Collage Quest - The Book
Collage Quest is published by FriesenPress and is available now at the FriesenPress online bookstore in both hardcopy and electronic editions.
Collage Quest Preview
a pictorial technique of applying printed or found materials to a flat surface
an artistic composition made of pasted or glued elements
a collection of different colors, feelings, images, shapes, and dreams
from the French verb "coller" meaning to paste, stick, glue, clarify
to make a picture by sticking other pictures onto a surface
to co-create a new vision with colors, feelings, images, shapes, and dreams
a hunt, tour, trek or voyage for that which is hidden
the object of a search; goal or target
an adventurous pilgrimage, visionary odyssey or walkabout
from the Old French verb "quester" meaning to seek
to go on a journey to find something
to look for clues using color, ceremonies and dreams
Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth. Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, Anatolian philosopher
You are entering into a whole new world of collage creation that is actually quite ancient. It is an approach to collage as a spiritual journey or quest where you set off each time you begin to create on a voyage of self-discovery.
Here you will find the long lost roots of the art of collage. As we will see, these roots can be found buried deep within the records of all humanity's civilizations. From the earliest cave art to our modern day forms of making personal cut and paste posters, humans have actually been questing for thousands of years with collage.
This approach to collage is a practice of deep, inner soul searching with ancient, cross-cultural roots. Yet it is also about the true nature of creativity which is often misunderstood. True creativity is actually co-creation where we interact with forces beyond our own limited human abilities. To work creatively is to engage with the mysterious transpersonal realm where dreams come from. Working with this method can help us to make contact with dimensions other than the 3D world which we are most familiar with here on the Earth plane.
The ideas contained within these pages are also a metaphor for the quest that is every human life. For life itself is both like a collage and a quest. It is a never ending search for elements to cut and paste into an ever unfolding landscape of your own design. When we understand this we can begin to envision ourselves and our lives through a much more creative lens. As the old adage goes: 'I'll believe it when I see it.' Collage Quest allows us to see our lives in full color so we can finally begin to live this way as well.
Collage Quest is the ancient ancestor of Vision Boards. Yet at first glance you might not recognize the family resemblance. For this practice of doing collage is not another modern day form of spiritual materialism. That is to say, that to quest with collage really is not about manifesting stuff. It is about understanding yourself more clearly.
Collage Quest is like the long forgotten great grandmother for our modern day understanding of alchemy. It is a tool of powerful transformation yet it is not a book about making vision or dream boards in the current vernacular understanding of these terms. This approach is not one of finding pictures of exactly what you want to have in your life and then using them to place your collaged order with the Universe. Nor is it about using a bunch of "You can do it!" type of phrases in your collages to cheer yourself on to greater heights of accumulating things and status. Rather you will be encouraged to explore your wiser, more holistic and artistic inner self with color and images and use as few words and phrases as possible in your collages.
Collage Quest is something quite different. It is truly a quest, not a race or a competition. The objective is more about the revelations of the journey than the pot-of-gold at the end of the rainbow. It is a powerful tool of co-creation, a spiritual technology to be used with great reverence.
This is also a book of stories from my own personal quest with collage. In it I share tales of my developmental journey as an artist, teacher, explorer of spirituality, ever questing student, sister, daughter, friend, wife, and woman. These stories are offered as proof that it is possible to be both New Age and Old Age at the same time. That is to say there is never really anything new under the sun.
To quest with collage is to fine tune your unique color intuition. For learning to quest with collage is to learn to look deeply inside yourself, to trust your own innate color attractions to help you discover what you love, where you came from and where you are headed. A foundational premise of this approach is: The colors which you are drawn to as you collage contain ancient and often mysterious wisdom that can open many doors for you.
To learn to quest with collage is also about learning to play with synchronicity. It involves becoming attuned to the colors and images which have the deepest resonance with your truest nature. The more you allow yourself to do this, the more they will begin to show up before you and make their way into your collages. The colors and images will be your Guides and Teachers.
Experiencing a true Collage Quest requires that you pay attention at all times, on multiple levels to what is happening around you, in all parts of your life. As you do, you will begin to see that you are constantly being given clues. Some mysterious force is leaving you a breadcrumb trail. As you begin to train your senses to stop, look and listen, you begin to inhale and savor this mysterious trail. Before long you may find that you will follow it no matter where it may lead.
