How Collaging Saved My Life

Michael X Christopher
my own collage

I was clearly depressed. I didn’t want to get out of my bed in the morning, and I had stopped doing activities I used to do, like playing my guitar, or going for walks. My friend Mary Pat was one of the ones who noticed. And fortunately, for me, she was one of the ones who would do something about it.

“Can I come over?” She asked. “I want to share something with you.”

“Sure.” I said, though I was unsure of what she meant.

She arrived a few hours later.

“I know your a creative person, and I wanted to share this with you.”

She began to show me a notebook she had that was filled with cut up sheets of paper.

“I think this might help.” She said. “You can create whatever you want, just cut scraps with these scissors and create whatever you wish.”

“This is wonderful.” I said. “I love it.”

Immediately, I took to this new art form. I was cutting and pasting, creating new words from the pile of magazines Mary Pat had brought me.

Little did she know, but this art form would be a refuge for me in the coming weeks and months. I could create anything I wanted. And create I did.

When I worked on my craft book, time seemed to fade. I was no longer trapped in my mind. I felt like I could breathe.

I began to spend more time with this art form, asking friends for unwanted magazines on social media.

It wasn’t long before I filled up my first notebook. It was an incredible feeling. Like having an entire book of vision boards to flip through. Whenever I felt down, I opened up my notebook.

It was winter when Mary Pat came over, and we were still in quarantine. I went from not having anything to do, to falling in love with myself again. I can not begin to tell you how wonderful the process was.

I came to realize, I am a positive person. I do want love. I do want happiness. I want joy. I am artistic.

I can do this.

What’s so great about this art form, that I will call collaging, is that anyone with a pair of scissors and some glue and some old magazines can do it.

And it doesn’t take much to be great at it. Also, everyone’s collaging looks different from next person. People adapt to their own personal style.

It is such a beautiful way to express yourself.

It sounds silly but collaging saved my life. I hadn’t been able to find joy in anything until my friend Mary Pat came by. And she did it all because she cared for me.

I couldn’t stop thanking her. In fact, in writing this I realized I haven’t thanked her recently. She insists it was nothing at all, but this art form opened doors for me.

Currently I’m exploring creating art using acrylic and paper. That is the next step in my evolution as an artist. I have done some work with acrylics, and some collaging, but now it’s about combining the two.

Wish me luck! I will keep on creating. And I have to thank everyone who helped me crawl out of my depression, into new light.
painting by me

Lastly, this is a previous painting I made titled, Joy Mountain. In the future I will be combining collaging and acrylics. I can’t tell you how excited I am to begin the process. I don’t know what I’ve been waiting for. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I really appreciate your time. I hope writing this inspires others to believe that they too, are artists. And that joy is just a pair of scissors away.

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I write inspiring, true stories, on mental health, writing, and spirituality.

Atlantic City, NJ

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