Margaret Kyle
Acrylic, Watercolor, Portraits


(posted on 14 Apr 2013)

In January 2013, I began a group called “Collaging the Deeper Self,” based on the book Soul Collage Evolving by Seena Frost.

The purpose of the group was to provide a time to create a deck of personal cards, using collage, intuition, and imagination, that would help participants get to know their deep self and to tell their personal stories. No artistic ability was necessary – just an open intuitive mindset, without pre-conceived ideas about what the results would be. The process was a vehicle to self-awareness.

We met once a week for one and a half hours. Card stock, small cutting boards, box knives, and magazines were supplied. Participants brought more magazines, glue sticks, scissors, and a container/folder to store and transport their supplies back and forth between sessions.

Each card was 5” x 8” (12.7 x 20.32 cm). The first week I brought samples of cards that I had made beforehand to show the variety and scope of what could be achieved and to explain that there was no right or wrong. Each card was totally personal. I put up a flip chart with the following instructions and tips:

  • Before you begin centre yourself by taking some deep breaths, closing your eyes, imagining yourself in your a place of peace, and letting go of what went on before you came. Be present.
  • Tear or cut out images that grasp your attention. Once you have a pile of these images, begin trimming parts of them out. Some will be backgrounds and some will be symbolic images.
  • Take your time as you create your collaged cards. Glue the images carefully and intuitively. This is about quality, not quantity. Try not to premeditate what you will create. Enjoy the process.
  • The cards can be created with either the short side to the top (portrait) or the wide side to the top (landscape).
  • Try to create “one energy” or “one aspect of yourself” per card.
  • The cards can be abstract or literal.
  • There is no right or wrong – each card that you make is a part of your own spirit.
  • Don’t compare what you do to other’s cards.
  • After the card is made “sit” with the card to see what it might be saying to you. Let the card answer the statement, “I am one who…”
  • When you are ready, give your card a title and write about “what the card might be saying to you” in your journal.

The process began with participants choosing images from magazines that seemed to “speak” to them. After they had a number of images they trimmed away extraneous parts. They then picked one image that seemed most powerful and chose other images that fit together meaningfully and then “collaged” (cut, arranged, and pasted) them onto a card to create one primary energy theme. Some of the images from magazines could be used as backgrounds and some became symbols to go on top of the backgrounds.

During the first session very few cards were created as participants spent time finding images before they could begin. This was a good thing. There was a kind of an expectant camaraderie as participants looked through magazines and ripped out images into their pile. During the process of searching for images, some images would inspire conversation and storytelling, laughter and questions.

People are just beginning to explore the process – it will develop over time.