We are stepping into a journey of peeling back the onion skin of life and exploring its many layers.
It is all based on the number 3:
3 layers or doorways that lead to 3 more layers or rooms
Within those 3 rooms are 3 more areas, which each contain
3 levels of knowledge and understanding.
There is a certain mystery to collage just as there is to life. We humans love to make plans, set goals, and write out long daily To-Do lists both on paper and in our heads. Many of us have a deep longing for everything to be perfect. This is all well and good and seemingly quite natural these days. But we often forget something rather important: Life is a great and grand mystery. We never really know how it's going to turn out for ourselves or anyone else.
Life is not black and white like the running paper and ink lists we keep on our kitchen counters.
Life is a collage of thousands upon thousands of colors, experiences, shapes and people that mix and merge together. Much of the time despite our best human efforts our day to day lives, like a collage in the making, are a bit messy and unpredictable.
From start to finish every life is created from an untidy mix of elements. It begins with our physical conception and birth and continues on from there in unique ways for each one of us. We are raised by parents who were almost always making it up as they went along, juggling many tasks the best way they could, and hoping it would all somehow turn out well for us. Once we reach adulthood, no matter how traditional or non-traditional our lives may appear by societal standards, they are still lives that we create for ourselves from the particular hand we are dealt and the personal choices we make. And ultimately, when our bodies wear out, we all die back into the mystery from whence we came.
To embrace this creative nature of our existence, we need to embrace the mystery of life with its many puzzle pieces that stump us and its endless colors and characters that entice and sometimes frighten us. We have to be willing to make some messes along the way, knowing that in the end, all will be well. And all will be revealed to us in due time IF we have faith in our own co-creative role in this process we call life.
Collage Quest is a powerful way to become more comfortable with this mystery behind creation. There is a way to permit images to advise us even when we have no idea what they mean. It is possible to access deep parts of yourself that you may have long forgotten existed by allowing collage to be your Guide. To me this process often feels like slipping into another realm or dimension, where great wisdom can be found along with a deep sense of peace and hope. Approached in this way, collage becomes more like meditation than art. Collage can be a practice in remembering who we are in a much larger, holistic sense. Embracing the concept that we actually already know all kinds of things that we somehow think we don't know is a great way to begin to jog our memories. We each know how to choose things that we like, things that make us feel good. And we also know how to cut and paste using a simple pair of scissors and some kind of glue. This is a basic principal that will be illustrated over and over in this book:
By choosing images and colors that make you happy, and then cutting and pasting them into a collage that makes your heart sing, you can gain profound clarity.
These pages will provide illustrations, both verbal and literal, to encourage you to focus your collage view on beauty and joy allowing your vision to soar far and wide in the process. If you want to change your world, to change both your inner and outer views, this is a powerful technique for facilitating major life shifts. By using collage to help you focus, you can create a personalized perspective that sends out ripples of colorful new energy to infuse your life.
As you begin to explore the multiple layers of Collage Quest, you may very well discover that you are able to tap into your inner realms in such a profoundly deep way, that you gain access to both the past and the future. Memories will likely surface as you gather images for your collaging from the cross-cultural collective consciousness contained in magazines. This book focuses on the type of collage process known as photo montage. By using primarily photographs (usually cut from your favorite magazines) along with colored papers you can construct new pictures that allow you to connect more deeply with your truest self. Images and visuals are powerful; perhaps more powerful than any of us have yet to realize. They contain not only intellectual information on the subject matter but they also contain vibrational information in the form of color. Colors have vast untapped potential for accessing visionary experiences. The potential to see and sense with a new, more evolved type of vision will be explored throughout this book. We begin with Part One where we learn to allow Color to lead us into its hidden inner realms. Then in Part Two: Ceremonies, we discover unique ways for communing with ourselves as we quest with collage. And finally in Part Three: Dreams, we remember forgotten wisdom and our ability to dream a new dream into being. Like a rainbow of dazzling colors the whole tale of Collage Quest will reveal itself to you in these pages as you allow your mind and senses to expand and listen to its multi-layered story.