As I stated on my Art Therapy page, mixed-media collage is one of the best art forms to use for art therapy. You can express nearly any emotion or feeling in a piece of collage art and it allows you to experiment with numerous types of art. You can use clip art (I collect magazines to cut words and images from), paint, markers, and even actual items you’ve collected.
One example of a mixed media collage is this piece I did to celebrate my one year anniversary with Dale. I collected things from our dates and adventures over that first year and then used as many of those items as possible to create this collage, then I painted our names on it. It felt good and gave me a unique way to express my love for him and our life together.
Your collage art doesn’t have to be sad or negative, you can use it to express feelings of love and joy as well. You can even create one as a visualization board to help you gain the job or life you want.
Understand your emotion. You need to know what it is you’re wanting to express before you start digging through magazines and trinkets and gluing things to your canvas.
Cut out magazine clippings, find the other items that you want to include in your collage. Consider the colors you want to use (different colors have different meanings, so take some time to research which colors best express the feeling you want to share).
Pick your canvas. You may use a piece of paper or cardboard if you’re only using paper items and paint for your collage. If you need something sturdier you may want to invest in an actual canvas. You could also do something like I did above with the shadow box.
Lay out your collage before you start gluing things down. If you’re going to frame it you want to make sure to leave space on the sides for the inside edges of the frame. Once you know where everything is going to go you can glue it all down.Then be patient while it dries.
Your collage art can be something you keep to yourself, something you gift to someone else, something you sell, or whatever you want it to be. It’s your creation and your emotion. Once you’re finished, take some time to admire your work and feel the freedom it has given you from the emotion that was holding you back or feel the love it makes you feel for expressing something positive.