you’ve created. You consciously decide that you won’t label it right away. You decide that it’s okay to not know what the card means immediately.
Practicing openness means that you are willing to wait and listen to the answers within you. It means that you are okay with sitting back and allowing the card to speak to you first. To be open in the creative process is to be willing to let go of what you think and simply go with what you feel.
Some of us are more closed off than others, more ready to jump to conclusions, more prone to chatter than to silence. If we can notice this and work with it, then we’ll be better able to cultivate a sweet openness that will be our ally on the SoulCollage® creative journey.
When you are cultivating flexibility, you are honoring openness to new ideas. In SoulCollage®, flexibility means that you don’t have to have everything so defined and rigid.
Yes, there are four suits to most SoulCollage® decks but you can have less and you can have more. A certain card from your deck may belong to two different suits. You might feel like putting an animal on a card that doesn’t belong in your Companions Suit.
It takes a certain flexibility to allow yourself to change the “rules” and stretch the guidelines like this. Some of us are more rigid than others, and to notice this about ourselves is a wonderful discovery. This is the only way we can begin to bend and flow with the creative process that is our life.
There are a certain number of “voices” in our minds which have taught us to believe that we are not creative and never will be creative. These creative blocks can get in the way of a fulfilling, creative, joyful life.
How to unlock these blocks? There are lots of ways! Read Anne Marie’s article, What Stops Us From Being Creative? for lots of good ideas.
Also, sign up for the FREE KaleidoSoul e-course, Creative Block-Busters. It is specifically written with the creative process of SoulCollage® in mind, but you’ll find this helpful no matter what creative endeavor you are longing to pursue.
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