By: Petra Chase, Arts & Culture Editor
The winter break holds the liminal space before a new year that always inspires introspection, but this year I decided against writing resolutions. I often feel pressured by productivity culture to set rigid standards for myself, so they don’t work very well for me. By collaging a vision board using magazines, brochures, and other paper materials I had accumulated over the year, I was able to capture a more feeling-focused vision for 2023, with the purpose of lifting my mood. If you’re someone who likes to reflect and plan the future at the start of a new year, a vision board is the perfect project for you.
The process of making a vision board is just as gratifying as the finished product. To get myself into a ruminative spirit, I put on some music, made myself a herbal tea, and lit a candle. I began by journaling about my growth in 2022: the things I’m proud of achieving, the people I’m grateful to have met, the new hobbies and passions I’ve uncovered, and everything I’ve learned along the way. Most importantly, I also gave myself grace for my mistakes and staying strong in spite of hardships along the way. Reflecting is an important first step of setting goals because it helps you realize how far you’ve come and envision what comes next.
Next, I brainstormed my intentions for various aspects of my life: relationships, hobbies and passions, mental health, physical health, spiritual health, school, and career. Instead of thinking of ways I want to change or quantifying anything, I wrote down the attitudes I want to have in approaching these aspects of my life.
Once I had finished journaling, I began looking through and cutting out everything that caught my eye from my materials: patterns, photos, and words. I even pulled out some illustrations from our newspapers (I always grab two copies of each issue for this reason). I used a paper from a gradient paper pad as my background. The final touch for my vision board was writing down uplifting affirmations on pink sticky notes, based on the intentions I had journaled. Finally, I found some star stickers and put them all around the board, because why not?
I used to collage as a teenager with Rookie Mag yearbooks. Those were the best for collaging because most of the magazine is collage art, or beautiful photoshoots, so you’re simultaneously looking at beautiful art while making your own. If you don’t have magazines on hand, you can find materials by going to a used bookstore where you can often find resourceful magazines and art books. Collaging is a fun activity to do alone or with a friend, and it’s also a great way to declutter your desk area if you’re someone who collects flyers, brochures, stickers, and other random print material like me. It’s also so easy, and inspiring to look at all year long!