Monday, January 14, 2008

Collaging for Ideas

This picture is a collage I did to help brainstorm The Remains of the Dead.

I've never been a particularly crafty person. I sort of had a craftectomy when I was about five. Hand me paint or glue and I can usually make a monumental mess of just about any project. However, over the years I attended collaging sessions put on by Jenny Crusie and Susan Wiggs and I couldn't help but be intrigued by the process. I'm now a believer. Flipping through magazine pages, ripping them out and gluing them to a thicker piece of paper somehow helps the creative process. I don't even pretend to know how this works.

When I was creating this collage for The Remains of the Dead, I was just beginning my work on the story. I came upon pictures that reflected many of the darker and paranormal elements in the book and then something surprising. A picture of a rabbit. I had no idea why a rabbit needed to be on the collage and I fought it at first. But my muse seemed to insist on the white and black bunny. Later, as I reflected on the completed collage and was preparing to work hard and heavy on the manuscript I realized the purpose of the bunny. My protagonist, Sadie Novak, needed something to soften her. Before I could stop myself she had a pet rabbit named Hairy.

I think sometimes we don't give our subconscious enough credit. Maybe all our lives would be a little softer if we allowed that small inner voice to have more of a say. Do you listen to that little voice?


anintelligentmind said...

Hmmm, I may have to just try out this collaging thing. I seem to get stuck a lot recently

Holly Kennedy said...

Wendy, I love this idea.
I've worked with Susan Wiggs as well, but we never did this!!! LOL I must try it in the future.

Have a great week :)

Wendy Roberts said...

Anintell, if you get stuck a lot I highly recommend this idea! It's seems to loosen things up inside your head :)

Holly, I really enjoyed Susan's workshop when she did it at the Surrey Writer's Conference. She had spectacular collages from her own books as examples and, having read those books, her collages really spoke to me. Her workshop was so relaxed that it gave me the courage to try collaging on my own.

Travis Erwin said...

Very cool. I've never heard of this and I've attended a fair amount of conferences and workshops. I might just have to try this and post a pic of my results.

Wendy Roberts said...

Travis, I would love to see pics of your results!

Mel said...

Great minds...I just collaged this weekend. It does feel strange when you're done and you look at everything and everything your book is about is there on paper. You just have to figure out how it all fits. Usually when you do figure it out you're freaked out by your own subconscious. Great stuff.

Wendy Roberts said...

Mel, I agree! It's definitely a little freaky to look at your collages once the book is done. I think the thing that makes it such a powerful tool is that we give in to our subconscious and allow our muse free reign.

LindaH said...

Hi Wendy,

Great topic. I love Collages I do them with family & friends photos in albums, journals or even online. I did some for my graduation with my fiance & family :-) I love arts & craft. I do book-thongs, jewelry and keep sake boxes. My Grandma said I get that from her & my mom. We love arts & craft. Btw I did post to you on my blog I want to thank you for coming by. Come visit me again anytime :-)


LindaH said...

One more this is a wonderful idea to do for books you have written. Very different and a neat idea :)


Wendy Roberts said...

lindah, you sound like a skilled crafter! Thanks again for posting about Remains on your blog :)