This is the second in my Visual Inspiration series–an intentional way of immersing yourself in images, giving your right brain plenty of opportunity to come up with ideas. Today I’m going to talk about using collages to spark a story. This is fun because you get to do, not just look. Get some scissors, a glue stick (less mess than regular glue), a sheet of paper and a stack of magazines.
This technique is simple: Go through the magazines and cut out pictures of anything that strikes your fancy. These could be images of objects, swatches of color, a cool pattern, a word or phrase, whatever. Once you have a bunch of them, try arranging them in different ways on your paper. You may find yourself abandoning some perfectly decent images because they don’t fit the mood of your collage. That’s fine. I had a nice looking Irish castle that I set aside because it was far too ostentatious and sunny to for the tone of my collage. Once you’ve picked your pieces and arranged them, glue them to the paper.
Here’s the one I did:
Now, ask yourself questions.
What is the mood of this collage? What adjectives jump to mind when you look at it?
Somber. Mysterious. Ancient. Hidden. Cold. Trapped. Feathered. Twilit.
What are the common elements in these pictures?
There are a lot of dark cool colors in here, purples and blues and greens. A lot of stone–rocks on the beach, in the mosaic. Some of the patterns look like prints in stone. The feathers hint at brighter colors and warmth.
What are some of the surprising connections (these are what will spark the most interesting ideas because they suggest conflict)?
Why are the feathers in this collage? After all that brick and stone, they bring life and warmth, but it is a trapped life. I have this sense of a tropical bird far from home in a cold place, with mysterious life-draining rituals. And what’s with that college library with the lit windows on the left side? It doesn’t quite fit the collage, as if there were two timelines or stories running parallel to each other, intersecting only… where? With the finding of a stone artifact or a feathered cape?
… and so on.
Again, the answers to those questions will spark more questions. Follow these rabbit trails. Be inspired.
Till next time.