Creative Visualisation: Visualise, Resonate, Create

One of my favourite Mindful Creativity combinations is creative visualisation and collage.  It’s a opportunity to explore the resonance between images, feelings and personal values. Then, we get to add art making to the mix. And there’s a good chance that we are now working at a deeper, more meditative level, and our imagination powered up to assist us in our creative explorations. 

Creative visualisation in art sees us connecting many different parts of ourselves – activating our breath, our imagination, our ‘mind’s eye, our heart and our hands! 

So, in this blog post I want to share a bit of the background of creative visualisation – and then encourage you to try it for yourself. I’ve also got a journaling and collage prompt so you can jump straight in!

Some handy background on Creative Visualisation

What is it? Creative visualization is a specific way of using your imagination. It’s a cognitive process that consists of forming vivid mental images. You consciously change the images, which in turn changes your emotions about the subjects of the images. As you practice visualizing the future you want, you create that future.

Where does creative visualisation sit in the range of visualisation techniques? It’s one of several visualisation techniques used for a range of healing, wellness and goal achievement purposes. Other visualisation techniques include colour, guided imagery, loving-kindness and progressive muscle relaxation visualisations.

How can you use creative visualisation to deepen  into your own practice?  One of the best parts of creative visualisation is that it taps into our imaginative abilities. There are a few ways to experiment in your own way with this process. Jump into some creative work straight after your creative visualisation session and see if you notice a difference. Are you working more intuitively? Are you making connections between ideas more easily? Are new ideas coming more quickly? Do you feel more in the ‘flow’ of things?  Are you more confident when it comes to experimenting and trying new things?

You also might like to visualise yourself reaching the milestones you have mapped out for an existing creative project you have underway. Visualise yourself completing parts of the work, moving through your ‘to do’ list and arriving at the other end. See the finished product and connect with that feeling of peace that comes with getting someting across the line!

Where can you do creative visualisation? Anywhere you can sit quietly, without distraction, and where you know you won’t be interrupted, should do the trick!

How long should you do it for? Try short sessions to begin with. Five minutes is enough to get going. Then, if you find yourself enjoying the process, build that five minutes into your day more regularly. Then, if you’re finding it beneficial, try extending to 10 minutes. The trick, as always, is to experiment and to see what works for you – and go from there!

Your Holiday Island Retreat – a Creative Visualisation and Collage Exercise

Visualising the things that we enjoy, the things that relax us, and the things that uplift us can be a great way to better know ourselves. The process can also help us to more frequently tap into joy, feelings of bounty, and fun.

Here’s how you can experiment with a creative visualisation; the idea is to visualise yourself heading off on a gorgeous remote holiday island retreat. This one is just for you – enjoy it!

Then, I invite you to try collage and see if you can bring to life the feeling of your holiday retreat – through colour, words, icons, motifs and pattern. It’s relaxing, fun and you can pretty much use whatever you have to hand!

  • Get into a comfortable seated meditation position. 
  • Close your eyes and begin slowing your breath to a calming, relaxing rhythm.
  • Imagine that  you’ve been given the gift of a holiday island retreat. It’s your perfect destination and you’ve just arrived.
  • You feel contented and calm. Visualise the scene as you see all the things around you that make you happy.
  • Use your senses to add as much detail as you can to your holiday island.
  • Are there people on the island with you? They could be your favourite people, or people you’ve always wanted to meet or spend time with.
  • What do you hear? Can you hear the ocean, or the wind whispering in the trees, or music?
  • Can you sense nature around you, such as trees, blooming flowers?
  • Are you warm or cool?
  • Imagine yourself moving forward, feeling calmer and more peaceful as you enter your vision more deeply.
  • Continue breathing slowly as you look around the scene you’ve created, fully experiencing it with all of your senses.
  • Move to the second day or your holiday island retreat. You’ve slept beautifully and are enjoying the day. What are you doing? Are you swimming out walking? Have you found a beautiful secret library with all of your favourite books? Or have you found a road that takes you into deep into the mountains, or to a waterfall?
  • With each inhale, imagine peace and harmony entering your body. Visualize exhaustion, tension, and distress leaving your body as you exhale.
  • Look around and imagine that for the full week of your stay, you are delighted, relaxed, inspired and reinvigorated. How will you remember your time here? Are there certain flowers or sights and sounds that you can bring back with you, to remind you of this glorious retreat?
  • When you feel ready, you can leave your vision. Knowing you can return at any time can help your newfound sense of relaxation linger throughout your day. This can help you feel more in control of difficult feelings and allow you to manage stress and frustration more easily.

Ready to explore Collage?

Taking time to enjoy meditation, and putting our imagination to work visualising scenes and experiences that are relaxing, can enhance our sense of wellbeing. The process can also reconnect us to our dreams and bring us back to our true selves.

A collage is a work of art composed of numerous materials, such as paper, newsprint, photographs, ribbons or other objects attached to background support, such as plain paper. A collage can even be made with physical materials or electronic images, attaching them to a digital background. Originating from the French word “coller”, meaning “to glue”, the collage allows you to experiment with a wide range of materials to achieve amazing end results. 

About my Holiday Island Retreat collage (left)

I’m an abstract artist and so it makes sense that my collage is also pretty abstract! I’ve created my collage using mixed media offcuts and scraps from painting experiments on art card. To me, it’s the colours that have the holiday island vibe – light, airy, and lots of tropical green turning up here and there!

If you’d like to try collage, don’t feel constrained. Your holiday island collage doesn’t have to be literal – it could just reflect a feeling. Or, if you’ve working with magazine cuttings, you might actually end up with images of cocktails and islands. Remember – this is just a fun exercise to play and have fun – so don’t worry too much about where you end up! 

Are you ready to give collage a go? Here are your prompts for starting your Remote Holiday Island Retreat!

Let’s get started. Ideally, you’ve finished your creative visualisation!

  • Grab a few magazines, scissors, glue, old artworks, a bit of art card.
  • Feel free to just jump in any which way you want. See if you can simply enjoy being in the moment. Don’t think too much – we’re really just trying to be in the moment here, not thinking too much, and working quickly and intuitively.
  • Try keeping your eyes half closed. Rip, shred, circle things with your fingers. If you’re working with magazines, go ahead and rip out whole pages if you want to – you can cut things out in more detail later on. See something that you like, or find interesting. And just act on it. Connect and engage with it. You don’t need to know why you like it or why it’s interesting.
  • Look through your half-closed eyes for vague shapes and forms that stand out. Again, don’t worry about analysing it – just see how you respond. Respond to colour, words, texture, images, shapes – whatever speaks to you in the moment.
  • OK now jump on to your art card, or thick paper and then just start laying down your collage – glue, rip, shred.
  • Add pen if you feel like it! Add lines, details, more words, extra elements. 
  • See what turns up and enjoy the process! How are you feeling? What are your hands doing? What are you enjoying?
  • Still looking for inspo? Come find me on Pinterest and check out my collage boards!

What is Mindful Creativity?

Hello, my name’s Jordan. Mindful Creativity is a great way to relax, unwind and enjoy creativity to enhance our sense of wellness. If you’re looking for a way to connect with your inner voice as you develop your own personal creative practice, it might be just the thing for you.

My Mindful Creativity blog, resources and tools provides ways for you to deepen into a more nourishing creative practice!