At the AATA Conference in Sacramento, Seena B. Frost, creator of SoulCollage was was one of the keynote speakers. Seena is not an art therapist, but some art therapists are into SoulCollage and it has an art therapy feel to it. I enjoyed Seena's presentation, was curious about collaging cards and ordered her newest book SoulCollage Evolving which I received two or three weeks ago.
So far, I have mixed feelings. First, if I'm being honest, I don't especially like collage. It's too rigid for my creative tastes. Mixing and matching the images of others feels creepy to me. Plus, my undergrad degree is in photography and electronic design, so I'm pretty picky about how these sorts of things should look and fit together. However, one thing that I missed in my own work at times was the lack of actually touching a product. I could create an image, a book, a poster or whatever and it was all just glowing pixels until someone else printed it. Although I put a lot of time and thought into it, I never touched any materials during the creative process most of the time. So collage allows for a little more dirty work. Touching stuff is fun. Add that with my search for combining easy with looks good and collage is worth a try.
Secondly, I take issue with spiritually-sounding language in my psychology. In one paragraph of this new book, I pick out these four words, "mysterious, holy, Oneness and mystical." I prefer charts and diagrams to mysteries and holiness.
Third, the cards are like tarot cards you make and read yourself. This also makes me feel pretty weird and I can't imagine using these with anyone in seriousness.
And now that I have dogged it, allow me to show the two cards I made so far.
This is my Source Card. Apparently, it is supposed to "point to the infinite reservoir of the possible." It's actually a carnivorous plant image I found in the National Geographic, but it looks really alive, colorful, active. I was going solely on appearances for this choice.
This is my SoulEssence Card. It's my own personal potential or "that spark of Source that was in [my] individual soul from birth."
So now that I've said what I don't like about SoulCollage, here are the pros... it's simple and possibly fast, depending how long it takes to figure out what images you like. There is lots of training available. It's a social activity that involves people getting together in groups and using their cards as catalysts for deep conversation, which is probably pretty healing in itself most of the time. Also, although it's very Jungian and kinda hippy sounding (this is published in Santa Cruz, CA, by the way, which may explain some things if you've ever hung out there), it looks like the intent for the questions and answers really come from the people who make the cards, which is not very tarot cardy at all. Also, I like the cards I made, even though it didn't feel like doing much and I have trouble taking credit for making some choices and using scissors.
I will give this a deeper try and consider adaptions, before I make an official decision. The jury is still out.