“Collage” your way to creativity: let the rebel out!


You know those days when you have, like a hundred ideas what you would like to do, to write, but somehow you are having hard time to convey and articulate your idea? It’s there, you almost have a breakthrough but your thoughts are fast racing and nothing is coming out. Maybe we should try another way of expressing it?

In the post Organize your own creativity workshop! I propose having an inspiration box, with collected items that we like, that are inspirational to us. We can go step further and by selecting different items that appeal to us, we can try to express our idea or come up with a new one, by rearranging items in a collage.

The idea here is that we challenge ourselves, as much as a situation, a question, a problem that we have.

In this essay I came across interesting fact.The author, Marjorie Perloff states:

In the spring of 1912, Picasso pasted a piece of oilcloth printed with a trompe l’oeil chair-caning pattern to the surface of a small, oval canvas representing a still life on a café table, and then “framed” the composition with a piece of coarse rope, he was challenging the fundamental principle of Western painting from the early Renaissance to the late nineteenth century–namely, that a picture is a window on reality, an imaginary transparency through which an illusion is discerned.   For collage typically juxtaposes “real” items–pages torn from newspapers, color illustrations taken from picture books, letters of the alphabet, numbers, nails–with painted or drawn images so as to create a curiously contradictory pictorial surface.  For each element in the collage has a kind of double function: it refers to an external reality even as its compositional thrust is to undercut the very referentiality it seems to assert.  And further: collage subverts all conventional figure-ground relationships, it generally being unclear whether item A is on top of item B or behind it or whether the two coexist in the shallow space which is the “picture.”

A collage as an art form was especially popular in dada movement. Many artists used this technique to provoke their unconscious  thinking and explore metaphysical origins of reality. For example Hans Arp was famous for making a series of collages based on chance; he would stand above a sheet of paper, let squares of contrasting colored paper fall on the larger sheet’s surface, and then he would glue the squares – in any position they took by falling. Arp was interested in I-Ching fortune telling (where coins fallen by chance we interpreted for future forecasting) and he was curios what kind of visceral reaction would his art produce.

1916-dada                        Arp-gold-squares-p

Raoul Hausmann                                                     Hans Arp

So how can you use technique of collaging to exercise your creativity?

The basic idea is for you to find small items, pictures, texts and letters from newspaper –anything that moves you and that you can rearrange into your own collage poem. By collaging your items, a new reality will start to form. Prune anything you find excess and look at new relations, surprises, metaphors, combinations. Your mind will try to justify any item by its origin, position, dimension. This is an excellent exercise for your creative rebel, to shout, to say, to sing, to whisper anything in particular you can’t. Let this collage poem be the messenger of your creativity. This exercise is a fun to do in groups also, as a team building game, an exercise in leadership skills, perhaps. Possibilities are endless – don’t restrain yourself – it’s good to rebel from time to time 🙂

After Experience Taught Me by Martin Buber

Take the first two fingers of this hand;
Fork them out—kind of a “V for Victory”—

Whether there might be something whose discovery
Would grant me supreme, unending happiness.

And jam them into the eyes of your enemy.
You have to do this hard. Very hard. Then press

No virtue can be thought to have priority
Over this endeavor to preserves one’s being.



3 thoughts on ““Collage” your way to creativity: let the rebel out!

  1. awesome post! i love collages, and used to be obsessed with them when i was younger. i collaged everything. all my walls in my bedroom and even the covers of my notebooks and text books. now my collaging is limited to the a one wall of my office space, hmmm. now i’m thinking i need to have a collaging party! thanx for the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

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